Only heat hardens diamonds

Everyone faces challenges, from the work place, on the roads while driving, at home, in school, and many other facets of our lives, making challenges a core part of our lives. Most of the challenges that people face quite often throw themselves into their lives without their asking, kind of an intruder or violent robber who comes into their lives forcefully. But the most important thing when faced with challenges is to change your perspective regarding the challenges by reframing the situation at hand.

Unfortunately, this is not something that is easy to do, since from an earlier time in our lives, we’re pre-conditioned to react in the most defensive way, beating ourselves up in the process and completely shutting our minds off to any avenues that might be there to help us face the problem.

The good thing is that by learning how to put a challenging situation in context, we are able to get through, round, or even over the most challenging of situations. A critical part in solving any challenging problem is determining your current skill level that is required to face the challenge, and determining the gap between the minimum skill threshold that is required to face the problem. You then need to determine how you will bridge the skills gap, and this is something that can be done in quite a number of ways, but the most effective one according to me, is by the apprenticeship model, one in which someone who’s much more experienced than you gets to direct your actions in a ‘do as I do’ kind of experience. This kind of learning reinforces learning in ways that no other passive ways such as reading blog posts, and watching video tutorials can.

A good example is when I was faced with the challenge of driving through the Central Business District during peak hours when everyone’s in a rush, and feels like they can only move forward by breaking rules, say by overlapping, obstructing and any such kinds of not so nice moves. I was at first so frustrated at how no one was bothered with even practicing basic road etiquette that you don’t need to go to a driving school to master. At first, I just felt like I should give it all up in the air and quit driving within the CBD. But I thought; why not ask one of my friends who’s a public service driver how to navigate through the hell? Fortunately enough, he offered to give me a hands-on training on defensive driving for a couple of days at a very minimal fee. After taking me through the lessons, I’m now very comfortable driving around the CBD and someone might easily mistake me for a very experienced driver who’s taken decades to master skillful driving.

The moral of this story is that when we put our challenges in context, we’ll be able most often to figure a way of how to solve them, especially by bridging our skills gap.