Home » Self Improvement

See The Opportunity - Not The Difficulty

Jan 27, 2008
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill

There are a lot of great quotes about opportunity out there, and we have used some of them already at cyreousquotes.com, but let me tell you why this one is especially useful. It compares the pessimist with the optimist. No judgments passed; just a line drawn in the sand; and an opportunity to examine your self. On which side of the line do you fall?

There was a time when I was pessimistic about most everything, but I didn't know it of course. One day I had a boss who cared about my training and he asked me, "John, I am looking for a problem solver not a problem maker. Why is it you always see the difficulties and not the possibilities in your challenges? That shook my world that day because I had no idea I was presenting myself on a regular basis to anyone as a person who saw difficulty in most everything I did. It was an eye-opener for me.

I went home that night, looked at myself in the mirror and started to have a good talk with myself. Then, over the next few days, starting with my wife, I quizzed those close enough to me if they thought I saw difficulty in most things rather than opportunity. I did not ask them if I was pessimistic and if you try this at home I suggest you don't either. The reason is, I don't think that most people see the connection between a pessimist and a person who sees difficulty instead of opportunity. So keep the labels out of it. Watch what kind of answers you get. It wasn't long till it became clear to me that I definitely was a pessimist.

To look at a challenge and see the opportunity in it requires a great skill as it turns out. This is a talent, a craft that takes careful grooming over the rocky terrain of life's challenges. Honestly, I think most people miss this learning experience or fail the test which I had to go through myself. I had to stop making negative knee-jerk reactions in my life regarding my challenges. I had to stop seeing the difficulties, and start seeing the opportunities within my challenges. This was not an easy thing to do. It never is if you have been pessimistic your whole life as I discovered was true with me.

Here is what to do. Remember that within everything that exists in life there is "Yin and Yang". There is difficulty and there is opportunity. We often see the difficulty first because we have trained ourselves to have a sort of "early warning system" in ourselves and we look for what possibly could go wrong. There is nothing wrong with that. But somehow we short-circuit ourselves there and don't continue our analysis to see the good side, the opportunity. I think it is because the bad side has got us frozen in a state of shock. So-we look, we see the possible negatives, and we run. Stop running!

The first piece of advice I would give you is slow down. Look at the possible negatives but don't contemplate the details yet. Take a moment and force yourself to see the good side also. Ask yourself, "What good can possibly come from this?" You will be surprised at how all of a sudden you begin to see a list of possibilities. That is because you slowed down and relaxed. There is always a good side, even in the worst of situations.

Why is it that you can talk to two victims of the Nazi German concentration camps and one will tell you all the bad and another will tell you the good that came of it? Viktor Frankl was one such survivor who said, "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

You may be hard pressed to find the good in your particular challenge, but remember those who have endured worse. As you keep looking for the positives, you will be surprisingly cheered on as you stumble across a great idea. Once you have seen it, follow that vision. That is the difference between a pessimist and an optimist.

In the last snow storm we had I had a few drops of energy left and a few drops of gasoline left so I decided to go next door and help my neighbor and snow blow her driveway. As I crept over taking slow careful steps managing my disabling disease, wanting to just go home and stop, I pushed to do a good deed. When I met her in her driveway she said to me, "Why doesn't anybody help me?" She proceeded to go inside of her warm house without so much as a thank-you for my effort as I struggled to help her. Instead of seeing the help she was getting at that very moment all she could do was complain that she was getting no help. What is it that you choose to see?

Today as you take on the world with all of its challenges, stop to consider the opportunities that exist within your challenges. If you pause long enough, and if you look hard enough, you will see the opportunity. Eventually they will call you an optimist if you can practice looking for the opportunities enough. That is part of being self-empowered.
About the Author
John Cyr is a retired workforce development trainer and motivational consultant who writes articles and editorials under the pen-name Johnny Cyreous, or Cyreous. He maintains a website of quotes by famous people and advocates his method of teaching at www.cyreousquotes.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 121
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources