Challenge. The word itself comes across as being unpleasant in nature. Dictionary.com describes a challenge as :
a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle,contest, special effort, etc.
a call to fight, as a battle, a duel, etc.
a demand to explain, justify, etc.: a challenge to the treasurer to itemize expenditures.
difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged init.
How intense! A call or summons to engage in any contest, a call to fight, a difficulty in a job or undertaking. No wonder why we humans have a tendency to avoid challenges when they come our way! Recently, however, I have found that a lack of challenges has become more difficult for me to handle than just dealing with a challenge alone. With the launch of Coqueteur, I decided that it would be best to quit my job and live off of my savings in order to make time to write more, connect with more bloggers/ collaborators, and focus in on filming new episodes of Fierce Female Friday. In reality, a sluggish approach to all of the aforementioned efforts is what I have been dealing with and let me tell you, it is infuriating to say the least! How is it, that with all the time in the world, I have managed to be seemingly making less progress than I was when working 2 jobs and constructing the website on top of everything else? The answer lies in two distinct laws. The first, Newton’s first law of motion:
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
Which can be paraphrased as “A body in motion stays in motion, whereas a body at rest also stays at rest.” How very accurate he was! With all of this newfound freedom and time off, I have not been as active as I was when I had less time to myself. With more time on my hands, I have taken a special interest in sleeping in late (where I used to wake up at a regimented 6 AM every day) as well as skipping on the gym, and overall being lazy. (For those who know me best, those things are completely out of character, but lo and behold- I’m guilty of it all) With less of a challenge in working nonstop, I have also become a body less in motion! The second law which comes to mind is Parkinson’s law:
Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”
My approach to this law is that with more time given to complete a task, the more time it will take to do it. The challenge of having to get to work, finish a blog post, schedule in a photo shoot and meet with the team had to fit in the 24 hours of the day because there was less allotted time to do each event. Without having an outside obligation pressuring me to focus in and complete a task, I now fill up my time with less accomplishments in that time. (A really great description of this concept is featured in chapter 5 of Timothy’s Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Workweek – soon to be featured in a Weekly Read article so stay tuned!) Who would have thought that having less time could be used as a way to get more things done!
Now, I don’t mean for this article to come across as being a place where I complain about having too much time and nothing to do. I want to showcase the beauty in having a challenge and how to combat a case of laziness when it comes about in our lives. Beauty in a challenge? Yes. Like a diamond in the rough, we do not become perfected or understand our capacity to handle a situation until we come across a challenge. A challenge causes us to call upon our strengths, set aside our weaknesses and negative thoughts, and rise to the occasion to complete a task. My challenge now? To fill up my time off with as much productive actions as I can. How to do this? Here is what I’ve come up with:
Make a list – In order to increase productivity, being as specific as possible in what needs to be done is the best anecdote to time wasted.
Name the goal– What is it that you are after? Again, be as specific as possible. Look back at your list and ask yourself what it is that needs to be done.
Find a competitor– Sometimes, we all need a little mental firecracker to get us going. Content with where you are? Find a new competitor, a different challenge, or master the art of competing with yourself.
Each day presents us with different challenges and how we handle them demonstrates to others our character at work. The beauty of a challenge is the ability to be able to showcase those strengths to not only others, but ourselves as well. Isn’t it nice to know what when faced with a challenge, we are able to discover these hidden strengths? Go now, get on with whatever challenge that is facing you at the moment and be prepared to find the beauty in your strengths!
Article photo borrowed from //1//
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