“THE OBSTACLE IN THE PATH
BECOMES THE PATH. NEVER FORGET, WITHIN EVERY OBSTACLE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE OUR CONDITION.” - Zen Parable
What if in every obstacle
you faced there was a benefit you could win from it? WHAT IF YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO FLIP YOUR OBSTACLES AND TURN THEM INTO OPPORTUNITIES? Here are 10 historical strategies for doing just that— practiced by great men and women throughout the centuries.
#1 ALTER YOUR PERSPECTIVE “MAN
DOES NOT SIMPLY EXIST BUT ALWAYS DECIDES WHAT HIS EXISTENCE WILL BE, WHAT HE WILL BECOME THE NEXT MOMENT.” -Viktor Frankl
We chose how we look
at things. How we approach an obstacle determines how daunting it will be to overcome. By controlling our irrational emotions, we are able to see thing as they are, not as we perceive them to be. THINK OF IT AS SELECTIVE EDITING—NOT TO DECEIVE OTHERS, BUT TO PROPERLY ORIENT OURSELVES. Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.
The events that we initially
perceive as negative all contain a positive, exposed benefit that we can recognize and act on. A computer glitch that destroys your work is now a means to make it twice as good because you’re better prepared. Having a terrible boss is now an opportunity to learn from his faults while you fill up your resume and look for better jobs elsewhere. NOTICE THIS IS A COMPLETE MENTAL FLIP: SEEING THROUGH THE NEGATIVE, PAST ITS UNDERSIDE AND THROUGH TO THE POSITIVE.
Those who attack problems and
life with most initiative and energy usually win. COURAGE IS REALLY JUST TAKING ACTION. START BY SAYING YES TO CREATE MOMENTUM AND YOU’LL BE ON YOUR WAY. Obstacles seem more intimidating when we stop to look up at them.
ENGINEERS NOW LIKE TO QUIP:
FAILURE IS A FEATURE. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong. Each time it happens, new options open up to us and problems can be flipped into opportunities. When failure does come ask: Why did this happen? This helps birth alternative ways of doing what needs to be done. Failure puts you in corners you have to think your way out of and is a source of breakthroughs.
IN THE CHAOS OF LIFE,
PROCESS PROVIDES US A WAY. For whatever obstacles you come across, take a breath, do the immediate, composite part in front of you—and follow its thread into the next action. The process is about doing the little things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture.
#6 WHAT’S RIGHT IS WHAT
WORKS “I DON’T CARE IF THE CAT IS BLACK OR WHITE, SO LONG AS IT CATCHES MICE.” - Deng Xiaoping
We spend a lot of
time thinking about how things are supposed to be. As they say in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it doesn’t matter how you get our opponent to the ground, only that you take them down. Start thinking like a radical pragmatist: not on changing the world right at this moment, but ambitious enough to get everything you need. THINK PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION.
#7 USE THE FLANK ATTACK
“WHERE LITTLE DANGER IS APPREHENDED, THE MORE THE ENEMY WILL BE UNPREPARED AND CONSEQUENTLY THERE IS THE FAIREST PROSPECT OF SUCCESS.” - George Washington
Think about this: In a
study of more than 280 military campaigns, only two percent were decided on a direct attack on the enemy’s main army. BEING OVERMATCHED DON’T HAVE TO BE A DISADVANTAGE. It forces us to find workarounds, instead of challenging our enemy head on. Remember, sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home. !
Action has many definitions. Sometimes
you overcome obstacles not by attacking them but by withdrawing and letting them attack you. A castle can be an intimidating, impenetrable fortress, or it can be turned into a prison when surrounded. The difference is simply a shift in action and approach. SO INSTEAD OF FIGHTING OBSTACLES, FIND A MEANS OF MAKING THEM DEFEAT THEMSELVES.
#9 SEIZE THE OFFENSIVE “THE
BEST MEN ARE NOT THOSE WHO HAVE WAITED FOR CHANCES BUT WHO HAVE TAKEN THEM; BESIEGED CHANCE, CONQUERED THE CHANGE, AND MADE CHANCE THE SERVITOR.” - E.H. Chapin
Ordinary people shy away from
negative situations and avoid trouble. What great people do is the opposite. THEY NEVER WASTE AN OPPORTUNITY TO FLIP A PERSONAL TRAGEDY OR CRISIS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE. At certain moments in our brief existences we are faced with great trials. We must see that this “problem” presents an opportunity for a solution that we have long been waiting for.
#10 FOCUS ON SOMETHING BIGGER
THAN YOURSELF “A MAN’S JOB IS TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN, SO FAR AS HE IS ABLE—ALWAYS REMEMBERING THE RESULTS WILL BE INFINITESIMAL AND TO ATTEND TO HIS OWN SOUL.” -Leroy Percy
Sometimes when we are personally
stuck with some impossible problem, one of the best ways to create opportunities or new avenues for movement is to think: IF I CAN’T SOLVE THIS FOR MYSELF, HOW CAN I AT LEAST MAKE THIS BETTER FOR OTHER PEOPLE? You’ll be shocked by how much of the hopelessness lifts when we reach that conclusion—the strength that comes by thinking of people other than yourself.
“The impediment to action advances
action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” -Marcus Aurelius Turn adversity into advantage and your obstacles into opportunity with THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY GET MORE FROM RYAN AT RYANHOLIDAY.NET IN STORES MAY 1ST. BUY THE BOOK: