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November 17th, 2009 · 23 Comments · Habits, Productivity

take risks

In this article I’m going to share with all of you a method to overcome any challenge you face in your life. It’s really simple but effective as hell. The method works because I use it every single day of my life and, for now, I have no complaints about it, but rather the opposite; thanks to this method I’ve achieved many goals I had in my life and I hope you will take advantage of it too. Implement this method to your daily routine and you will be able to solve any problem you have.

Why is so important to face challenges?

First of all, I want to make clear this: challenges are necessary in order to grow as individuals; they are necessary to improve our skills and polish up our talents; to help us to become a successful individual in whatever endeavor we are involved in. And, above all, challenges help us to discover who we really are and what we can do in difficult situations.

As Stephen R. Covey said once: “Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”

Challenge yourself

Do you want to grow? Do you want to become successful in what you do?  Do you want to reach your full potential as individual? Challenge yourself through setting and achieving specific goals in your life, great ones which let you go wild with your imagination, which inspire and motivate you enough to justify the effort. Then, divide them into small goals that can be done given a short frame of time.

Now is the time to share with you the method to overcome any challenge:


This method includes only 4 simple steps:

1. State the problem clearly

Once you take the first step and decide to face a challenge, you have to state the problem and do it as clearly and exactly as you can. If you don’t understand the problem you are trying to solve, then you probably cannot solve it. So, take your time to understand properly the problem. You should be able to answer in a sentence or two the following questions: What’s the main question of the problem? What exactly do they want me to do? What’s the main goal of all this? It’s very important to write it down on a sheet of paper in order to have it in sight. Why? Because it will help you to focus on what is really important and avoid getting off track.

2. Identify the specific strengths and resources you have

You must identify the resources you have on-hand that could potentially help you to achieve your goal. It would be advisable to make a list with all the resources you have.

  • Materials: books, blogs, magazines, money, a computer, an instrument, and a long etc. Use whatever materials you have at hand to solve the problem. Maybe you realize that you don’t have enough money to face the challenge properly, in that case you have 3 possible options: (1) you start with what you have right now. Go ahead. You can try, but you probably won’t have much success; (2) you can wait for a while and save some money; (3) you can be successful by being different, aggressive and creative. Here a stimulating example of how to overcome any challenge just with your creative and innovative power.
  • Personal skills & strengths: What skills, strengths or talents do you have? Are you a hard-working person? So, identify those personal skills that can help you to achieve your goal: perfectionist, creative, innovator, entrepreneur, you name it. What are you good at? Are you a good writer? Do you draw like an artist?
  • Collaborators and friends: Who are the people you can count on? Maybe some good friends can help you in some way to solve the problem. To be successful you must help others to be successful. So, help others to achieve what they want and they will do the same for you in return.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, written by Dale Carnegie, is one of the all-time business book classics. It’s the first bestselling self-help book ever published and highly recommended to everyone who wants to influence others especially in a way that makes them happy and willing to do what you ask.

3. Design a strategy

You need to design an effective strategy to deal with the situation. So, rack your brains and determine your best strategy to solve the new problem and, then, you will just need to execute it as efficiently and effectively as you can. If you don’t succeed at first attempt, don’t get discouraged, just stick to the battle plan and keep trying. But, if you executed your plan to the best of your ability and you didn’t reach your objectives, then it’s time to make a change. Try to design a new strategy with a new approach to the problem and execute it. Do it again and again, keep trying new things until you finally succeed. 

You should bear in mind that the strategic planning process you design to solve the problem or to achieve your goal must be consistent with the resources at your disposal.

4. Implement the strategy as effectively as possible

Once you have the strategy you have to implement it with creativity, skill and intelligence. Do your work with effort, determination and diligence. So, strive for excellence in your work; try your best day by day with the wisest use of your resources and energy to achieve the goal.

BUT, If you apply this method and you don’t overcome the challenge you faced, that is, you don’t solve the problem, there are only two possible reasons to explain that:

  • The strategy is not viable or effective

Solution => Change the strategy, improve it and try new things.

  • You didn’t implement the strategy well enough

Solution => Be persistent, do more and do it better.


HOW TO DEVELOP EXCELLENCE => The magic question technique

Human brain is similar to a computer’s central processing unit (CPU). No matter what question you ask yourself, your brain will always search for an answer (whether it is right or wrong). Yes, ask whatever you want and be sure that it eventually will give you an answer to your question. When you finish a little task you should ask yourself: Can I be more creative? Am I satisfied with the result? Can I do it better? How can I improve it? I always apply this technique to solve problems and to maximize my creative potential. Ask yourself the right question and your brain will give you its best answer. If the answer was wrong then ask again, maybe you asked the wrong question. Think carefully what you ask because is the key of having the right answer.


It is important to continually challenge yourself in order to boost your solving-problem power. Find your skills and your limits, put yourself in a challenging situation and try your best to overcome it. You can overcome any challenge you face in life using this simple but effective four-steps method. When you face a challenge and you do your best to overcome it you grow and your comfort zone expands. So, challenge yourself and use this method to overcome any problems you come across in your path to fulfill your goals and dreams.

