S:0473 Distinction: Challenging vs. Difficult

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


It s an old Buddhist precept that “Life is Difficult.” And maybe it is. It may even be difficult for you much of the time.

Difficult implies “hard.” Struggle. Problems. Hardship. It s easy to feel burdened by difficulties.

To have life be challenging is a different matter. You can feel challenged by a situation and yet not feel burdened. There can even be a sense of adventure. Challenges are energizing.

Challenges tend to be self-selected or, at the least, you agree to them. Difficulties tend to be assigned.

Difficulties can grind you down. Taking on a challenge can build you up.

Far more than being a cliched, meaningless word-swap, Challenging versus Difficult depends on your attitude and your ability to be self-determining. Choose your challenges instead of being the victim of difficulties. Get help with this, if you need to.


Copyright 2004 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.