A female Giraffe gives birth standing up, as the calf plummets toward the ground, the umbilical cord is snapped and upon impact the calf is given the pounding stimulus to breath.
A butterfly struggles to break out of the cocoon, a tedious and frustrating process to watch in real-time. What happens when a person assists the butterfly? The butterfly never flies. It was not strengthened by the challenge, and it’s easy prey for a hungry bird.
Examples in nature of the importance of challenge are innumerable. As humans we seem to be attracted to the idea that we are superior to nature and it’s our duty to make our lives easy. We might have a tendency to want to be spoiled. We might like it when someone knows how to read our mind, do what we want, and always agrees with us. What are we learning if we surround ourselves with this type of environment? Are we learning how to problem solve? Are we learning how to get along with others? Or are we essentially creating an artificial kingdom and treating ourselves as King or Queen of an empire of one?
In the hospital setting a nurse could be too “nice” by letting a new post op patient sleep all day, not getting them out of bed, not bugging them every hour to cough and deep breath. The result? A nasty post op pneumonia, risk of blood clots, etc. A good nurse is kind to the patient, not necessarily nice. A good nurse helps her patient face and implement challenge.
The human body is phenomenal example of the love of challenge. Challenge a bone with a fracture the re-set bone heals stronger. Challenge your muscles and they grow and strengthen. Challenge your heart with exercise and it beats more efficiently even when resting.
So embrace challenge. Welcome a different opinion. Appreciate those who don’t agree with you and learn from them. Don’t be a yes person, and help your friends confront difficulties. Challenge your body and become stronger. Remember, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” —-Martin Luther King Jr.