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Got Obstacles? Lucky You! Success is Around the Corner

There are no obstacles on the path, the obstacles are the path. – Zen quote

Recently I was talking with Audra Casino, our podcaster/AV-master extraordinaire here at Mirasee.

I remarked how I’ve come to learn that all of the struggles, challenges, and apparent obstacles I’ve encountered on my path to success (still very much in process) have actually been part of the path… not obstructions to it.

It hasn’t been an easy lesson, but it’s been an incredibly valuable one.

And while I’m nowhere near attaining even a modicum of the success that I aspire towards, the reminder that obstacles on the path are the “stuff” of success helps me on a daily basis.

Discouragement: The First Hurdle

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. – Frank A. Clark

Professional female hurdler in action

For most of us, when we’re starting on the path of entrepreneurship, or even if we’ve been there for a while, the obstacles we encounter can be discouraging and disheartening.

And for many of us, we use them as props to support our own belief that while others may succeed, our own success can’t happen for whatever reason we choose.

While the appearance of obstacles on the path may seem to be a sign that we’re not on the right course, there are those who will tell us differently.

Like the quotes I’ve used throughout this post, there are many extraordinary individuals; CEOs, spiritual leaders, politicians, artists, athletes, (and parents!) who will tell you that it was only by learning to take their obstacles onto the path that they found their true greatness.

Relying on Obstacles as a Reason to Not Proceed

I was always taught to let the obstacles be your guide because they lead you to places that you wouldn’t have gone on your own. Instead of going through a rock, you go around it, creating a path. – Sante D’Orazio

Rock climber holding on

Oh I know.

Believe me I know; it’s a lot easier to say, “Well, those people had the strength, fortitude, good luck, perseverance… whatever.”

It’s easy to look at others people’s success and believe that they had some magic “something” propelling them towards success.

I’ve used this kind of excuse. And… I still do! But now I know that doing so is just another way of not doing anything to make things better.

Think about this for a minute.

It’s a hell of a lot easier to look at the present circumstances and factors in your life that limit and prevent you from attaining your vision. And it’s also easier using them to support for your excuses to not to enter into action and simply allowing your dreams to die.

After all, excuses are familiar. You know them, and they’re easily accessible when you need something to reassure you that you’ve “done everything that you can” to succeed, but somehow it hasn’t worked out.

Actually, there’s very little effort involved in relying on your obstacles not to do something, isn’t there?

Everything that you need is there at your fingertips. You build a huge edifice, and hang a banner on it saying, “100 obstacles to my success.

And you know what, you’re right! They are obstacles. And, allowed to remain as such, they really are barriers to your success.

It’s a lot harder to get up in the morning when you’ve been up late the night before working towards another deadline that hasn’t brought you success.

It’s hard to affirm that what you’re doing makes sense when it hasn’t made you a damn dime.

It’s almost insane to keep shooting for the goal when every one of your shots goes wide, or misses it by a mile.

And it’s very easy to base your beliefs on what you’ve tried in the past that hasn’t worked, rather than face the painful unknown of something new and the possibility – even probability – that it won’t work out as you’d planned.

Success IS in the Stars!

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed. – Booker T. Washington

Space sunrise

If there’s any one thing that working with Danny Iny and at Mirasee has taught me, it’s this: Given a method and following that method to fruition (regardless of how many time I stumble), I will be successful.

If anything, the “magic” of these techniques and courses is that they give you that “something” others who are successful used in order the find success.

These courses, techniques, and content – in and of themselves – aren’t that special.

What is special is the secret ingredient… you!Click To Tweet

It’s your vision, your imagination that makes these methods work.

It’s your willingness to really commit to them, and to take them to their full fruition that proves their usefulness and efficacy.

Danny and all of the other students at Mirasee have already test-driven these methods. Danny has shared his successes, and failures, as an example to highlight the fact that obstacles are part of the path to success.

Build on the Success of Others

But it’s not just Danny. Scour the internet and you’ll find hundreds, even thousands of quotes by those who have succeeded in all manner of endeavors.

Many of them, if they’re honest, will share not only their success stories, but the painful stories of their failures as well.

Anyone who’s honest (except for the very few who’ve had immaculate good fortune) will tell you that success didn’t come easily. And the one common character in all of these stories is that most important character: Obstacle.

