Challenges & Checkpoints


In the midst of our crazy, sometimes chaotic, but often wonderful lives, we all run into challenges. Sometimes it seems like more often than not. Sometimes the challenges are externally brought on, sometimes relationally, sometimes physically, sometimes internally… we will all face challenges.


Well to be honest – there is no set in stone way to tackle challenges as they come in all shapes and sizes. However, here are a couple things that I’ve have noted that help – both within my own experiences, and in others around me. Hopefully this will help you sort through your challenges too.

Are you asking the right questions to help you sort out the challenge?

Sometimes we get so caught up in the frustration, or are so overwhelmed, we “can’t see the forest for the trees”. We are so in the midst of it (the trees), we don’t realize that perhaps we should be looking for the bigger picture (the forest) to help us see the questions we need to be asking. Sounds good in theory… but how do we do that? Sometimes that means something so simple as taking time for a nap – refreshing the brain. Sometimes that means enlisting friends, family, and/or mentors to helps us find our way.

What are our end goals? What are the realistic checkpoints along the way?

checklist clipboardSometimes it is taking a step back and looking at the challenge from different perspectives: Where is this stemming from? Who is this stemming from? What is the purpose of this? Is this something that I actually even need to address? Is this less a challenge, and more a checkpoint… a time to take stock of where things are at? Is this a challenge that needs overcoming, or a checkpoint that is getting me to realize I need to re-direct where I am on my journey? Does this challenge reflect another step towards my end goal or away? What adjustment should be made? Do I know what my short-term and/or long-term goals are? How do I work backwards from them?

roxul wallWe set goals in business all the time. How many projects do we want to take on? What is the scale of the projects? Target market? etc. We then break those goals down by the individual projects, then further down into section by section, day by day, trade by trade. And we know that all play apart on how smoothly the project will proceed. We know that there is no point in bringing in the cabinetry people to do an install, when the drywall isn’t even up. We know that we don’t want painting going on when we are sanding things in the same area.

Sometimes we forget to enlist these same practices within our personal life. Recently I’ve gone through a time of frustrating challenges – and frankly I am still figuring out my path. I am finding my way now using the above techniques. There was a time though – where I was so lost and confused in it – the only way out was through the help of some real solid friends and mentors to help me “Ask the right questions”. I’m still learning how to do that, but it gets easier over time.

Ultimately – be encouraged – challenges may just be – checkpoints. Are you asking the right questions? They may lead us to discover the beautiful forest that we are in. One in which there are many paths to take, but all will lead us on a wonderful adventure (even if we get lost from time to time).





(Post originally written for

I am thankful.

1 Comment

  1. I know I have a tendency to go into automatic “crisis” mode when a challenge arises… thank you for the reminder that it might just be a learning checkpoint, and nothing to totally fall apart over 😉 Great post!

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