Rëâl Dūdé wrote: ↑February 10th, 2024, 4:56 am
Can you share a time when you faced a significant obstacle on your path to achieving a goal? How did you overcome it?
Hi, Rëâl Dūdé
Thank you for your question!
Generally speaking, it would be incoherent to talk about goals without obstacles. There's a way in which goals simply are obstacles, and obstacles simply are goals. It's analogous to the way the half-emptiness of a glass is the same as the half-fullness of it. It's not just that those two things go hand-in-hand together, but rather that more accurately they aren't even two different things; they are just one thing that you can describe two different ways.
If there was no obstacle, you'd already have the would-be goal and thus it wouldn't even be a goal.
What makes it a goal rather than an achievement or just something you already have is the so-called obstacle, and vice versa.
Thus, to me, to ask, "Have you ever faced a significant obstacle"
is the same exact thing as asking, "Have you ever had a significant goal?"
To me, they are the same exact question.
Likewise, to me, to ask, "have you ever had a big goal,"
is the same exact thing as asking, "Have you ever faced a big obstacle?"
To me, they are the same exact question.
If there is a cookie across the room, and I decide I want to invest some work in my present so that my so-called future self can enjoy the cookie, meaning I'll pay a small price to give the gift of a cookie to an other
(i.e. another me), the obstacle may be the distance between me and the cookie that I have to traverse to get the cookie, step after step. That's presumably a small goal/obstacle, unless it's a ridiculously large room with some kind of ridiculously slippery floor.
But what if instead of a few steps across a room, it would take a journey of a thousand miles with mountains and valleys along the route. Then we would call that a "big" goal or obstacle, just because it's a longer and/or more expensive journey, where the expense expended can be money, time, or really anything that's within your power to spend or sacrifice.
Goals and obstacles are the same thing.
So another way of phrasing your question is just as this: What are some big goals I've achieved and how did I achieve them?
However, hopefully you have already learned something significant from my re-phrasing above and the reasons for it, even though I haven't answered your question. Hopefully, you can see how the way you choose to word the same exact question or statement can indirectly affect your attitude, happiness, and mind-state about it.
Describing the glass as half full or half empty is to convey the same exact objective information, but yet the wording you choose to use can indirectly affect your mind's programming and your feelings and attitude in ways that will affect the likelihood of you achieving your stated goals.
If you put the emphasis on the so-called obstacles, and do it in a negative way, you may be setting yourself up for discouragement and may be rationalizing eventually giving up on a goal you can achieve if you really chose it. When you really choose the goal (a.k.a. obstacle), then you don't look at the path as an "obstacle" per se but simply as the path. It simply becomes the way. You could even call it the Tao of things if you wanted.
Within reason, I would advice that you mostly
avoid describing things as obstacles ever. Describe them as goals, or at least describe them in relation to goals, namely in terms of being the path
(a.k.a. "obstacle") to the goal.
Using that wording to convey the same exact information will be more conducive to you being happier while walking the path (a.k.a. overcoming the obstacle) to the stated goal, but also likewise make it far more likely that you choose to do so (i.e. that you actually achieve the stated goal), rather than give up because there's so-called "obstacles" in the way.
The goal is only as big as the obstacles are. To want to achieve big goals is to want to endure and overcome big obstacles. Those aren't two things that come together; they are really the same one thing.
I can give you an example of a big goal that I once had (a.k.a. a big obstacle I had to overcome). When my kids' mom get pregnant with our first son, I gained more weight than she did. In terms of physical fitness and maintaining a healthy body weight, I am not gifted genetically. If I ate every time I was hungry and didn't stop until I wasn't hungry anymore, I'd die from overeating very quickly. About 10 years ago, I decided to cut off the extra body fat, so I set a big goal (a.k.a. I decided to go over/through a big obstacle). I chose to lose about 50 pounds of fat, which at a healthy rate of about 1 lb per week, took about 50 weeks, or roughly a year. That was 50 weeks of working out every day, of carefully tracking my calorie intake by journaling everything I ate and weighing and measuring my food. That was a 50-week-sized obstacle (a.k.a. goal). That's a big obstacle (a.k.a. goal). And it's been 500 weeks since then that entail just as much consistent work to achieve the even bigger goal (a.k.a. obstacle) of maintaining that fitness level long-term (i.e. keeping that extra 50 lbs of fat off), which is actually where most people go off the track. Many people are great at going on a temporary diet and losing weight, but then quickly gain it right back which then lets them think why even bother going through the grueling process of losing weight if it doesn't lead to long-term results. Generally speaking, the same things I did for those 50 weeks to lose that 50 lbs I did for the next 500 weeks (~10 years) to keep it off, and I still do those same things now. I never diet. I don't believe in diets. I believe in permanent lifestyle changes. That's why I didn't just reach my goal for one week and then pop right back to where I started. I still work out every day. I still typically journal everything I eat. I still weigh and measure my food when I make it so I can journal it accurately. For instance, if you look in my journal for today or yesterday, or generally almost any day for the last 10 years, you will see not only that I ate a banana or such, but also you will see exactly how many grams that banana was. You can view my before and after photos here
Even if you only look at the first 50-week period (rather than the 500 weeks of maintenance since then), that is a huge goal (a.k.a. obstacle). That 50-week period is bigger than Mount Everest. It would have been easier to go over Mount Everest. Mount Everest would have been a smaller goal (a.k.a. obstacle) to choose, in that it would take less days and weeks of consistent commitment. I've had more chances to turn around and give up on this path I've walked over the last 10 years than you would have chances to turn around and/or give up while climbing Mount Everest.