The eminent mythologist and storyteller Joseph Campbell used to revel in the stories of the Hero’s Journey. And he used to come alive, animated, when he’d relate the hero or heroine’s journey into the underworld, into the heart of darkness.

Because it was there, in the damp and dark stillness of despair and hopelessness, that the light of victory was most prominent.

It was only through traveling the path and journey of one’s own story that the heroine emerged from the darkness able to regain her power.

It was only after traversing and overcoming great obstacles that the hero was able to return home to declare his rightful kingdom.

Seize the obstacle.Click To Tweet

Look it straight in the eye. Get to know it, its qualities, and its voice. It’s there for a reason. It’s there to remind you of your greatness.

One point here before we end; there are obviously some obstacles in life that are so overwhelming, so absolutely debilitating, that surmounting even their lesser summits can be daunting and nearly impossible.

As an RN for more than 30 years, I’ve seen people devastated by immense tragedy, the likes of which I can hardly imagine being able to bear. I’m not talking about these kinds of obstacles; if that’s what you’re facing, then your journey is a far different tale and one beyond the edges of this page.

But for the rest of us, there really is no reason, no obstacle, for not going for it.

What obstacles are you facing? What obstacles have you overcome? Share you story with us in the comments!

About Jerome Stone

Jerome Stone is the Facebook Mastermind Community Advocate for Mirasee. He moderates the group, ensuring that the students benefit from the engagement and support of the Mastermind Group. Follow him on his blog and Twitter.

16 thoughts on “Got Obstacles? Lucky You! Success is Around the Corner

  1. I’m in a wheelchair, due to a serious back injury that also has me in a Nursing Home. Being 80% paraplegic makes it necessary, but not fun. In spite of all that, I’ve written/published one Children’s/YA book, and am about to publish three cookbooks called Recipes For Single/Handicapped, totaling almost 600 pages.
    If I can do that, with my difficulties, what’s your excuse?

    • Wow, Walter. Thank you so very much for sharing your learned wisdom! I guess your final question, “If I can do that, with my difficulties, what’s your excuse?” kind of nails it!

      A few questions…because I’m sure that you’ve got a heck of a lot of wisdom to share here.

      What was it that helped you to see your obstacles as part of the path, rather than as signs that your path was over?

      Or, what was it that helped you surmount the hurdles?

      Or – even better – HOW did you see beyond your *limitations* and maintain your focus on your vision and goals?

      Thanks so much for sharing and for bringing perspective to this discussion.

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  2. I’m a writer who is also a want-to-be singer. Twice now, I’ve started voice lessons only to have to stop for budget reasons. The second time around, I was doing surprisingly well: I made huge improvements, gained confidence and sang at monthly open mic sessions, which was a massive leap from my comfort zone. I was on a roll and feeling like I could do something with this. And then I lost my pre-tax group health insurance at work. As a result, my paycheck took a major blow and I had to stop singing lessons. Again. It broke my heart. That was four months ago. It killed my dream and my hopes. Voice lessons were the only “frill” in my no-frills budget. I looked at every possible way to cut back and that was the only extra. Since then, my living expenses have increased as well for things like rent and parking. I’m completely discouraged and feel all the progress I made slipping away. Even if I manage to come up with a little extra scratch, it seems it will be eaten up by daily living increases. Rather than think about being able to resume lessons and have my hopes crushed yet again, I’ve given up. I don’t know how to get beyond the budget obstacles I face.

    • Caelan –

      Thanks for sharing what is obviously a very difficult time for you.

      Wow, where to start?

      You wrote a number of things that are key to how you’re feeling, but not necessarily what the reality is.

      You wrote, “It killed my dream and my hopes.” Is that really true? Can your dreams and hopes really be killed? Or – better metaphor – have they been wounded, and will your persistence and willingness to go through whatever is necessary to make them happen be the healing that they need?

      You wrote, “Rather than think about being able to resume lessons and have my hopes crushed yet again, I’ve given up.” Why would your hopes be crushed again? And why have you given up?

      I guess that my question would be, “How much does being a singer matter?” You wrote that you’re a “want-to-be-singer.” Is that true? Or are you a singer in the process of learning how to sing? Is it important enough to you to see your obstacles, which are obviously major and difficult, as circumstances to be surmounted rather than given in to?

      Also, have you considered working with the hundreds of voice-training videos on YouTube? https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=voice+training

      What Walter wrote was simply amazing! Given his circumstances, it’s amazing that he’s done and accomplished so much.

