No, I have not gone to that magical kingdom filled with white fluffy clouds, rainbows, and unicorns. If we look at the definition of the word problem; a matter or situation regarded as unwelcomed or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome, it would seem the situation is not only overwhelming but if not rectified immediately, could have some dire consequences.
You would, therefore, put all of your energy and resources as quickly as possible into action in order to solve this particular ‘problem.’ This would not only create an untold amount of stress for you, but also for those around you be it your; co-workers, team members and/or family.
What if instead, it was a call to take part in a contest or competition, or, an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof, or even, an invitation to engage in a contest? What if, as this definition puts it, it’s a challenge? In this case, it becomes a competition; a game to be mastered, a debate to have with opinions and evidence to back that opinion. We as a society flourish when we are challenged; be it your ideas, ideals, thoughts or physical prowess. We rise to the challenge and we enjoy the journey that takes us to the end result which of course is meeting and beating the challenge. When one is challenged, or, competing, we are doing so only against ourselves.
You lost an account, or, what you thought was an account that was going to close, but did not. Is that a problem or a challenge? It depends completely on your perception. If it is viewed as a problem, you are worried about what you will do now because you were counting on them, you start blaming them because they said they would do something and they didn’t, or, you blame yourself because you did something wrong and you are now worried that your manager is going to come down hard on you. You take this as a personal attack not only on yourself but also, on your abilities.
If it is viewed as a challenge, you could simply thank the prospect for the opportunity and ask that since it’s over could they tell you where it went wrong. Now, you have an idea and a possible action plan for the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. You could go over your notes and see exactly where you thought it went sideways. You look at it as a hiccup towards the final goal and work on the specific hiccup because you know the rest of your regimen is working. You advise your manager that it was a stumble and not a trip. You look at the ones that you closed and see what the differences were. In other words, there is no blame, just a chance to learn.
Therefore, it is that little thing which we call attitude and from that our perceptions is what allows you to get rid of all your problems and make them challenges. Challenges are not only less stressful, but a lot more fun to deal with.