When life hands us a challenge, it in essence hands us an opportunity to rise, grow, overcome, stretch, learn and to become better.

The temptation to give up is always a reality that confronts everyone. All of us contend with the thoughts, feelings and options of quiting. Whether it is to access a break, an easier way out or an escape route from pain, giving up is a constant option at the periphery of life. In view of this, it is prudent to make some basic guiding conclusions to help us navigate life with ease. And one such supposition is this: The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson, so don’t give up.

To live in the past- the regrets, unwise decisions and their outcomes- can be debilitating. There is no worse pain than that of regret. This kind of challenge is not only dangerous in its essence but can easily drive us into losing hope about a different outcome in the future. There are no two ways about dealing with the past. You just let the past be just that- the past.

Leave it, its experiences and everyone that belongs to it, right in the past. Stop wasting time crying about the bygone -you cannot change your past but can do better in the future. If you think of it, in this life, the good, bad and ugly that have happened in your life are all neccessary to bring you where and who you are today.

Go through it
I believe that challenges are a guaranteed recipe in everyone’s life; they cannot be avoided. Problems are the spices of life and without them, life is tasteless, uninteresting and flat. To attempt to live a life of no hurdles and mountains, is simply an exercise of self-defeat. Because, simply put, no pain, no gain.

When life hands us a challenge, it in essence, hands us an opportunity to rise, grow, overcome, stretch, learn, become better and be promoted. In fact, when faced with fire, the only thing is to go through it and not stop.

Emerge victorious
Whenever we conquer challenges, these become the greatest lessons in life. They become proof that it is possible to be caught between a rock and a hard place but still emerge victorious. Sometimes the odds are stacked against us, our backs against the wall and the threats of doom looming.

Sometimes `today’ seems like the last day of our existence and `this hour’ feels like a year. While we face these challenges and nothing seems to be in our favour, we have to be resilient and insistent that the worst is not the end. We have to stand persuaded that even though we smell the smoke, we shall not burn.

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Even though the light at the end of the tunnel goes out, the end of the tunnel still exists. We must remain vigilantly hopeful that the rest of our lives shall still be the best of our lives. Don’t go back. Declare that you can’t do so. Fill your life with God’s consciousness to the point that your challenges, regardless of their gravity and severity, fade into oblivion. Giving up doesn’t add anything to your dream.

If you give up then what? What exactly happens? What becomes of you? The moment you give up, what you are saying is that the challenges you have already faced and endured were just a waste of your time. You have simply resigned yourself to remaining in the same situation, or worse. Before you quit, consider that the fuel you need to finish the journey is less than the fuel you need to go back!

Don’t be a victim
Learn from your mistakes but don’t be defined by them. Take responsibility for messing up but learn from them, forgive yourself, make neccessary changes and move forward. Don’t be a victim of people’s opinions- what people think of you is irrelevant.

Regardless of where you stand today, decide to have a joyful spirit. If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender and rise up against the odds.

(Courtesy of Bishop Allan Kiuna in The Nairobian)

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