Dictionary.com defines challenge as “to summon to a contest of skill, strength, etc.” I believe every day we should summon both mind and body to a contest of skill and strength. What type of contest? That depends upon your hopes and dreams and where you want to go and who you want to become. These things will determine what challenges you need to meet and overcome. Do you want to learn a new language? Have six pack abs? Get an advanced degree? Have a better marriage? See the Taj Mahal? What do you want, and where do you want to be a year from now? Five years? Ten years? I encourage you think about these things and make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Then start working towards things on your list a little every day. Just making this list will challenge your mind. Dream big! Don’t limit your list because of how much something will cost or how long it will take to achieve it. Start on the path believing you can and will accomplish your dreams, and the way will open up. This I know. While you’re challenging your mind, remember the importance of caring for your body temple. Set physical goals for yourself as well. Many people have had to stop short of their dreams due to health problems that could have been avoided had they taken better care of themselves. As you spend time every day studying to better your mind, also take time to exercise your body because it is the vehicle that will carry you where you want to go. It can’t do that if you neglect it.
Another definition of the word challenge is to “call into question.” You may have to challenge your way of thinking from time to time in order to reach new heights of achievement both mentally and physically. For instance, have you ever said something like, “I can’t do _______?” Fill in the blank with whatever word you choose. At one time or another, we’ve all allowed ourselves to believe the lie that there is something we can’t do. We can do anything we DECIDE to do. Napoleon Hill said,
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
I know this is true. What do you believe? I believe we are God’s highest form of creation. We are children of an infinite and all powerful being. Doesn’t it make sense that because our Father can do anything, so can we because we are His? Philippians 4:13 says,
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
I put the word “which” in bold letters because most people misquote this scripture by substituting “who” for “which.” It does change the meaning or focus of the scripture a little. We know He strengthens us to be able to accomplish what we need to accomplish, but it is important to know that the challenges we face are those things “which” strengthen us. He will give us power to do that “which” strengthens us. Challenges are a necessary part of life, and if we are to achieve great things, we must be willing to work hard to overcome those challenges. We cannot be strong unless we have challenges(all things) “which” will strengthen us. Just as a muscle gets stronger as it is consistently challenged, so do we. There is nothing we cannot do. I read the biography of Charles Lindbergh, and it talked about how poorly he was doing in school until he found out the subjects in which he was doing poorly were required in order for him to become a pilot. Suddenly, all the classes that seemed too hard or uninteresting before were no longer a problem because they were necessary stepping stones to his dream of flying. He was not going to let anything get in the way of his dream of flying, and the rest is history.
What challenges are your stepping stones? What history will you make? Begin today to challenge mind and body and move towards your highest aspirations one step at a time. If you do, when all is said and done, you will look back over your life in awe of everything you were able to accomplish just because you were willing to believe in yourself enough to rise to the challenge.