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What Is the Point Of a Challenge?

Life can be challenging.

Sometimes simple demands of our daily lives are testing – having to complete a piece of work to a deadline while your boss keeps adding things to do; trying to make your child smile on a way to school even though someone will probably pick on her again; booking the last remaining cheap flight on-line while your internet connection has decided to take a break… Some of the daily things are important, some rather trivial, but they all can be frustrating to extremes. In fact, sometimes it is the trivial things in life that we find most stressful, perhaps just because we expect them to be simple and not needing any effort. We want to get them out of the way, to be able to get on with the things that matter and sometimes we just can’t… Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to deal with difficult things and tricky situations. We would all be relaxed, hassle-free and happier, wouldn’t we?

Now, this is a bit of a big assumption to make – hassle-free meaning happier. Think about the last time you didn’t have any particular issues to deal with – did it make you feel happier, or maybe a bit disengaged and possibly bored? After a few days of not having to worry about anything at all, was it all bliss or did you feel unsettled, as if something was missing?

My theory is, that most of us can’t function without a bit of a challenge. We need to be pushed and stretched, if only gently, to retain our sense of purpose.

The sense of purpose is what keeps us going, otherwise we dissolve into a heap of nothingness.

And that’s not what makes us happy.

Why am I saying all this, you may ask? Well, in the last few months I felt a bit stuck in my daily routine – the same things to do, the same places to go, nothing particularly difficult or worrying, just ‘the usual’. I needed something to get me out of that state. I needed to regain my sense of purpose.  I needed a challenge.

What I undertook to do, was certainly challenging by my standards. Being very IT non-savvy (read: completely ignorant), I decided I wanted to have a website. I don’t quite know why I picked something so unlikely for me; perhaps, deep-down, I knew that it would keep me busy for a while before I knew what I was doing… This was about a month ago and now the website is here and you, dear Reader, are looking at it. There are still a lot of things I need to do with it, but I have got through the hardest bit and started catching up with the increasingly ever-present technology.

A strange thing is, that instead of sitting back and enjoying my achievement, I started feeling restless once the pressure of setting up my website eased off a bit. I think, I was worried about losing the excitement of doing something new. Well, I’ve found a solution – there must be another challenge I could take on!

So, here I am, at the starting point of my next challenge.  I have signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge which runs this month – the challenge is to write one blog post every day.

Given that I have only written a handful of things in my life (not counting school and other education), I think it is a bit mad – but hey, why not? The least I can do is try. If I don’t, I will never know what I can be capable of. I am not sure I will manage one post a day, but I will give it my best shot. Whatever I achieve during the Blog Challenge, will be better than not achieving anything at all.

You see, for me it is all about keeping moving. I’m not sure where I am going with all these website and blog ideas, but I will get somewhere. Whoever said, ‘It’s all about the journey, not the destination’, had a very good point.

Think about what you’ve been up to in the last few weeks, maybe months; what drives you… How much are you looking forward to the next day? Maybe you need to find yourself a challenge, too – even a tiny, little one.

A sense of achievement, however small, is a wonderful thing.

P.S.  Check out http://www.UltimateBlogChallenge.com  If you follow me on Titter, you will see how it is all going – wish me luck, I will need it!

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