Sunday, March 04, 2007

Curious about Obstacles: How Do You Handle Them? Or Do You Use Them as Excuses?

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” - Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian writer

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” - Michael Jordan, American athlete

Recently - even more than usual - I have been focusing on self-improvement and positive attitude. When we start to think about our BIG goals and taking our business (or careers) to a new level, we also confront obstacles.

They may be big or small, but obstacles start showing up. Are they merely excuses for not taking the risks necessary for succeeding? Or do we need to listen to Niccolo Machiavelli and know that there is truly “little difference between obstacle and opportunity.” I also love Michael Jordan’s approach. In the past I wrote the blog about “work arounds” on February 16, 2005. You might want to check it out.

When searching for quotations for this blog, I found many with a positive flavor, so let’s see what the experts have to share:
  • Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” - Thomas Carlyle, Scottish philosopher
  • Nothing is an obstacle unless you say it is.” Wally Amos, American businessman
  • Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” - Booker T. Washington, American educator
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” - Henry Ford, American businessman
  • Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met.” - W. Clement Stone, American businessman

And, some with a bit of a different twist:

  • Fear is your greatest obstacle - so question your fear. If it does not serve your greatest life then do not make it your master.” - Joy Page, American actress
  • We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” - Maxwell Maltz, American scientist
  • Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture... Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.” - Norman Vincent Peale, American clergyman
  • Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” - Martha Graham, American dancer
  • An excuse becomes an obstacle in your journey to success when it is made in place of your best effort or when it is used as the object of the blame.” - Bo Bennett, American businessman
  • People let their own hang-ups become the obstacles between them and personal happiness.” - Lucinda Williams, American musician

Here are three to post near our computers - or mirrors - to work on our weekly habits:

  • Life's up and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.” - Marsha Sinetar, American writer
  • Being idealistic really helps you overcome some of the many obstacles put in your path.” - Andy Hertzfeld, American inventor
  • Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren't.” - Barbara Sher, American business woman

Have a great week, and be thankful for the obstacles you encounter. They serve to strengthen us in all of our endeavors.