Written by Karen D. Swim
“Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better…or quit.”—From The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino
Can you imagine your life without obstacles? Go ahead close your eyes and envision your life completely free of challenges? You may have smiled as you imagined a trouble free zone without stress of any kind. The thought of a challenge free life is appealing until you start to examine the consequences.
If everything was easy, we would never push ourselves to reach higher. Strengths and talents would go undiscovered and we would simply live in complacency. Where’s the fun in that?
As I look back over my own life, those darn obstacles have been my greatest teachers. Obstacles have forced me to overcome fears and try new things. They have moved me from a comfort zone to greater discoveries of my abilities and myself. Obstacles have not blocked my progress instead, they have opened new paths for me to travel and given me just the right tools to navigate the road.
As you consider your own life, I am sure that you have countless examples of the good that came from challenge. I am acutely aware that there is no testimony without a test. We have all benefited from being students of adversity. Yet, with every new obstacle is the potential to forget that it is a “comrade-in-arms.” There are challenges that we believe we simply cannot face down and we get scared and want to quit.
Quitting is always an option, of course but it really is not a solution. You may forego the immediate discomfort, but the lingering impact is far more damaging. You will never build up your endurance to challenge if you simply quit. In the same way that regular workouts make you stronger and faster, obstacles are the weights that build your faith muscles. Each workout makes you stronger, better and more confident.
Embrace your obstacle, it is your partner in success. Use it to make you tougher, smarter and better. You will never regret facing a challenge but it is almost certain you will regret quitting.
How do you deal with your obstacles? Please share your thoughts and insight in the comments box. Remember you don’t have to be a blogger or even have a website to join in the discussion, everyone can comment.