      If there was a dream and hope that seems to have been killed, is there a way to release your expectations of what you’d hoped for, and work with what is? Can you re-vision the process, maybe recognize that it may take a wee bit more time than you’d wanted it to?

      I’m not sure if any of what I’ve said makes sense. I’m offering you, rather than telling you, a few ways that may help you to make a *pivot* in how you’re thinking and in how you go about realizing your dreams.

      Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note, or continue to share what your thoughts are.

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  3. Obstacles happen to everyone. The two examples above are more extreme than what most of us likely face. My biggest one is not taking consistent action on publishing. I have all sorts of invalid excuses plus a thought of “who is going to find me among thousands of others in the personal growth field.” It doesn’t matter though who else is out there – my ideas are displayed differently and people will find them and appreciate them. I have to validate myself and then kick in the memory than I’ve had plenty of successes and there is no reason why I won’t have more. Thanks for strong reminders not to give up and to keep pushing on.

    • Hey Virginia –

      So glad to hear that this post acted as a “strong reminder.”

      I love your what you wrote, “I have to validate myself and then kick in the memory than I’ve had plenty of successes and there is no reason why I won’t have more.” That’s a strong reminder as well, eh?

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  4. Nailed it, Jerome! Such a good reminder, even for those who already know the elation that comes from getting /there/ after overcoming many different obstacles. I love your writing. And I love obstacles; they make the journey so much more fun and rewarding.

    What a nice way to kick off my upcoming mastermind weekend. Joy!

    • Hey Jessica –

      Whoah! I nailed it? Fantastic!!

      Glad that it served as a good reminder to you. And…

      ….have an AWESOME mastermind weekend!

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

    • Hey Louise –

      Thanks for the response and glad that you found it powerful.

      Any more encouragement that I can give you just let me know.

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  5. Jerome, I particularly liked your sensitivity exhibited in your last paragraph. Those that are in situations like you allude to definitely deserve such empathy.

    By the way, the rest of your points are awesome, too.

    Your post supports the fact…you can choose to figure out how to climb over, crawl under, or go around obstacles to achieve success. OR, you can choose not to succeed.

    • Hey Gary –

      Thanks for your accolades, I appreciate them.

      And regarding empathy, I think we all deserve empathy…to varying degrees. It’s not like we want to be “saddled” with the obstacles that we encounter. But, after the empathic “you can do it,” we’ve got to get on with fulfilling our journeys, eh?

      But then there’s a difference between those of us who are stuck on a particular obstacle because – as you so aptly put it – we haven’t figured out how to climb over, crawl under, or go around them; and those who really have been dealt a tough hand and (like Walter) have to deal with the enormity of their circumstances.

      By the way; I checked out your site Gary – great stuff!! I love your work. We should chat some time.

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  6. Hey, Jerome…love to have that chat and learn more about your ideas on how to empathize while also energizing people to move past obstacles to become all they can be.

    Our “chat obstacle” is taking the step to get it on our calendars.

    Monday and Tuesday next week are not good days for me as I’m out of my office most of the time. However, I should be in my office pounding away at my computer everyday the last half of next week. Let me know if any of those days work for you.

  7. What a great and inspiring post Jerome,
    I love the quote that “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” That is so true, majority of the great people we have in the world today all started as failures.

    I believe that there must always be obstacles in the path to success and as you said, its even the path itself. How you overcome these obstacles is the main thing that will either make you great or make you mediocre.

    Even, its the obstacles that is often the beauty of it all because, if there exist no possibility of obstacles and failures then, success will become meaningless.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Theodore –

      Thanks for a great response. Glad to hear that you found what I had to share as inspiring.

      I love what you wrote, “How you overcome these obstacles is the main thing that will either make you great or make you mediocre.” As well as, “…How you overcome these obstacles is the main thing that will either make you great or make you mediocre.”

      Great input!!

      Thanks for showing up in this discussion.

      Take care,

      Jerome Stone
      Community Advocate – Firepole Marketing

  8. Love this, Jerome! I’m naturally a very optimistic person and so while I do stall here and there on excuses from time to time, I’ve never let things get to me in such a way that I’ll quit. In fact, one boss of mine liked to call me a pit bull sometimes. Haha. Driven by my passion. It’s great to have these reminders that bumps in the road are part of the journey – looking back, I realize I’ve learned a lot from some of those bumps, and yes, some have caused some pivots too, but never a complete stop!

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