Winning Words

That's no problem, that's an opportunity


If you are like me, you have probably been faced with situations or people in your life that could be considered difficult at best, and yes, maybe even a challenge.

Situations or events in our lives that could be considered difficult or challenging could range anywhere from health crises, loss of loved ones, unemployment, rebellious children, addiction, expensive auto repairs, household bills, and many other things.

People in our lives who seem to test us on a regular basis, if not every single day, include gossips, conceited ego-driven folks, people who seem to bring drama with them anywhere and everywhere they go, and those who are stubborn, narrow-minded, or hypocritical. I mean, we are surrounded by challenges and challenging people all the time as we try and navigate our lives at work, school, or at home.

Or are we?

I think that in some cases we are not surrounded by them accidentally. I think we choose to surround ourselves with people who bring the drama and conflicts. We make a conscious decision to stay associated with people in our lives for any number of reasons. They could be family, they just might be someone we have known all of our lives and we accept them and love them for who they are, or we just love the tension or excitement that they bring to every event or meeting.

In many of the challenging or difficult situations as mentioned above like a health crisis, unemployment, or loss of a loved one, I believe there are people who rise to the occasion and cope as best as they possibly can. I am so encouraged by the emails I receive every day from people who share their hearts and positive attitude as they struggle with things out of their control. You all amaze me and I am proud of you.

In tragic and dark situations there is no doubt that we all experience feelings of sadness. Yet I am always astounded when goodness surfaces in the times of trouble. I love the stories of people who have lost a loved one and then find an opportunity to volunteer in an area that was meaningful to the person they lost. And the stories of the unemployed who take the opportunity to develop new skills or learn a new trade, maybe even finally pursue a career that they have a passion for instead of what they settled for. And the news of a family facing a health crisis or addiction problem behind closed doors who seek and find the opportunity to rally together to support one another physically, emotionally and spiritually, further unifying or reuniting the family.

And as far as the company we keep and circles we travel in, it is really up to us to find the opportunity to separate ourselves from the toxic or poison people in our lives, or to look for the good in each relationship and use that as a springboard and opportunity to deepen those relationships, again accepting those we truly love for their unique, troublesome, quarrelsome and cynical personalities.

The sun rises and sets the same way every day and every night for each one of us. And with each day, we are blessed with challenges as well as opportunities. And if we flip that around, we can say that with each passing day we are presented with opportunities to face challenging situations. How we choose to view it is really up to each one of us as individuals.

How do you view it? Is life filled with challenging people and situations? Or is life filled with opportunities to take on those people and things that challenge us the most? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at And I can just bet that when we look for the opportunities in each challenge, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of



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