Why Obstacles Are Signposts For Inner Growth

Published on: December 9, 2010

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“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

I was discussing with a friend last night the merits of pushing through fear and the unknown when the evidence shows toward the contrary. Allow me to reveal a little more about the story. My friend had left his full time job with a well known company as a senior sales manager believing he was able to create a better product for the market if he ventured out on his own. He was not happy with the company culture and frankly speaking, the position offered him no personal and professional growth which aligned with his core values.

My friend has a young family with three young children under the ages of ten years. He obviously knew he was taking a risk when he left the comforts of his full time, executive position to pursue something which he had no idea would succeed. Interestingly at the same time, I am reading a book called Delivering Happiness written by the founder of Zappos.com, Tony Hsieh. A terrific read if you’re interested in following the journey of their success.

I was recounting to my friend how Tony Hsieh had encountered numerous setbacks along his journey to build a successful online shoe business. One of the strongest ideas which appealed to me in the book was finding a way to overcome any hurdle contrary to what life revealed to you. I am very fond of this belief in my personal life and for this reason I was advising my friend that his success was built on finding HIS way to success. You see there is ALWAYS a path. It is your job to find that path. Yes, life will throw grenades at you, not because is wants you to fail. Rather, life tests you to see how much you really want the prize.

I can assure you that nothing on this earth can ever stop me achieving my dream of impacting mankind with my message. I have so much belief in myself, despite the thousands and thousands of setbacks I’ve had in my life. So I resolved to change how my mind viewed failure. I reprogrammed the language my mind was accustomed to when it came to setbacks. I told it that every time I had a setback, I was getting even closer to my goal or vision of myself. Everytime things were manifesting not in accordance with the way I deemed perfect, the universe was sending me an even BETTER way. Guess what, it started working. I started seeing subtle changes in my external world as my inner world moved into alignment with my purpose and vision. Dr Wayne Dyer summed it best – change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.

This idea may be applied to anything in your current life right now; relationships, finance, career, business, health, music you name it. My advice to my friend was to find a way each time he was presented with an obstacle. The universe will keep putting up road blocks as you venture down life’s path. Not because it wants to make it hard for you, because the greater your dream, the greater your load. It’s kind of like the bigger the delivery truck you drive, the more load you have to carry around, simple as that. The more you push through the challenges and setbacks, the greater to growth and reward.

So what challenges are you facing right now in your personal or professional life? Is there a way through it? What must you do or who must you become in order to create a mental shift to get through the challenge or obstacles. These are very empowering questions to ask oneself, since they get to the heart of what is keeping you from achieving the goal or task. I often come up against obstacles, almost daily now. Yesterday my car stopped working during a torrential rain storm. I was stuck on a hill and the ignition refused to work. I could hear my mind get into action to find a way out of the situation and also draw the lesson from the experience. Sure I was mad, I was furious since waiting for a tow truck for over an hour and a half in a car while raining is not my idea of fun.

Crank your mind into gear and allow it to work for you. Ask empowering questions at your worst moments and watch as that big grey matter gets to work for you. Like muscles, the more you train it and use it, the more it will work on your behalf. Remember there are no mistakes in this universe, only lessons we are yet to discover!

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