Obstacles-not barriers but challenges

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Overcome obstacles- don’t avoid them

t is a natural response to avoid obstacles in life because they stop you from moving toward your goal. If you can’t move in the direction you want to go, then take a side road that avoids the obstacle. You keep moving but you can’t be sure that your course will get you to your goal. I always prefer movement to being stopped. It is like that with rush hour driving. When traffic stops, I look for an alternative path that allows me to keep moving even though it takes me off course. If I know the roads, this technique can be effective. I can reach my target, sometimes even quicker than waiting for the traffic and I feel good because I keep moving. If I don’t know the roads, the only gain is that I don’t get stopped. I may not even find my target.

Focus on your destination

Focusing on obstacles instead of your destination is a diversion. It is replacing your prime objective with a sub-prime objective. Instead of focusing your energy on where you want to go, you divert it to avoiding any obstacles. If you are successful then you have a smooth path. You keep moving and don’t stop. What you don’t do is ensure that you reach your goal.. The problem is your mindset. You think that obstacles are barriers and try to avoid them when they are nothing more than challenges. And there are many benefits when you fight through a challenge.

The common view is that obstacles are a barrier to success and therefore we use them as an acceptable excuse for not not acting. People say, “I don’t have time to……” or “if only I had more money, I could….” In normal life these statements are used to justify a ‘settle for’ life. They provide an excuse for staying where you are;  an excuse for failure to reach your goals.

Luck has nothing to do with avoiding obstacles

It is natural to think that successful people somehow don’t have any obstacles in their lives and that is why they succeed.  Successful people move confidently and easily to their goals because all the stars align and they never face any obstacles. In this view , luck is all it takes to succeed and most people are not lucky.  Luck defines you out of the equation.  And you are the only thing that matters.

Obstacles and success are linked

In fact, successful people have their share of obstacles. They just don’t let obstacles stop them. They figure out a way to keep moving forward toward their goal.  They persist.  They overcome.   In fact, they become stronger by working through these obstacles than they could ever have been by avoiding them. Sometimes the problem becomes a reason to push them to success. Sometimes solving the problem makes them grow and become a better person by mastering new skills.

Listen to successful people

Talk to a successful person and you will learn how many obstacles they overcame on the road to success. They will tell you how overcoming those obstacles made them stronger and better individuals. You will learn that obstacles are not barriers but lessons. Talk to an unsuccessful individual and you will learn how obstacles prevented them from succeeding. You will learn how they gave up when faced with a challenge. Most of us never talk to successful people and therefore never learn that lesson. We do talk to unsuccessful people and therefore continue to have the wrong information about obstacles and success.  Because we listen to the wrong people, we learn the wrong lesson.

Challenge yourself to overcome obstacles

Don’t avoid obstacles. Change your thinking. If you find yourself thinking that you can’t be successful because there are too many obstacles in your life, put some new ideas into your head and make some new friends. Read books by successful people and learn about the obstacles they overcame and the thinking that helped them do it. Follow people you admire on the web through Facebook and Twitter or on their blogs. Join new organizations and associate with the leaders you find there. Ask yourself how others faced those same obstacles and were able to succeed? Don’t let the obstacles control and limit your potential. Challenge yourself to master the obstacle so that you can reach your goal.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Sudeep December 18, 2009, 11:03 am

    It is during the time of trouble that most invention are invented right? Good thoughts ..Ralph ..

  • Ralph December 28, 2009, 8:50 am

    Thanks Sudeep. I am slowly getting my head straight but my body needs work. More exercise and yoga or maybe tai chi.

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