The Obstacle is the Way
Zenith
Zenith Greenwood Village, CO
Published on April 28, 2020

The Obstacle is the Way


Few among us could have imagined a month ago that we’d find ourselves in such a unique situation. Did you ever think you’d use the line “after the quarantine” in your lifetime? I know I didn’t. For now, at least, this is our “new normal,” and I believe we are all faced with two distinctly different choices.

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One choice is to view this as a crisis. The other option is to see this as an opportunity. Ryan Holiday is the author of several excellent books, but my favorite is The Obstacle is the Way. The subtitle is The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph. This is a perfect read right now, as we are indeed faced with both obstacles and trials.

The theme of the book is deceptively simple. Every obstacle is an opportunity for growth and a chance to improve. Holiday goes back in history and documents example after example of the challenges faced by the biggest names in politics, business, sports, and medicine. He shows us how these obstacles created new growth and opportunity for those that chose to grow and to seek that opportunity –within the obstacle.

The first part of the book is focused on the discipline of perception. In other words – our perception of an event is more important than the event itself. Like the story of the Stallion, every situation can be viewed as good or bad. The choice is our own. The first chapter is focused on John D. Rockefeller, and how he developed his ability to clearly see the advantage and the proper course of action in every situation, without panic and fear.

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From the book:

We can see disaster rationally. Or rather, like Rockefeller, we can see opportunity in every disaster, and transform that negative situation into an education, a skill set, or an opportunity.

Especially in our environment today, where we are exposed to so much negative information, we need to develop our power to define current events in a way that will serve our lives, instead of paralyzing us.

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From the book:

There are a few things to keep in mind when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. We must try:
• To be objective
• To control emotions and keep an even keel
• To choose to see the good in a situation
• To steady our nerves
• To ignore what disturbs or limits others
• To place things in perspective
• To revert to the present moment
• To focus on what can be controlled

Here is our opportunity. We have the chance to develop a new personal discipline in our lives. To see obstacles as opportunities. To use self-discipline and logic to observe what is going on around us, how others react, and not become part of the herd mentality. It will take effort, and therein lies the chance for personal growth. Embrace that opportunity.

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And remember, this will all work out in the end. And if it hasn’t worked out yet, it is not the end! I promise.

Quote of the week:

Within every adversity is the seed to an equal or greater benefit.

Napoleon Hill

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Zenith Greenwood Village, CO
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