“For every mountain there is a miracle.” Robert H. Schuller.

*  *  *                                  *  *  *                                *  *  *                               *  *  *

Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:

Use the comments section of this post as a forum to post your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.

Share your thoughts & ideas and enjoy what others share with you 🙂

Written by: David Cantone

My Twitter: @DavidCantone


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23 Comments so far ↓

  • Oscar - freestyle mindNo Gravatar

    Great post David, stumbled!
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..The Often Forgotten Part Of Learning: Doing =-.

  • Arafat Hossain PiyadaNo Gravatar

    I personally use some of the above method but you just give me an organize way to implement those method.
    .-= Arafat Hossain Piyada´s last blog ..Completing My 1 Year in Blogging Today, What I Gain? What I Lost? =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Arafat, nice to see you here. Welcome to :).

      You are right, many people use it. I share my own experiences and tips to solve daily problems and to achieve goals.

      Thanks for your comment.

      See you 🙂

  • JohnluffaNo Gravatar

    This is another great encouraging article David.
    This blog is beginning to be a spot for regular inspiration and encouragement.
    Also, very good action guides to help improve problem solving skills.
    Moving forward, I think my first step is to identify my strengths and to breakdown big challenges into smaller chunks.
    .-= Johnluffa´s last blog ..Make Your Next Product Launch Spectacular! =-.

  • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your kind words :).

    Yes, breaking down large projects into small chunks or steps is a great tip to be more productive. Besides, it’s a great way to overcome procrastination.

    Thanks John for your comment.

    See you 🙂

  • RyanNo Gravatar

    Obstacles are stepping stones. Their function is to move you higher. Resisting a challenge lends it a very real power, over you.

    I take a step back and learn from my feelings. Why do I see something as an obstacle? Why am I allowing it to stop me? The answers pop up quickly, as you noted.

    Great tips as always David!
    .-= Ryan´s last blog ..10 Cash Gifting Red Flags =-.

  • Antti KokkonenNo Gravatar

    The whole thing cleared for me, when you wrote about expanding the comfort zone by facing the challenges. That’s the key here, isn’t it? Facing the challenges, over and over again, facing the fears — Taking action. Systematically challenge yourself, and soon nothing can stop you.

    Thanks for the inspiration again, David!
    .-= Antti Kokkonen´s last blog ..Help Me Help You (with Your Questions) =-.

  • Jim HardinNo Gravatar

    Definately have to challenge yourself to learn and grow. I do attribute this to working out with weights. I love to do this and I really enjoy challenging myself. There are times though, as everyone says, where you hit this plateau and you cannot make gains. I do hit these at times and sometimes it is really hard to break through. I know though if I just push myself a little bit harder I can break through. When I do though it is a rush an excitement that you feel that you have succeeded.

    Great Inspiring post!
    Thanks Dave
    .-= Jim Hardin´s last blog ..Words without Meaning =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Jim,

      Working out is a great example of what I mean with challenge yourself: if you don’t push harder you don’t get to the next level.

      Thanks Jim for sharing your own experience 🙂


  • WalterNo Gravatar

    Most people are stuck with strategy. They seem not to see their errors and so they commit the same mistakes. It a good thing that you have stated to change the strategy if it is not viable or effective.

    I have been facing challenges in my life and upon reading your post I know I’m in the right track. 🙂

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Walter,

      Exactly, this is a common mistake, people get stuck in a given strategy but they don’t change it. I think that when something is not going as expected you have to do some changes, whether changing your previous strategy or implementing better it and working harder.

      Thanks Walter for your comment 🙂

  • BillNo Gravatar

    Cool tips…life without challenge will be so empty right??? Because of challenge life will be so interesting and beautiful 😀
    .-= Bill´s last blog ..Easy Way Creating Your Own HOT Online Store =-.

  • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

    Hi Bill,

    Of course, challenges make life worth living.

    Thanks Bill for the comment 🙂

  • Robin DickinsonNo Gravatar

    Hi David,

    Thanks for this excellent resource. It’s not only an very effective method, but also a timely reminder for us to continue to challenge ourselves.

    So many times I come across high-performers who are cruising along without using their full potential. Often they are bored and tend to complain a lot about life.

    We need to continually challenge ourselves, and then use your method to transform that challenge into success. The greater the challenge, the sweeter the success.

    Thanks, David.

    Shine on, Robin 🙂
    .-= Robin Dickinson´s last blog ..Seven easily missed truths about human relationships =-.

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  • Ben LumleyNo Gravatar

    I love how you’ve broken this down into a few simply steps. So many people, me included, try to overcome problems and challenges by over complicating everything. All this does is lead to stress and worry. When you break problems down and think them through things always become easier.

    Great post – thanks

  • ArvinNo Gravatar

    Great article! It’s important that we face these challenges head on to overcome them! Thanks! I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.

  • Kaukorauee UaundjaNo Gravatar

    This are encouraging words. Sometimes i got fear when are want to do something but after reading this passage realy i am motivated. Keep it up.

  • Alice wamuyu

    Thanks for your advice really,i read this post when i was really scared en frustrated but after reading this post i have a new power to face a new day.

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