Monday, April 5, 2010

Challenge: Facing it or running away?

I was chatting with my colleague Yatin, when he jokingly told me 'Well, you don't seem to like the challenge then.' I always thought myself as a person who enjoyed challenges. I hate mechanical, dry, boring, work. I have to have to use my head, else my heart is not in it. And, I cannot work if my heart is not in it. So, then why did I not like that particular challenge?

I like a challenge, when:
1. I can see the light at the end of tunnel. I know that there is a way out. Like in games, when you know that you just have to keep planning your attack and finally you will get past to the next level.

2. I am confident that I have what it takes. Let us face it. We are good at certain things and not so good at others. It is ok to accept that there are things that I do bad. What can I do about this? Think about how I can improve. Read more about it. Talk to people who are good at it. If it is not worth investing time in, I check whether someone else can help me do this while I focus on doing what I am really good at.

3. I have all the resources that I need. I have everything I need to tackle this challenge. Or I know where I can find these resources. If I don't have the resources, the challenge is impossible to meet. Brings me to the next point...

4. The challenge is truly attainable. Don't you just hate challenges that you can do nothing about it. Like a dead end in a game or an impossible opponet who refuses to die. As a gamer, I prefer to give up my life and redo things better. But the challenge has to be attainable, else I give it.

5. The possibility of an 'epic win'. I have to know that I am close to an epic win. That I can crack this case. That I am soooo close that it will be stupid to give up. That I am on the verge of something great.
6. I have the time and luxury to sort things out. Conquering a challenge requires clarity of thought. Therefore, I need time to figure things out. I need to sort things out in my head before I attempt to try my hand at this challenge.

Have you ever given up a game because it was just too frustrating to continue? Have you felt so disappointed with loosing that you never try again? So, I think there are challenges and there are challenges. Some of them excite you and some of them scare you off. Some of them make you want to give it your best, while others make you want to quit. I think these are really useful when we design online training also. We use challenges to engage the learner, but this will fall flat if we don't:
1. Make the challenges attainable.
2. Show them light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Reward them for right choices.
4. Create situations where epic wins are possible.
5. Provide necessary information to make the right decision.
6. Give sufficient time to figure things out.


Rupa said...

Hi Archana,

Great post. I did not take up a challenge recently. I would not call that running away. Just that I was not skilled enough.

I can completely relate to every point you say here. Especially when you say "I like a challenge when I am confident that I have what it takes." You said it right :)

I enjoy challenges which will allow me to exercise the skills I have and which are doable.

Archana Narayan said...

Thanks Rupa. I think there is nothing wrong in running away from a challenge. I think it being highly practical, realistic, honest, if I can accept that I cannot take this challenge up right now.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

hemcoined said...

If I don't have the resources, the challenge is impossible to meet. Brings me to the next point...
Access Platform