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The Obstacle Is The Way

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Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

That obstruction is often something unexpected. Whether you are fired from your job or you find out your child has a debilitating disease. There is always something that is going to happen at the worst possible time. Maybe it is writer’s block and you are trying to fill a goal of one story a day. We all get obstacles.

You ever find yourself getting ready to do a new project or maybe you are about to make a huge change in yourself. Whatever the project, be it yourself or something else. You find out that there is something blocking your progress. Some folks call it resistance. While other folks refer to it as the critical mind. It’s an obstacle. Often can be viewed as a big-honkin‘ boulder in the way of your progress.

What if I told you that boulder, gate, drawbridge, however you imagine your obstacle to be, is actually a good thing? That problem you are trying to climb or that bit of horrible news is actually a blessing in disguise. What! Oh yeah, This is a mindset change that if you can make it work will help you be just that far ahead of everyone else.

The Obstacle is actually the way.

A great example of this is to look at your room. I bet somewhere in that room there is a door. If the door is open then go shut it. Now try to go into that other room. You can’t enter that other room can you? You bounce off the door you just shut. Do it too many times and the HR department will ask you to go take a mental health day. That door is an obstacle.

That obstacle is actually the way to your success. Granted most people have encountered a door before. They go through the process of navigating this common obstacle with little to no thought. So what is the thought process for getting past the door?

Why do you want to go through the door?

Most people don’t go through doors for no reason. Unless you are like me you go through a door and then completely forget why you went into that room to start with. You have a reason, a purpose, or a need. That is why you approached that door in the first place. There is a why, so why do you need through that door?

Is there another way to the other side of this door?

Sometimes we are so focused on this particular obstacle that we forget that there is another way around. Maybe the door is broken and so it is locked. The only way to get into that room with the copy paper is to go through the door, down the hall from where you are at. We often get so focused on that particular solution that we forget that there could be a better way. Then there are times that you just have to go through that door.

What if it is locked?

I have, many times to my wife’s giggles, bounced my nose off of a door that I thought was open. I didn’t even consider it to be locked. You learn to test the door to see if it is unlocked. Then again the locked door maybe expected and it presents to you a new challenge. How do you approach the new layer to the problem? Do you get mad and throw a fit or do you ask if there is a key?

How do I open the door?

After accessing the door it is time to open. You have gathered all the information known about the door. So you may try to first push on the door. If it doesn’t open, then you may grab the doorknob and give it a twist.

If that still doesn’t work then you may again have to ask is there a special handshake you have to give to unlock the door. For instance, you may need a key badge or wave hello to a camera so that they can buzz you in. There are times that you actually need help from other people.

More often than not that obstacle or door is the actual way. So you have to accept it. You have to go through that particlular door. There are a series of questions that can actually help you to unlock that door so you can achieve your goal.

What does this make possible?

This is the first question you want to ask yourself. When you are hit with a problem ask “What does this problem make possible?” This is as much of a problem solving the question as its a motivational question.

Maybe the otherside of this obstacle could allow you to proceed to the next step of your goals. Say for instance using one of my goals If I can get 100 people a day to visit my site it would help in my site generating the $50 I would like to have my site make by the end of this year.

What does your problem make possible? Maybe your problem is that you can’t save enough money to go camping. What does that problem make possible? It allows you to know that you need to manage your money just a little better. That way you can have the needed funds to head to the campgrounds. Asking that question makes the future brighter because you are able to choose how you are going to approach that roadblock that is between you and your goals.

Other Questions to ask about that obstacle

Besides the question of what does this make possible? Here are a few other questions, you want to ask yourself.

If I believe the obstacle is really the way…

  • How would I be acting?
  • What would I be thinking
  • what would I be doing?

These crucial questions help you frame you mindset for success. How would you be acting if you were told you have cancer? That is a big obstacle in your way. How would you be acting if you had to find a new job? What would you be thinking if you lost your number one client? What would you be doing if… name your obstacle?

These 3 questions set up your frame work for success. It adjusts your mindset, your motivational mood, and gives you the ability to plan your actions.

So how would you be acting if you knew you had to go through this particular experience? What would you be thinking if you succeeded and got past this experience? What would you be doing to get past this experience?

How would you be acting if you were told you have cancer? That is a big obstacle in your way. How would you be acting if you had to find a new job? What would you be thinking if you lost your number one client? What would you be doing if… name your obstacle?

Ask yourself these questions. Change that mindset so that you are able to open the door and access the next level.

What does this mean?

Another question to ask in the face of a problem is, “what does this problem mean?” Give your obstacle meaning. If a life threating diagnosis is handed to you that might mean that you need to start working on the meaningful stuff and not worry about the unimportant issues.

If you are posed with writer’s block it may mean that you have to learn to power through just the act of writing. Get something written even if it is total crap. You can always go back and rewrite the ugly parts and make them more polished. What does your problem mean to you?

What are the long-range benefits?

This question can help you see the benefits of whatever door has cropped up in your life. If you go through this door and all the issues associated with it, what are the benefits? Don’t worry near as much as the consequences, as the consequences will often hold you back. Know that they are there but focus more on the benefits? Motivate yourself through the association of what pleasure will happen after going through this experience.

Maybe you get to spend more personal and meaningful time with your family. Perhaps you will have a whole lot of stories for a story collection 5 years down the road. Maybe the benefits are, you get an experience that is worth a movie. Then again it may be worth the admiration of your loved ones. Either way, there are long term benefits of that particular event. Find out what the benefits of that door could be. That way you are able to plan and direct which way you want to go. Without intention, you are just drifting.

How can I use this?

Finally, ask “how you can use this obstacle?” What lessons are you going to be learning along the way? Everything you experience is a life lesson. How you want to learn from that problem, is the question. Often problems don’t go away until you have learned from them.

Learn how to use that problem. Don’t use it as a crutch because that will be an insult to the experience. Instead, how are you able to use it as a tool? maybe you can keep a younger you from experianceing the same problem

Doors are everywhere. They can keep you out of a place or they can be the most important lesson you learn in your life. Don’t treat an obstacle as an inaccessible roadblock. Instead approach the door as if it will open you just have you know how to wiggle the doorknob.

I do want to thank Ray Edwards for the questions we should ask. He is actually the inspiration for this post. If you want to listen to a great show about inspiration and purpose take a gander at his show.

Have you encountered a door that is in the way of your progress? Please feel free in sharing it in the comments below.

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