“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”

-Carlos Castaneda

Every day we are each faced with new things. We have choices regarding what we do with these new things. I wrote a post a while back (which is now among the lost posts) about dealing with trials. In that post, I talked about how I like to refer to trials as adventures rather than trials. My brother quoted what Carlos Castaneda said to me, and I was able to relate. I really like the way he considers it a challenge to overcome, rather than a blessing or a curse. Everything is a challenge to conquer! We have the chance each day to be a warrior in our own right. With each choice we are faced with, we have the opportunity to start a brand new adventure! How awesome is that?!

So if we were to look at what we consider to be “blessings” or “curses”, how can we convert those into challenges to be conquered? Everything in our life, both good and bad, gives us the chance to grow. We can choose to grow from it, or we can let it control us. Personally, I like to have control over my own life rather than allowing my life to have control over me. Can we control all of our circumstances? No way! Honestly, we can’t control the majority of them! What we can control however, is how we react to those circumstances. Perhaps right now, you are reading this and sitting in the middle of a pile of challenges that you don’t know what to do with. I get it! It can be very difficult to conquer those challenges when they are right in your face! My recommendation? Face them. Don’t worry about conquering them yet. If that means crying, then by all means… CRY!!! It’s therapeutic at any rate, and I promise that if you first give it a good cry, it WILL feel better. The circumstance won’t change, but the way you view it will. Once you can see it for what it truly is, you will be able to conquer it, step by step.

Right now, I am faced with one of the biggest challenges to conquer that my life has ever presented me with. I am finding myself having to return to all of the advice that I have been giving you, my readers, over the past few months! Faced with the situation I am in, I have two choices: I can let this new circumstance defeat me and completely rule my life, or I can accept that my new reality is exactly that, my new reality, and I can learn from what I am feeling and I can grow into the stronger man that I know I am capable of becoming! I have been through more than my share of challenges to conquer over the past year. Without a doubt, more challenges to conquer than I have ever experienced in my life, and you know what? My life is 1,000 times more amazing than I could ever have imagined! All of the heartache, all of the pain, all of the sorrow, and all of the times I have fallen, have all left scars, but they have made me into a stronger man! I would not be who I am were it not for all of these things and I am truthfully grateful for them. Even though when I am in the middle of them… they suck.

So my challenge to you my friend, is to take each of your challenges right now, look them square in the eye, feel whatever emotion you need to feel toward them, and then make a plan to conquer them! You can do it if you put your soul into it! Remember…

“…And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7. Emphasis added)

As always… here’s to you my conquering friend! Go be the warrior that you know you are capable of being! Cheers!

Here is one of my favorite songs regarding conquering challenges, may it inspire you as well!