Attitude and action will help you overcome challenges
Started reading another book last night from my collection on motivation, sales and customer service. This one, If You Can’t Climb The Wall, Build A Door! by Dr. Charles Lever (Inti Publishing, 1997), is turning out to be a good choice. You may have guessed that this is about how to overcome adversity. If not, the subtitle explains it all: “Principles to live by when quitting is not an option.”
I grabbed the book because it appeared to offer a good message. Plus, at 155 pages, it should be a fast read. That part is coming true, but the book also offers a lot of good advice for anyone struggling to overcome life’s challenges.
Like another book from my collection that provided material for a blog post, this book caused me to put some thoughts down in a column.
Early on, Dr. Lever lists nine reasons why he wrote the book. He tries to reach out to people struggling with loneliness, grieving over the loss of a friend, fighting to hold a marriage together and other challenges. Two reasons that caught my eye were:
You may be struggling with your finances
You may be struggling to get a new business off the ground
Everyone must overcome adversity throughout life
In just the first 32 pages (and introduction) I highlighted numerous passages. So much of this book is striking a chord.
As you note from the subtitle, the premise of the book is that you can and should overcome adversity. Indeed, the author states early on that “no matter how great the challenges in your life, you can find a way to move beyond them.” To which I and many others might say, “Easier said than done.” How often have you felt that way?
“Climbing walls,” the author explains, refers to being persistent. If you find a challenge too overpowering, “build a door”; i.e. solve the problem through creativity and resourcefulness.
Understand that everyone has problems; no one is immune. It’s easy for some folks (like me) to assume that the wealthy and successful lead comfortable, problem-free lives. Not so, we learn here.
The author relates a telling anecdote from Norman Vincent Peale. One day Peale came upon a friend who was in a grumpy mood. When asked how he was, the friend replied, “Problems, problems. I’m fed up with these problems.”
He offered to donate $5,000 to charity if Peale would get rid of all his problems. Peale said he just might take him up on the offer. He knew a place where thousands of people reside, and “to the best of my knowledge, not a single one of them has problems.” The friend was quite intrigued until Peale told him his special place: the cemetery.
“The only people I know who don’t have problems,” Peale said, “are dead.”
Food for thought.
As I read this book, I think about my challenges: Building my business, paying down debt, keeping the 12-year-old car running (have to; can’t afford to replace it), and paying medical bills. Sometimes the burden seems almost overwhelming. Yet other days I feel inspired. It seems as if I’m just a step or two away from breaking out in my home based / network marketing business. Absorbing new training, as I am doing now, is always uplifting.
And I look ahead to a vacation I’d like to take in a month or two. (Have the resort picked out, but nothing’s finalized.)
Reading books like this one, which I like to do in the evening, is very helpful. I’ve read several of the Chicken Soup for The Soul series. Talk about people overcoming adversity. So I continue on. If I can’t climb the wall, I’ll find someway to build a door.
Do you have any examples of overcoming adversity you’d like to share? What gave you the strength to continue on, and how has your life changed? Feel free to comment below. Also, if you enjoyed this column, could you do me a favor and share it with others? Thanks.
For related reading, see “Review your professional life to help improve satisfaction, performance” and “Want to be successful? Work hard.”
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