Beauty of obstacles

The Beauty of Obstacles

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

Frank A.Clark

I just sat down to write this article and immediately began to experience an obstacle. In this case, it was self-imposed. I had promised to complete the piece within a specific timeframe and didn’t know how to start it.

That famous author “Anonymous” was once asked how he was able to write as many books as he did. This is what he said:

“I sit at the computer and wait…and wait…and wait…until I begin to sweat blood. And then I begin to write.”

As Frank A. Clark suggests, paths without obstacles probably lead us nowhere. The minute we desire to go somewhere, to accomplish something in physical reality like a goal, we put ourselves on a path that will contain hurdles.

Obstacles happen. They are often deflating, frustrating events. We rarely say to ourselves: “Oh, boy! Something else is in the way! How fun!”

Still, as we see, obstacles are necessary to our life’s journey. Facing them successfully helps our self-esteem to grow.

The self-esteem may come later. But at first, obstacles are often experienced as “Oh Sh– Points” or “OSPs.” 

I remember all the obstacles I faced when I wrote one of my books, The Energy of Money. Mind you, this was over 25 years ago, when we didn’t have most of the conveniences that we can play with today. For example, I spent a lot of time on the first half of Chapter One. Then I accidentally deleted all of what I’d written. And, for some reason, there was no way I could take it out of delete. So, I had to write it over again.

Everything was going well until my computer “broke,” and I needed to buy a new one. This “OSP” not only cost me extra money, but it messed with my timeline and hence my promise to the editors.  Then my own, private editor called me to say she had gotten ill and was unable to continue working with me. She also intimated that editing my book caused her to look at her relationship with money, which caused additional stress for her.

I had some other OSPs along the path to writing the book. However, as they progressed along my way, I became less frustrated and more interested in how to handle them with as much elegance and ease as possible. Looking back, writing that book prepared me for the inevitable obstacles that occur along the way from idea to completion of the goal.

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to see a documentary on the making of the original “Star Wars” movie. In the mid-1970s when “Episode IV – A New Hope” was filmed, George Lucas had little if any computer-generated imagery (CGI) to work with. And in Tunisia, where they filmed Tatooine, sand storms ate up their camera lenses. And the actors and staff frequently got sick. And they were over budget and had to work with the studios to let them continue the project.

And yet, amid all of those obstacles, the film got made. Thus began the entire Star Wars dynasty of films, products, and rides at Disneyland. When I saw that documentary, suddenly my OSPs seemed miniscule. But more importantly, I saw that obstacles are an indication that a new vision is about to be born.

You might be asking why I entitled this article “The Beauty of Obstacles.”

It seemed appropriate to the quote below:  

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” –Confucious

I equate “beauty” with something that brings value, can enhance growth and can help us wake up to our inner power. Obstacles appropriately faced provide us with all of this.

Finally, in a thought experiment, imagine that you never face an obstacle, no matter what you want to do. Write a book? Sure, do it in one week, with ease. Learn piano? No problem, you’ll be a virtuoso in a week. Learn surfing? You’ll never fall down. How long would it take before you become bored?

So, if you’re currently facing an obstacle or two on your path toward a goal or dream, consider this:

  • You and I were made for obstacles! They provide us with a way to sharpen our skills and talents. Without them, we’d never grow.
  • Develop your ability to see that obstacles are an opportunity to wake up and grow. As a validation of your dream! You are not alone. Everyone has OSPs!
  • Instead of questioning whether or not to proceed down the path toward your goal, might you step back, relax your brain, and seek the support of others, maybe in a “mastermind” situation, who might have different perspectives than yours?

Remember: you become stronger with every problem you face and every obstacle you overcome!

Until next time!

Wishing you all my best,