Obstacles shouldn’t be feared. They are merely teachers in disguise. And they are the best teachers you’ll ever find. Without struggles, you’d have no incentive to grow. You would become “stuck” in the current version of yourself. Imagine having to use the 2000 version of Windows for the rest of your life. It would be the same problem on a deeper level. Why get trapped in the 1.0 version of yourself when you could grow into a 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, or even a 20.0? This would be a critical mistake. To evolve into the best version of yourself, you must learn to embrace obstacles.
“A bruise is a lesson… and each lesson makes us better.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Losing a job sucks, but you’ll learn something from that shortcoming. Perhaps you chose a career that doesn’t complement your strengths. Maybe you have authority problems and need a manager who is less controlling. Or you might just have a character flaw — tardiness, laziness, or some other issue — that needs to be addressed. After you address your fault, you’ll do a better job in your next position. Remember that!
“Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it.” ― Amit Ray
There are few obstacles that won’t crumble when met with enough force. The best way out is through. You’ll be challenged to shape-shift into a better version of yourself. Until then, you’ll be haunted with stress. This haunting is no fun; but without emotional turmoil, you would become too complacent. You’ll be stronger after you manage those emotions and find a way to plow forward, despite your feelings. Emotional control is a good skill to have. Sharpen it!
“Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.” ― Muhammad Ali
We are so easily distracted. People claim they want to be a bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, or motivational speaker; and yet, they waste hours on trivial activities everyday. That could be Facebook scrolling, meaningless conversations (gossip), Netflix binge sessions, or whatever the case may be. Procrastination is the little pebble in your shoe that will wear you down before you even get close to the mountain. It’s a terrible urge. Resist it!
“It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.” ― Eric Hoffer
You fall during a hike and break your leg. I don’t have a pep talk that will make you feel any better. The situation stinks and there’s no denying it. Still, some ways of perceiving this ordeal are more positive than others. The broken leg could be treated like a handicap that halts your progress. Then you would stop trying until you are healed. Bad! What if you treated this like a time to develop yourself by devoting every moment — minus rehab — to study? Better!
“Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Sources of inspiration can become obstacles when you’re not careful. You want to be a motivational speaker and meet a charismatic individual who already excels in this role. They have more charisma in their pinkie than you have in your entire body. As a consequence, you feel hopeless. “I could never be this good!” That’s a false limiting belief. But nonetheless, it’s easy to believe. Channel your jealousy into action. Befriend this person and ask how they did it!
“The best way to treat obstacles is to use them as stepping-stones. Laugh at them, tread on them, and let them lead you to something better.” ― Enid Blyton
Don’t treat obstacles as if they could “end” you. If it doesn’t have the power to kill you, then it can make you stronger. Instead, treat obstacles as a path to a better future. Step on each obstacle without fear. Squeeze as much information from each obstacle as possible. You’ll gain intel and insights that will help you evolve into who you are meant to be. And don’t be surprised if the path diverges and takes you to a different place than you initially expected. Be flexible!
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