Meet The Challenge

This question came across my desk recently: “Creating the best visual content is always a challenge, any tips to fight this challenge?”

Before I could even consider answering the question, I wanted to shake him and say: “There’s no such thing as fighting a challenge! A challenge is to be met! Deal with it – and you will learn and you will soar!”

OK, I got that out of my system. Whew. No more shouting and no more exclamation marks. Promise. So what was it exactly that I found so distressing?

chal·lenge [chal-inj] noun 1. a call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength 2. something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle, contest 3. a call to fight, as a battle 4. a demand to explain, justify 5. difficulty in a job or undertaking. dictionary

Origin: 1175–1225; ME chalenge < O.Fr. variant of chalonge < L. calumnia calumny. dictionary 1292, O.Fr. chalenge “accusation, claim, dispute,” L. calumnia “trickery” (calumny). Accusatory connotations died out 17c. Meaning “a calling to fight” is from 1530. etymonline

One always hears, “Meet the challenge.” “Rise up to the challenge.” Meeting and rising. Both have positive implications. In meeting our challenges, we take a leap and rise up to get to the solution. By viewing this as a good thing, that at its core it is a positive thing, we improve not only our momentary condition, but we generate a longer term outlook with a transformed and better future in sight.

Post.MeetTheChallenge.ChallengesAheadWe all have challenges in our lives. We sure do. And yet as difficult as they seem, we do overcome them to see another day. Helped by a positive attitude, we keep on keepin’ on. We don’t quit. We keep trying. And trying. And trying again. We hear that “overcoming challenges in life makes us stronger.” And “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” When we believe in ourselves, we are not afraid to try. When we believe in ourselves, even when we fail, we know we can, that we will, eventually rise up and overcome our challenges.

Challenges are everywhere. In TV ads, financial institutions say they will “help you build financial security for the challenges in life,” and “together, let’s tackle our biggest financial challenges.” In the workplace we are urged to rise up to meet new challenges to get a promotion or a raise. Teachers are challenged by their students; and students are surely challenged by their teachers. The president is continually challenged by Congress. Sports figures are challenged as a way of life.

Post.MeetTheChallenge.CrosswordChallenge.ColossalMy daily challenge is the Crossword. I have done it every day for most of my life. It may not be that challenging a challenge to meet, but it is my most enjoyed diversion. And when all around me are pages with filled little boxes, there is the NY Times Colossal Crossword Challenge. Hey, it may be colossal, but it comes in paperback – handy.

Interestingly, according to Crossword Tracker, as a clue, challenge has been spotted over twenty times. Related clues and answers are:

Post.MeetTheChallenge.QueenWeAreTheChamp.theGuardian.crThen there is the Queen song. You know which one. Heard in arenas all over the world to celebrate sports victories, We Are The Champions is the anthem that tops all anthems. But there’s more to the story than a great song. Written by Freddy Mercury, Queen’s lead singer and songwriter, it is made all the more poignant when we are reminded of his own challenges. Known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals, he died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS in 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. Mercury once said of himself: “When I’m performing I’m an extrovert, yet inside I’m a completely different man.” He was brave, influential, creative, talented, and larger than life. He rose up to meet his challenges and became a legend.

We Are The Champions

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune
And everything that goes with it
I thank you all
But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before
The whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the champions – my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World


Freddy Mercury Photograph Source:
Ilpo Musto/Rex Features for the Guardian November 7, 2011

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