by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Unexpected obstacles can be transformed into opportunities for new growth through your spirit to keep going. Continuing toward a goal despite setbacks is the key to victory.
The effort to continue also builds inner strength and wisdom. Everything has meaning. Every challenge becomes fuel for training as preparation for your next chapter.
Mastering Your Mind Is Like Climbing A Mountain
Overcoming each problem or reaching your goal is like climbing a mountain; each step forward takes you higher. Persevering gets you to the summit.
Enjoying the view along the way as well as savoring the joy of your efforts once you’ve reached the top are your treasures, should you embrace that mindset. Your entire journey becomes your unique book of golden memories. These memories are the twists and turns of your particular path, the backbone of your life legacy.
The real struggle is transforming your weakness. It's winning the battle in your mind against the lower worlds of negativity, like fear and doubt.
But mastering your mind is much like climbing the mountain.
The building blocks of your unshakable foundation are every step forward and every moment that you are fully present to savor the beauty of your dramatic story.
It is a tailored journey for you to develop trust in your capability.
Muster your determination to win over yourself. Challenge yourself to find the way, the answer, the right action.
Keep reaching for the skies of your dreams. Appreciate everything along the way as part of your beautiful life story.
Your Light Brightens The Way For Others
Protagonists don’t get to sit on the sidelines.
Heroes dive into the thick of the action, feel the fear and courageously try their best.
You are your life’s star player. Don’t forget that you light the way for others too. Your success shines a light on the pathway for others to see through to their victory, too.
This is why you must never give up on yourself or your dreams. Your painful experiences become your way to encourage others through their difficulties.
Your Self-Care Is Not A Luxury
Your success story inspires countless others. That is why you must take good care of your heart, mind, and body. Treasuring your potential to find your way forward becomes the hope for others to do the same.
Taking care of yourself as a precious treasure of great potential is critical for your happiness. Forging your inner state of life is the starting point to your perpetual growth and your ability to enjoy each moment.
Sometimes you need rest to refuel your creative energy. Sometimes you need to replenish your inner condition through self-care, study, or fusing with the compassionate power of the universe through prayer, meditation, or nature immersion.
When you lose hope in your potential, you have a setback. But as long as you don’t let yourself remain stuck, you can open a new way forward.
Always Keep Your Eye On The Prize; Your WHY
If you lose sight of your ultimate mission, unexpected difficulties can be painful and stop your progress.
But once you align with your purpose—to remain undefeated and become a beacon for others through your actions—you develop the fortitude to navigate your way through to your envisioned goal.
How I’ve Climbed My Mountains With These Steps
Let me share examples from my life to illustrate how I’ve used these ideas in action.
More than 40 years of family discord motivated my prayer to reflect on and polish myself, change my contributions to negative patterns, understand differing perspectives, improve my ability to listen. It also taught me to set healthy boundaries, stop enabling, and express my truth when appropriate.
Getting An Education
In my early 20s, my desire to get into college to study music and earn a degree encouraged me to practice daily with the focus to improve specific skills and apply for multiple ways for financial support. Once I got accepted into college, I made constant efforts to learn, improve and complete tasks.
Landing A Job & Moving To A New Home
When I wanted to get my first public school teaching job, I had to address many unknowns to increase my chances of getting hired. I had to find a way to attend an out-of-state job fair with no funds or place to stay.
I applied online, spread the word to friends, prayed for the wisdom to take the right action. I determined to pack, leave my current job on good terms, interview successfully, move out of state, find a place to live, and overcome a significant health issue. I successfully completed each goal.
Continued Professional Progress
Once I got the job, I faced new challenges like adjusting to a new structure, schedule, developing classroom management skills, meeting performance standards, and building coworker rapport.
Dealing With Loss
My experiences with losing loved ones fueled my determination to serve others, rise up to be a comforting presence, and give help where needed. I also resolved not to be crushed by my deep grief. I continually revisit my goal of transforming my suffering into a mission to help others through it.
