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So you’re on your daily commute to or from work.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could reach back and grab that faded beach towel draped across the rear seat knot it up around your neck and then make like Superman?
Or maybe plug a portable version of the transporter machine they had on the USS Enterprise into an unoccupied USB port and beam yourself up (and light-years above) this snafu.
Or, what if you could do like Vavoom?
Vavoom: Felix the Cat’s Inuk sidekick who with his earth-shattering shriek could blast through anything standing in his way.
The point is whether you’re a nine to fiver stuck in rush hour or a wild-eyed visionary on a dauntless quest to find your life purpose, there’s bound to be stuff in your way.
That is to say there’ll come those times when the shortest distance between point A and point (where you’d like to) B is not a direct route, but rather, one which involves a healthy mix of transitions, switchbacks, and detours.
Because in the end (or shall I say, throughout) there’ll be obstacles.
Lots and lots of obstacles.
No. Please. Not the O-bomb!
Ok, so, obstacle, not necessarily the sort of thing you want to hear when you’re desperately trying to get somewhere.
Apparently it’s not something they want you to hear about in the realm of Personal Growth and Achievement either.
Go ahead, flip open any health magazine or self help book and you’ll no doubt thumb across much more appealing parallelisms like, “Don’t look it as an obstacle―look at it as a challenge.”
Or, “Don’t think of it as an obstacle―consider it an opportunity.”
I mean c’mon, can you honestly say with a straight face that when the opportunity arises for you to do something you wanna do as opposed to what you oughta do you’re gonna choose the latter?
Heck, it’s a no brainer, right?
A cold beer and a burger―count me in!
Of course that’s not to say that opportunities can’t work wonders.
It’s just that, well, due to their plentiful (some might even argue disposable) nature, they’re relatively painless to pass up.
Case in point: each and every day you and I have the “opportunity” to do something useful, something meaningful, something that’d get us yet another step closer to where we’d truly like to be.
Yet invariably we choose to forgo that opportunity.
Why? Because it’s simply too easy to opt out or put off―because there’s always tomorrow, or the next day.
A challenge on the other hand, is a direct call to action.
An unmistakable-in-your-face-pressure’s-on-let’s-see-if-you-can-do-it dare, one that if you do decide to accept it, can and will hold you solely accountable.
Yikes! Talk about unappealing.
More like downright terrifying.
And that is why I’m so perplexed.
Therein lies my basis for bewilderment.
Why the compulsive aversion to obstacles?
Why the bad rap?
Why the relentless attempt to make em sound or seem more enticing?
Or less intimidating for that matter?
Why not call them by their rightful name?
Why not give them their proper due?
After all, they’re not the issue here.
This isn’t about them.
It’s about you.
This is YOUR opportunity to do something worthwhile.
It’s YOU that’s being challenged.
And up until the time you’re ready to face that challenge―to take full advantage of those daily opportunities―obstacles are immaterial.
Furthermore, if and when that time does come and you’re able to gain some traction and get your mojo up to speed, you’ll quickly discover that those obstacles are nothing more than a bump in the road.
“There’s nothing in your way, never was”…unknown
Okay, quite frankly I don’t know if I’d take it that far.
Realistically I think there’ll always be something or another hindering your way; something that’s wedged in between you and your desired destination.
Sometimes, it’s clear as day. Other times, not so much.
Meaning unlike some 40 ft toy hauler impeding your progress on the super-slab it very well could turn out to be a false alarm.
In other words, it might just be a figment of your overactive imagination.
Mark Twain put it best. He said, “I’ve been through a lot of tough times in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Nevertheless, real or imaginary, physical or psychological, obstacles can be conquered.
Progress can be made.
But it takes work.
It takes time.
It takes staying power.
And at the end of the day, it’s this kind of enduring dedication that’ll prove to be your greatest challenge.
Likewise, it’ll also be your greatest opportunity for success.
“It’s not about commitment,” Oprah Winfrey reminds us, “It’s about recommitting yourself every day.”
So, despite their villainous reputation, try not to sweat the small stuff, aka, those pesky little obstacles.
I’m not saying there won’t be any.
I’m not saying it’ll be a breeze to break through, especially again and again.
(Not unless you’re Vavoom that is)
Nope, the truth is when it comes to pursuing your Everyday Hopes and Dreams it’s gonna take a healthy mix of patience, persistence, and iron-fisted grit.
Because in the end this isn’t some cockamamie cartoon or made-for-TV sci fi fantasy.
This is real life baby.
It’s your life.
Therefore, I strongly suggest you strap on that cape and get on with it.
See ya July 1st. Till then, keeep it up.