Obstacles or Opportunities

“I have learned to view what others may see as obstacles as my opportunities.”  (Tyler Sexton)

Do you ever notice that there are different personality types in the world:  those that see their mistakes as failures and those who view their mistakes as opportunities?  I tend to be very hard on myself, expecting nothing less than perfection in much of what I do.  That is not necessarily a very healthy perspective.  I am working on refining that about myself so that instead I can model more a person who sees opportunities for growth in the various obstacles that cross her path.

I am not sure if a person is naturally born looking at life in such a positive way or if it is the influence of those around her that gives a person such a healthy perspective.  Whatever the case may be, I think that if a person really wants to, she can slowly change her mindset from one of viewing life negatively to viewing what life has to offer with a more positive attitude.

My husband and I want to raise our children to view their challenges exactly that way.  For someone to whom that does not come naturally, this is a tough assignment.  I think of myself as a relatively positive person, but when stressed out, busy, or preoccupied, if one of my family members spills milk for the fifth day in a row at dinner, my first reaction is not going to be, “Wow, another opportunity to learn where to position your glass.”  Instead, in all honesty, as it is dripping off the table and onto the dog, it more likely is, “Oh boy, one more thing to clean up.”

I do notice, though, the more refreshed, focused, and less burned out I am, the better I am able to cope with life’s little mistakes, no matter who makes them.  That really puts things into perspective for me and leads me to this conclusion:  I think viewing obstacles as opportunities is a combination of a person’s genetic makeup and a certain mindset.  That gives me hope that I can someday achieve a more balanced perspective in my own life, and I might just be able to pass along a healthier perspective to the next generation that I have been blessed to guide along the way.

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