Problems also mean new opportunities, this is a fact and has been proven many times in practice. It is also something we say to our friends when they are going through a difficult time, but which we forget when we ourselves are in a tight spot.
Problems are still not just a way to sharpen our intelligence and mind. If only it was that! The difficult thing about them is actually that they also arouse our emotions: fear, anger, prejudice, intolerance.
The result is that we drown in a glass of water. We lose perspective on what we are capable of, paralyzed with fear, avoid the problem, or just complain. Perhaps we have been programmed to view problems as a threat that we cannot escape. We may forget that problems are also challenges that we can improve through when we face them. If it weren’t for that, what do all these men and women do who turn their problems into opportunities and grow with them ?
Elizabeth Murray turns her problems into a source of light
Elizabeth Murray, who was born in the Bronx of New York (New York, USA), had a difficult childhood. Her parents were hippies of the 1970s who recommended intoxicants. Both parents were drug addicts when she was born and had little chance of recovery from using cocaine and heroin.
Liz Murray and her sister ate ice cubes and toothpaste because it was the only thing they could find to fill their stomachs. But it got even worse. Her parents contracted AIDS and her mother died. Her father moved to a homeless shelter and Liz’s sister moved to a friend. At 15 years of age, Liz herself had no choice but to live on the streets.
But she worked with what she had. At 17 she returned to school and when she visited Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA) she was convinced that she wanted to study there. And she did, thanks to a grant from the New York Times newspaper . Today she is a successful psychologist who understands human pain better than anyone else. She published a bestseller and her life was even made into a movie.
Arturo Calle – a man who turned saving into his greatest strength
He is the most successful Colombian businessman in menswear. His father died when he was young, leaving eight young children and a widow behind. In order to support the family financially, he started to work at a young age. He knew the effort behind every penny he owned, and he began to live in an extraordinarily frugal way.
When he was a little older, he unfortunately only found one job that was paid at the minimum wage. Even so, he kept saving up for a few years until he had enough money to open a small clothing store. His motto was to save and never get into debt.
That made him a successful businessman who now owns businesses across Latin America. The best thing about his products is that they are very affordable for their quality. Arturo Calle doesn’t owe anyone a cent, which keeps production costs low. He was also recognized as one of the best places to work in Colombia, as all of his employees and their families have their own homes thanks to the company’s support.
Wilma Rudolph, a truly inspiring story
Wilma Rudolph had more than one problem. Her life was riddled with difficulties from birth. She was born prematurely and no one believed that she would survive. Although she survived, she contracted polio and pneumonia at the age of 4. Her family was also very poor, especially since about 20 children had to be looked after.
Due to polio, which fortunately can be prevented by vaccinations today, her left leg became as good as unusable and she had to use an orthopedic device to walk. Despite all of this, at the age of 9, she decided to try walking unaided – and she succeeded. She joined a basketball club when she was 11 and trusted her physical abilities for the first time. At the age of 13, she decided to train regularly as a track and field athlete. In her first race she was the last to finish and the same thing happened several times over the years.
After a few years of hard training, she finally won her first race, but that was not enough for her. She qualified for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and won the bronze medal for the United States. In 1960 she won two gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Rome. This three-time Olympic medalist overcame her severe polio-induced disability and achieved the highest honor in the world of sport.