Is it a Problem or a Challenge?

Last Update: June 16, 2015

Problem or Challenge?

One of the things that motivational speakers and the “positive manager” will say is … “There are no problems, there are only challenges!”

Whether something is a problem or a challenge can certainly in some instances be classified by the way that we view it. For example if you are in business and sales are not going well you could say that is a problem or turn it around to so that this is a challenge to increase sales. If such a thing is viewed as a problem it can have a negative effect on the workforce whereas treating it as a challenge is a much more positive way of dealing with the situation.


Problem or Challenge be Realistic

Whilst we may all wish to be positive in our outlook it can be very annoying when managers no matter what the situation tell their employees it’s not a problem but rather it’s a challenge. Why is that? The truth of the matter is simple. There are some things that are indeed problems. Let’s illustrate.

Imagine you are in a boat at sea, maybe a life raft. Your fresh water supply has run out. Now imagine you are in that life raft with one of the positive minded managers you know. He says “Now we have no fresh water so this is a challenge”. Oh no it’s not – it’s a problem. You have no water and there is no way that you can get any fresh water – this is a problem. If you were at the office and the water supply went off that could be a challenge because you should be able to go and get water elsewhere, it could be difficult particularly if you needed lots of water. However it could be possible and within your control or ability to arrange.


Problem or a Challenge - Personal Health

The same can be said when it comes to our personal health. Some things are a huge problem others present challenges but we must always be aware that people do have problems. We don’t want to try and simplify them to some kind of challenge. This is at the very least disingenuous and really does not encourage a person with ill health.

It’s good to have a positive spirit and taking on challenges and beating them is good as well as problem solving. However we need to be realistic and not sound stupid by minimising serious issues to some kind of fun challenge. It will undermine our own credibility.

How do you view things – as problems or challenges? Or are you realistic and can see that there are differences? Please leave a comment below on how you view a problem or challenge

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SamiWilliams Premium
One advantage to living a few years is an acquired knowledge of what we can do something about and what we may require some help with, or may have to live with. Knowing how to react with all is an important part of our maturity, and our compassion for our fellow man.
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Larry_T Premium
I seem to have a lot of challenges. Ha-ha. Just kidding. Very good words of wisdom.
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profitsrgood Premium
Thanks Larry
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TSmithers Premium
What you say is very controversial between problem and challenge. When it comes to being positive, I'm all in and I will state things that may sound negative but I look at it as addressing a fact.
It's easy to talk about living a great life and being positive but it's another story as the old saying goes "Until you walk in another persons shoes"
I see a challenge as something that happens in a situation and you can over come it a get a result.
You break your arm, your challenge is dealing with it until its better then its life as per normal.
You loose an arm you have a problem. Your challenge is to function with one arm which a lot of people have done but the fact still remains you have one arm. A person in this position would live a life that most of us can only make assumptions on because we are not living it.
A broken or missing arm is an obvious example but there are many people dealing with unseen issues no fault of there own just a fact from mental issues example depression.

So good blog and one that can get into some long debates.
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profitsrgood Premium
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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TSmithers Premium
Not a problem, it is a very interesting topic you've brought to the table sort of speak.
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Jozeph Premium
Hi Roland, great post, interesting also.
It has actually motivated me to write a post this week, to respond to this blog.
Though very subtlety, I feel there may be misinterpretation of the Problem vs Challenge Mindset in your post. Though a very slight misinterpretation, it's leading the "problem vs Challenge" understanding off course.
However, through your blog, and the one I will write this week, I feel we can dispel the misinterpretation that is often set forth in cheap,and poorly explained "self help books", presently flooding the market.

I'm very much looking forward to exploring this with you, if you are interested
Thanks for posting, you've definitely opened a can of worms ;))
Looking forward to our correspondence.
Have a great day my Friend
Joseph
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profitsrgood Premium
Thanks Jozeph. Happy to explore this further with you.
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Jozeph Premium
;))
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LisaVance Premium
Thank you for this,
There are many who face problems with health. It is a problem because no matter how well we now do the basic health issue will never change.For example Being Bipolar,having Cml leukemia, Those to me are problems. because I can not make them go away forever.No matter if I take pills or not they still are there and still affect life.
However, money problems are a challenge because I can change it if I can produce more income.
It is hard when people do not give an illness any credibility because it can not be seen and outwardly they see no effect.
Unfortunately I myself probably never learned to be realistic til faced with a problem.
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profitsrgood Premium
Hi Lisa

Thanks for your comment and sharing your experience. What you state is why I have included health in this post.

Best wishes

Roland
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LisaVance Premium
Thanks Roland, And I hope if your facing something and need to talk that you feel free to reach out and talk. I would love to be there for you as one who understands it a bit.
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