Monday, January 21, 2013


If you repeat the word a few times it starts to sound ominous and a little foreign...obstacles, obstacles, obstacles.

They are everywhere.  In our personal life, when we discover our first attempt at a novel or maybe even our second, will not be an instant best-seller, forever replacing J.K. Rowling in the hearts of children everywhere.  In our professional life, when the day job decides upping the security on the company firewalls will increase productivity, thereby cutting you off from blogs, email, and twitter, where you sometimes complain that your first attempt at a novel or even your second will not be a best-seller.  And isn't J.K. Rowling incredible?

There are always obstacles we must overcome in order to achieve our dreams.  Because honestly, if it were too easy, would it be as satisfying when we finally succeeded?

I don't think so.

Obstacles push us to do better, to think harder, to reach for those things that are important. They even sometimes teach important lessons and help us develop a richer, wiser character over the years.

If there were an Olympic Obstacle Event, I would be a contender for the gold.  Because I have a system.  It goes something like this:

1)Stand/sit with mouth open for approx. 2 minutes.
2)Scream wordlessly for 10 seconds.
3)Throw or slam something once. (preferably something plastic or lightweight like a pillow or a toy barrel of monkeys. Everyone should have a toy barrel of monkeys for these occasions.)
4)Grit teeth and sit in stony silence while keeping up furious inner dialogue. (length of time equal to current obstacle)
5)Deep breaths as the transition from anger to resolve takes place.
6)Mentally review options, pro/cons, possible resolutions, acceptance.
7)Come to a decision, and stick with it no matter how crazy it may seem to others.  Especially those still covered with plastic monkeys.

It works.  But take it from me, sometimes the hardest obstacle to overcome is ourselves.


  1. I definitely agree with your last line. Every obstacle we run up against has been beaten a million times before - every obstacle except our selves. So the only one that can defeat us is the one that's never been beat. :) Wonderful post, and I can definitely relate!

  2. Damn those firewalls! I'm going to go organize a seige party. Be back later with catapults and explosives. You might want to back away from the gate. :)

  3. I already even have a barrel of monkeys. Good to go.

  4. It's true, I'm my own worst obstacle. But I also blame the Internet. Because sitting down to write can quickly turn into "look at this funny cat picture!" which can turn into 2 wasted hours in a hurry.


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.