The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it. Moliere
Sir Edmund Hillary the first to climb mount Everest along with Tenzing Norgay, had failed on two earlier attempts but persisted and finally achieved their dream. It is said that on the second failure, Sir Edmund challenged the mountain stating “I’ll come again. As a mountain you can’t grow but as a human, I can.” In many ways this statement epitomizes the spirit of the quote for today. Each one of us has an endless stream of obstacles of varying types and we deal with them in varied ways. Most times the obstacles could take the form of minor irritants which we can deftly tackle imaginatively. At other times the obstacles seem insurmountable and terrifying leaving us paranoid and frantic.
What we often fail to recognize is that many a time, obstacles are created by us. This is mainly because of our tardy ways, casual approach, irresponsible behavior and lousy temperament. If we objectively look at our own responses we would perhaps notice some glaring weakness in us like poor time management, an exaggerated self opinion, a pompous ego, a tendency to be too critical, strong personal biases, certain person idiosyncrasies etc. Fortunately self realization will open our eyes to these personal weaknesses and with the right attitude and determination one can iron out the problems and minimize the obstacles that we create for ourselves.
The real challenge is to overcome the obstacles that life in general puts up on our path. Sometimes fate plays a part in it too, like contracting a major illness or being involved in an accident and the consequences thereof. The first thing is to see all obstacles as challenges that test one’s own inner strength and to believe that the obstacle is an opportunity to leave a mark in this world. This means that we have to reorient our thought process from that of a defeatist to that of a fighter. It takes more than mere raw courage to be a fighter, for the battles are mainly fought in the mind. A strong positive attitude coupled with a positive personal vision statement offer a two pronged strategy to fortify our mind and hearts. Equally important is the need for us to have the vision similar to that of Sir Edmund Hillary in seeing the problem in the right perspective. The reality is that there could be obstacles that would be far too challenging to be tackled in the fist attempt, but the victory is in not giving up and attempting.
We also need to realize that there could be some obstacles that are impossible to overcome and then retreat is the best strategy. There is no shame in accepting a reality that may be a blow to our ego but a very strategic necessity from the large perspective of winning the war as against the probability of dying in trying to win a mere battle. Many times we make the obstacles take on draconian proportions purely because we have failed to see the challenges in the right perspective. E.g. Students and parents often complaint that question papers were too tough but the reality must be that the studying habits and work ethics of the children may be at fault for them not being able to answer most of the questions. If one were to list out some of the most satisfying moments in life, it would invariably be an event where the challenge was daunting, the effort stupendous and the success unexpected and complete. Surely that underlines the point that the greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it.
Remember: “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” Frank A. Clark
- Name 3 of your worst fears. Now try to see how those fears prevent you from realizing your full potential. Ask yourself if those fears of yours are the obstacles that are blocking your progress and preventing you from achieving the success you dream of.
- Reflect on the sweetest victory you have had in your life. Contrast that with the worst nightmare that you ever faced. Can you find any commonalties between both these events? E.g. Standing first in the class for the one and only time was the sweetest victory. The worst nightmare was reaching the airport and realizing that you had forgotten your passport. The commonalities include the reality that I was responsible for both situations. Both situations demanded a disciplined and serious approach.
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