In the romantic relationship department, I appreciate that my past relationships have helped me recognize and eliminate negative situations or patterns from my life, see my weaknesses and forge self-volition versus depending on someone for my happiness.
Having A Foundational Philosophy As A Guide
Through all these different aspects of my life, I used my daily Buddhist prayer and practice as my foundation. Practicing this daily philosophy expands my life state, overcomes pain or external obstacles, and taps my wisdom, creative energy, and compassion for transforming each challenge and setback.
I face each day with the determination to be my best self and to be a positive force in my environment. Staying focused on looking for ways to create value or positively contribute amid difficult circumstances enables me to stay in the game without fail.
How To View Failure Using The Big Picture
I may fail at certain things. But because I push myself to look forward, keep going, and create value, I’m already winning. Giving up or giving in to internal defeat would be failure.
The specifics of setbacks, challenges, or goals change or differ from person to person. These may even alter from one chapter of life to the next. But the way to use obstacles for ultimate victory is the same;
How To Use Obstacles For Your Ultimate Victory
You must polish your life and keep moving forward. When you practice believing in your ultimate potential and that of others, you will find it. As you continue this process, you will expand your capacity to experience and contribute joyful victory after victory.
This process of your unique personal development is the valuable purpose you have in the world around you. The more you achieve, the greater your influence on others to do the same.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
It's easy for any of us to be defeated by our problems. Whether they are big or small doesn't matter. They're our problems and because of that, they can seem tailor-designed to knock us down.
Someone recently asked me how to overcome their problems. Regardless of specifics, when faced with difficulty, having the attitude to work toward a solution or win victory, is the first step to creating forward momentum.
I praised this person for having the desire to find a way through their challenges.
The Buddhist philosophy I practice has taught me that struggles are actually precious treasures to appreciate. We can actually use them as stepping stones to deeper happiness, solid inner strength and an awakening to our inherent wisdom. All this personal expansion leads to experiencing a rich, more fulfilled life.
The conversation with the person who asked for my help reminded me that I need to repeatedly polish my attitude and actions toward the challenges in my life.
I've learned that developing a determined spirit to win over difficulties is powerful. No matter what the problem is, having that spirit to keep fighting is itself the key to victory. It’s when we lose hope, or stop believing in our vast potential to achieve or transform anything, that problems get the better of us.
There are many things we can do to deal with our problems. But without the mindset toward winning ultimate victory, the results may prove less than satisfactory.
In other words, we can take plenty of action, but if we still hold doubt in our hearts about ourselves or our desired positive outcome, we diminish our results.
You Get Stronger Through Challenging A Problem
If we first work on strengthening the attitude behind our actions, we stand a greater chance of overcoming the problem or reaching a goal. Actions we take are only part of the solution or winning strategy.
Equally as valuable is the inner strength we forge by enduring the problem state.
As long as we resolve never to give up on ourselves, every problem actually can serve as a springboard toward improving ourselves and our quality of life. Building a strong inner intent ultimately manifests in taking wise action. This is the basis for creating a happier environment, and advancing our personal growth.
Plus, the added perk of solving our problem.
Be Like Einstein; Stay Longer
There’s an Einstein quote I love that goes, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."
Problems can function as beneficial to our lives because they push us into the proverbial corner until we learn to strengthen our belief in the unlimited potential within ourselves and humanity.
Problems can force us to work harder to mine that golden potential. Perhaps if we didn't experience our difficulties, we'd never make the kind of effort necessary to uncover our full abilities.
The fact is that we all have problems. Our capacity to overcome these is infinite. And by winning over them, we give others incredible hope to do the same.
Let's continue seeking ways to overcome our problems. In that sense, we are already winning.
By the way, my photo essay, How To Use Difficulties To Inspire Appreciation & Creativity, touches on this same point. I hope it encourages you and others reading this!
Thank you for showing your love of my content with a LIKE or by sharing this blog with others. Leave your comment or ask a question below.
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
People think I have a large life. My energy commands a room. But it’s not intentional. In fact, sometimes I think I have two personalities.
