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Challenge or Be Challenged
Ever wondered what all possibly life can throw at any moment in time? What if it throws a curve ball, worst case scenario never encountered thus far? Consider any walk of life; personal, professional, situations of all sorts surround us everywhere, controllable, uncontrollable or whatever one might classify them within particular frame of mind at any given instance.
No amount of plan is plan enough to respond to random spontaneity of events and circumstances that one might encounter off guard and at times there are only two options left to choose, "Challenge or Be Challenged". The two represents two sides of the same coin but widely differ in their approach, one being front foot and other being back foot or even without a stand to take on any situation.
Human brain is hardwired to avoid risk and with passing time tendency to play safe acquiring comfort zone further keeps creeping in to ensure personal security. While there is nothing much wrong with this approach, it shouldn't come at the cost of not taking necessary stand when the situation demands and becoming over cautiously self centered and/or unduly stepping over causing harm to someone for fraudulent gain or hampering/retarding progressive nature of state of affairs.
Exceptions do exist, with individuals stepping out of their comfort zone to challenge the unknown, but that cannot be generalized. Breed of innovators and entrepreneurs belong to that class, who challenge the status quo to disrupt their segment of innovation.
Stepping away from glam aspect focusing on being functional and adding value possibly for a greater cause, innovation could be anything that adds value and helps overcome obstacles and solves real life challenges or open up new dimensions in a given domain or open up a new domain all together. In that context we might encounter many every day innovators who solve challenges of varying magnitudes in different walks of life, need not necessarily the ones requiring filing a patent. This is also important to remain progressive and more the participants greater is the effect towards faster evolution of our ecosystem.
No matter how safe one plays, there could always be circumstances of varying magnitudes catching one off guard and testing endurance to cope up with the untoward situation. Situations could actually or seem to be perpetually draining on various fronts, testing limits of endurance leading to getting caught in meaningless tangling pursuits trying to find an unlikely solution, further going off mark.
Not like the ice bucket or any other orchestrated challenge wherein the participants perhaps know what they are up to beforehand, to make them mentally prepared and possibly develop some stimulus for something possibly never experienced before, in real life such is not the case as the situations unfold in real time and more often not giving enough time to develop stimuli to appropriately respond to the situation on hand.
Unlike Scrabble or Rubix, life has unprecedented permutations and combinations of situations that might emerge with different outcomes touching different aspects, humanly perceived as favorable or unfavorable. Further there could be a domino effect with sequence of events snow balling just to make the situation further more challenging and complex. That's how uncertain things might actually turn out to be and which should be factored in to remain prepared to respond to any situation.
An example from our software driven ecosystem is how the developers writing complex code and supporting it implement the exception handling capabilities in the piece of code to make it intelligent to respond in real time to unexpected scenario classified as an exception (a.k.a. software error) further preventing at times irrevocable conditions like null pointer exception which is also a sign of poor coding standard.
Despite all the best practices and precautions to implement necessary safeguards there could still be unforeseen scenarios where exceptions might arise and there the agility to understand the issue and provide the mitigation and final resolution determines efficacy of the way situation is dealt with. Priceless bonus is the strength derived out of learning from a possibly callous situation which can be incorporated from thereon to avoid previously unforeseen scenario. That's typically how things have evolved (Embrace, Adapt, Adept, Evolve, Thrive) from the early ages to the present day digital age.
Agility of the brain to rationally think and respond to situations in real time without panic and losing focus coupled with a problem solving attitude to deal with ambiguity and finding solution that determines how prepared one is dynamically dealing with unprecedented situations. Agility of brain is dependent on how well the brain is programmed over time developing Adaptive Intelligence to think beyond conventional wisdom taking broader perspective into account. This is a trait true leaders possess to cautiously steer through high tide and cruise when it allows towards leading to triumph.
While there could be different approaches to tackle any situation, breaking the problem into smaller manageable pieces and having them addressed one by one or working on a solution backward keeping end solution in mind, it depends on the scenario what works best and should be chosen given the risk factors and resources on hand. While learning's from the past play an important role and could be applied, it is important to ascertain whether it can be done straight off the shelf, as one size might not fit all and there might be tweaks required specific to the situation on hand.
Thankfully life is not a battlefield and most of us won't have to undergo strict and nerve breaking regimen with no place for comfort zone what special forces like SAS, Navy Seals, Shayetet 13 etc. have to undergo to respond and adapt to whatever challenge is thrown at them. Being real life combat ready is equally important to efficiently and effectively respond to any unprecedented situation without losing sight and giving up.
Life cannot be linear, while all precautions are taken to ensure a smooth going and possibly maximize the crest element, one can only be sure to minimize but not eliminate the trough element that comes along as part of life's rhythmic pattern. Holistic Contingency Planning and Mental Agility is therefore important not to get overwhelmed and avert situations that can possibly result in tribulation.
It takes nothing to procrastinate or surrender and be a victim to the situation, but having lost without a fight is one missed opportunity about a possibility to win. Knowing ones strengths (Life Skills), challenging situations can provide stimulus to unfold new dimensions to tread never thought before territories challenging the status quo and in the process becoming enterprising and versatile.
Breaking barriers to overcome obstacles one can catapult on to trajectory towards success with undeterred conviction ardently harnessing ones strengths, taking on the Challenge rather than Being Challenged.