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Embrace Your Challenge

I was a very good student in high school and college. High school was a breeze, but college stretched my capacity to think. I had a geology class and thought I knew more about the earth than my professor. For the first time in academia I failed a class. Upon re-enrolling I decided that I would not choose the same professor who failed me. I was recommended another professor who was "easy". I signed up for that class. On the first day of the semester, who showed up but the professor who failed me. We both shared a good laugh. The easy professor I selected decided to retire. This time my approach to understanding was different and I earned an A in the course. I thought through the concepts rather than try to change them to fit my values and beliefs.

My second challenge in college was in Expository Writing. I thought I was an excellent writer, but this professor showed me I had more to learn. My mid-semester grade in his class was a C. I spoke to him (his last name happened to be Angel) about my grade. He shared that I was an excellent writer, but he wanted me to become and outstanding writer and master of the English language. I set my ego aside and mastered his principles. He started using my writings and papers as an example for the rest of the students on how to write. I also earned an A in his course.

I learned valuable life lessons from each of these teachers. You cannot run or hide from your challenges. Challenges make you tough and build character. Challenges help you identify your weaknesses and overcome them. Challenges teach you to think through obstacles rather than surrender to them. Each of these professors made me a better student and the remainder of my college career was a breeze because I stopped running from conflict and started learning from it.

Critical thinking is mandatory if a leader is going to be successful. While the technical

world we live in has made our minds lazy, comprehension remains necessary for us to manage and lead effectively. We cannot always run from or leave a challenge. We must embrace it, stand through it, and conquer it. Challenges cannot be avoided and present themselves in many forms. People with sound minds run toward challenges, not away from them. If you are facing a challenge today, embrace it. Mastery of the principles will leave you with invaluable understanding and knowledge.

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