And, no, I'm not schizophrenic.
I developed my exterior confidence through my job as a music educator, and my role as a Buddhist facilitator. Directing, leading and teaching large groups of people performing music, and facilitating faith-based activities with diverse groups provided abundant training.
When I’ve had the opportunity to lead, there was no room for ego or attention to myself. There was a task to do. I’ve honed that skill to focus on the task at hand without regard to my personal feelings.
I appreciate this skill.
It enabled me to achieve more as a teacher, chorus conductor, faith leader and performing musician. It allowed me to see beyond myself and do more than I would have otherwise envisioned had I stopped to ponder my capability.
Battling An Attack of Self-Doubt
On the flip side, my alter-ego is debilitatingly shy and constantly fighting doubt. Through sheer life experience and in particular debt to my SGI-USA Buddhist philosophy, I’ve managed to function well—beyond my insecurity.
But it relentlessly attacked me when least expected with insomnia. Even when I thought I’d confronted my inner demons, fear and doubt insidiously assaulted my thoughts until the wee hours of morning.
I’d combat it with my intellect, of course. I spoke to myself with a voice of calmness about reality and fool-proof strategies to turn away my inner demons. I distracted myself with reading, deep breathing and imagery of relaxed, happy visions.
I chanted my Buddhist mantra while attempting to empty the barrage of negativity swirling in my brain. I got out of bed and stretched. I wrote my thoughts in my journal. I fought the battle until 3am, despite exhaustion.
Finally, I’d drift off for about three hours of rest.
In the morning, it would all seem perfectly stupid. In the light of day, my evening struggle seemed like a mirage. Except that I was depleted for two days afterwards.
Making Headway By Forging Inner Strength
This darkness beat at my inner doors all my life. I’ve dramatically lessened the effects of it. It used to cause such stomach-upset agony I couldn’t function beyond bed-rest. It caused me to develop respiratory issues. I had no stamina against this demon.
I continued consistently battling it from the inside out with my determined prayer. I forced myself through the exact experiences that caused me anxiety, repeatedly. I forged directly through anxiety until I incrementally gained strength over it.
I no longer have those anxiety attacks that shook my whole body with nausea or stomach pain. I no longer get respiratory illness or stage fright. I have no qualms about public speaking, performing, or facilitating. I've led hundreds of groups as a music educator and chorus conductor, performed in front of thousands as a vocalist/pianist, and spoken in front of countless audiences from musical to community events, from weddings to funerals and beyond.
I don’t worry about what people think of me anymore. All those battles forged my strength and grew my confidence.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'
Notably, when I’m striving to reach a personal goal, or break through to a new level of success in any aspect of my life, my doubts rear their ugliness to challenge me.
That’s how I know I’m on the right track.
A Strong Opponent Builds Your Spiritual Muscle
My Buddhist practice confirms this is a sign of my inner growth; I’m pushing myself beyond comfort and growing my capacity larger than before. There should be some fear or doubt because...I’m human. I’m tackling new and bold territory.
I’m on to these twin evils (fear and doubt). They appear so I may open the path to my future with my true essence—my inner power fueled by belief in the human heart. My heart.
There’s resistance so I may develop spiritual muscle. These most powerful opponents enable me to forge my full potential. Anything easy would not warrant a victory celebration.
I wage on—with a resolute vow to never give up until I win absolute victory over every new challenge. I know it is always a test of my faith. A chance for me to see how my determined prayer—starting from the inner realm—manifests in tangible, conspicuous external proof, based on the interconnectedness of life.
I just have to do the inner work first.
Take that, doubt and fear. Take THAT.
I'd LOVE to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you for liking and sharing this blog with someone who may benefit from the information.
Your Troubles Are Your Progress Barometer & Catalyst For Your Full Potential
5 Ways To Use Music & Nature For Self-Care
Defeat Fear & Doubt with Your Courage & Capability
How To Deflect Negativity To Become Happier
Believing In The Positive
My Top Tips For Winning Over Insomnia
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