How did I do it? How did I go over/through the obstacle (a.k.a. goal) that I chose. I simply chose to.
In a very meaningful way, it's really that simple. If you honestly choose to climb or traverse a mountain that you can climb or traverse, then it's simply a choice. You just do it. It's so infinitely easy that to even call it an obstacle is at least a bit of a misnomer. You can't choose to do what you literally can't do, but when it comes to what can do, there is no trying or failure, just choosing, which is infinitely easy. When it comes to your choices, you always get exactly what you want, meaning what you choose.
Trying is lying, and success is a choice. Failure is an illusion, usually built on some kind of self-deception or dishonesty, in which one wants to pretend they have a goal that isn't really their goal. It can be a very comforting lie and comforting illusion for them. For more on that concept, I suggest you read the following topic of mine:
Beware: The phrase "work hard" can be just as dishonest and dangerous as the word "try". Be very careful with it!
Here is an important excerpt:
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: ↑October 17th, 2023, 10:50 pm
Many people would rather dishonestly pretend to be a failure [i.e. pretend to be overcome by so-called obstacles] than honestly admit to themselves and others that they are successful at getting what they wanted, meaning what they chose. For example, the adulterer would often rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I failed to be faithful despite trying so hard,"
than say, "I chose to cheat and succeeded."
The food addict would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I had a bad day, so I need some comfort, so I have to eat this comfort food"
, than honestly and simply say, "I want to eat this, I am choosing to this; and I have now successfully eaten this. I succeeded in eating it!"
The alcoholic would rather muddy the waters by dishonestly saying, "I believe I shouldn't drink, and so I'm trying not to drink
", while they lift the glass to their mouth, rather than honestly say, "I am choosing to drink, and succeeding at drinking."
When I say that generally speaking, success is a choice, it's not really so much because failure-choosers choose failure, but rather because those seeing themselves as failures or describing themselves as failures are actually typically dishonest people who lie to themselves and others. Generally speaking, they are not failures; they are successful liars. But the addict finds comfort in the lie: "I'm not a successful cheater; I'm a faithful spouse who is failing to be faithful,"
they say to themselves (or out loud) as they pull down their pants.
Humans are funny. You gotta love them.
To paraphrase the ancient Roman emperor and stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, The impediment to action advances action. What stands in your way becomes the way.
The seeming problem is a tool to use to create the solution. Whether it is a literal or human opponent you face, use your opponent's force against him with calm confident grace. The seeming obstacle in your path is a stepping stone on your journey.
You can look at the distance and floor that separates you from the proverbial cookie across the room as an obstacle, which sets you up to choose to let that alleged obstacle overcome you instead of vice versa, or
you can look at it is the very bridge to the cookie you want and can thus have. You can look at it as another tool in your toolbelt that you can use to your advantage. You can look at it as another card that you have been dealt that you can play to your advantage.
When new information presents itself to me, or new tools or cards I could play reveal themselves to me, I adapt accordingly with calm confident happy grace.
Since, with calm confident grace, I use my opponent's force against him, the more force and aggression he uses, the more powerful I become. That is true not just of human opponents, of life itself and life's wonderful challenges.
Often, the hardest opponent to beat is the one who never throws any punches. Then there's nothing to counter. Then there's no force to use against him. Yet, doesn't that reveal an incredible source of grace and confidence when facing life: the worst case scenario is that life doesn't throw any punches at you, meaning you have less cards to play and less so-called obstacles to twist to your advantage. Worst case scenario, it's just boringly easy; otherwise, and more likely, life throws seeming obstacles that become your stepping stones into your path, allowing you to use its force to your advantage.
In his play about Julius Caesar, Shakespeare wrote the following:
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."
Concepts like grace, wu wei, and going with the flow are not about giving up your power and being a submissive servant to life beaten around by life as a passive victim. Quite the opposite is the case. They are about using your would-be opponent's force against him so well with such clam confident gracefulness that from the view of onlooker it would almost look as if your would-be opponent (in this case life itself) is actually on your side. When you learn to use the would-be obstacles as stepping stones, it looks like life is magically helping you on your journey, and in a way that becomes true; that's how ridiculously powerful grace, self-discipline, and radical acceptance are. Then you really understand ideas like when in the book The Alchemist it was written, "When you want something, the whole universe conspires in order for you to achieve it."
Most human are far far far more powerful than they realize. Though few see it and even fewer admit it to themselves, they are getting what they want, meaning what they choose. When you really understand your incredible power, including your power to manifest what you really
want in your life (not what you merely say you want or use as the dishonestly stated reasons/excuses for unhappiness from a scarcity mindset), but when you really understand your incredible power, words like trying, obstacle, and failure lose meaning.
Do or do not. The choice is yours, and when it comes to your choices, you always get exactly what you want, meaning what you choose.
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.