May 3, 2010

Good day, team,

Back by popular demand, here is a challenge written in April 2005 that I’m republishing.

This week’s challenge is about the opportunities that lie in each problem.

I’ve been reading a book recently about the 1918 flu pandemic. The doctors and scientists who struggled to find a cure had to spend many years studying the problems that caused the disease. Most failed. Some who worked on finding a cure became frustrated by their lack of success and quit their search early on, claiming that the flu was actually a form of pneumonia, a disease they thought they understood.

But the doctors who didn’t become discouraged by failure after failure and who continued to study the problems created by the disease made many discoveries. These led to numerous breakthroughs in medicine that eventually changed the way all doctors understand bacterias and viruses and how to treat them. And one doctor actually discovered DNA, the foundation of our genetic design. This doctor was never discouraged by any problem he confronted. When a problem arose, he would try to solve it. In so doing, he would discover more problems and try to solve them. This went on and on for 40 years! Eventually, in his 70s, he discovered what he never anticipated finding and changed the course of history.

His experience teaches me how powerful opportunities can arise from problems. If we persevere when we can’t find easy solutions, we are empowered to make new discoveries.

While visiting a client last week, I saw a quote on the wall near her desk that expresses this thought so well:

“Every problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity. You’ll find that every situation, properly perceived, offers opportunity. As fast as each opportunity presents itself, use it. No matter how tiny an opportunity it may be, use it. You’ll find new frontiers when you have an open mind and a willing hand.”

This week, consider the problems confronting you. Don’t be afraid to investigate them. Try considering new solutions or ask another team member for suggestions. If you’re becoming discouraged, look at the problem from a different perspective. Remember the doctor who kept looking for solutions and didn’t give up in the face of more problems.

Albert Einstein wrote, “A problem cannot be solved at the level of consciousness in which it occurs.” Perhaps a change in your awareness will help you find a better solution. Try being more present this week and see if a good solution is right in front of you.

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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