We tend to think of challenges as problems, but in truth they are the essence of life. A life without challenges, even a life without challenges that we are unable to meet, would soon be boring and not worth living. Of course, there are some challenges that we would rather not face, and I am not suggesting we should be happy about them. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship or a good job, a terminal diagnosis, and other similar catastrophic events are not things we look forward to – yet even those challenges are common to all of us sooner or later. What’s important isn’t whether we succeed in overcoming a particular challenge, but rather what we learn from them. Even death is something we learn from, both the death of others and our own death. We would do well to stop trying to avoid challenges – a futile goal in any event – and start contemplating how we might meet them more effectively.