Image 1: Many young people today are unsure about what the future holds for us and the next generations.
Do you think society will be in a better or worse state 10 years from now?
When I saw this question, the first thing it made me think of were some of the main problems that the world is facing today. In 10 years, will we resolve them? If we do resolve them, will other, equally difficult to solve, problems pop up in the meanwhile?
It seems that there have always been, and there will always be some sort of problems in our world. On a personal level, we’ve all probably experienced a sudden interruption in our lives just when we thought everything was going well for us. It’s pretty much a given that no matter how many fires we put out, another one will pop up where you least expect it.
It might seem like a pessimistic point of view, but it’s all about how you look at it. Switching out the word problem with a challenge is a good starting point. In AIESEC, one of our core leadership qualities is Solution-Orientation.
Image 2: AIESEC strives to develop four Leadership Qualities in our members and exchange participants through the Leadership Development Model.
Adapts and shows resilience in the face of challenges
So, we know that new challenges are going to appear often in our lives. Whether it’s something from our personal life, something concerning our friends and family, or global issues which concern us and we want to take action on, we need to be ready to face these challenges when they show up.
The first thing to do is to accept the challenge. It’s not always easy to do, but it helps us grow stronger and more resilient. Because our circumstances may rapidly change, we need to stay flexible and ready to adapt, so that we can come back even stronger.
Part of resilience is remembering, even in difficult times, that challenges serve to make us stronger. Reinforce your commitment to using the opportunity provided by difficult times to improve yourself.
Image 3: By sharing your challenges with others, you gain support and it becomes easier to face your problems than going it alone.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The next step is sharing with the people around you the fact that you’re facing a challenge. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and having a support system and the inputs from people who care about you makes you stronger in affronting difficult moments in life.
If what you’re facing has affected more people than just you, it’s likely that the people around you may be having the same difficulties you are in facing it. They might benefit from your support and solidarity just as much as you benefit from theirs.
Image 3: Thinking visually and writing out lists or word maps can help you to clarify your ideas.
Figure out a way forward
Now that you’ve accepted your challenge internally and expressed it externally, it’s time to find a solution so you can resolve the challenge and move on with your life. Depending on your level of solution orientedness and the gravity of your problem, it may be more or less difficult to find a solution.
A few things that may help you can be researching online (obviously avoiding eye-catching fake news!), seeking advice from somebody who’s an expert on the subject or who’s faced a similar challenge in the past, or general brainstorming alone or with friends or family. After you’ve got a list of possible solutions, choose the one which makes the most sense for you. Even if something worked for somebody else, it may not be what works for you, so make sure to trust your instincts even when seeking the help of others.
Now, it’s time to get to work and implement your solution! Resilience is also about being able to face challenges head-on. Don’t give in to the urge to simply put it off or avoid your challenge: the longer it sits, the nastier it gets. If your original solution doesn’t work out, go back to your list of possibilities and try another one. Don’t give up on resolving your challenge!
Image 4: The Youth Speak Survey from AIESEC is made to give young people a space to voice their opinions on key challenges, hopes and ambitions. Click here to complete the Youth Speak Survey now!
Youth Speak Survey
Are you ready to face your first challenge? One that will take less than 10 minutes to complete? AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run association, is running the Youth Speak Survey with the aim to find out what today’s youth thinks about the world we live in and our future. Don’t miss out on this challenge to make your voice heard and fill out the Youth Speak Survey today!6