Here’s the Hard Truth About Your Obstacles
28 Nov 2016
If you’re human, at some point in your life, you have been tempted to give up on a dream or goal you had set for yourself. Not because you didn’t want it, but because it became too hard to achieve it. You started out with a plan. You had most of your ducks in a row. You knew what you had to do. But one day, you realized you hadn’t made as much progress towards your goal as you had expected to by now. One day, you realized you were tired. One day, you got fed up with putting out constant fires.
Why was it that everyone else around you was able to accomplish whatever they put their minds to, but you remained stuck and feeling like you were on a hamster’s wheel? Why was that every time you set out to complete one more task towards your goal, Murphy’s Law takes over and everything that can go wrong does? Here’s why:
Because achieving your dreams and goals is supposed to be hard.
Because anyone who’s every achieved anything worth remembering had to first fail many times.
Because if it came too easily, you wouldn’t appreciate it as much.
Because your struggles help you strengthen your spiritual muscles.
Because obstacles appear to test how badly you really want it. That dream. That vision. That goal you’ve been working towards for so long. How badly do you want it?
It’s important to know that you’re not alone in your struggle. In fact, when you’re going through tough times, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to read. Read about all those individuals whose success you admire and learn about how they went from homelessness, near death, bankruptcy or being on the verge of giving up before they finally got their breakthrough. What you’ll find that they all have in common is that, despite the obstacles, they all took consistent action towards their dreams–they were married to their vision.
Take Tyler Perry, for example. Whatever you may think about him, he’s doing something right with a net worth of about $450 million. But did you know that he almost missed out on his blessing? He had poured every last penny of his $12,000 savings into staging his first stage play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed.” His hopes for success were dashed when in its opening weekend, the play drew in only 30 people to see it. He was hoping for 1200.
Things got so bad that he was homeless and living out of his car because he couldn’t afford to pay rent. Though devastated, he continued to try making the play successful for the next six years. He decided he couldn’t continue struggling the way he had for so many years without seeming to make any progress on his dreams. For two years, he gave up. He got a good job and got comfortable. Until someone called him out of the blue and told him they wanted to invest in his stage play. At first, he told them “no!” It hurt too much to dream and not see his dream coming to pass. But they persisted. And he finally gave in.
The night of the opening in Atlanta, GA (the night that almost didn’t happen), completely changed his life. While he was in the dressing room venting at God about the fact that he kept doing this play, and yet he couldn’t seem to fill the seats, he heard a voice tell him: “I AM GOD. YOU DON’T TELL ME WHEN IT’S OVER. I TELL YOU WHEN IT’S OVER, AND THIS IS THE BEGINNING.” Upon hearing that, he got up and looked out the window. Outside was a long line of people wrapping around the building waiting to get in to see his play. It was a full house. From there, his career took off and he’s never looked back.
But it took eight years. It took sacrifice. It took failure. It required taking risks. It took courage to continue trying even when things didn’t look like they were getting any better.
Tyler Perry’s story, though inspiring, is not unique to anyone who has had to push through obstacles to attain a certain level of success. Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, was rejected by 32 banks before finally getting that one “yes” that launched her $441 million media empire. Steve Harvey was also homeless for three years while chasing his dream of being a top entertainer and motivator. Even Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV anchor job because she was too emotionally vested in her stories.
Obstacles are not there to stop you. They’re there for you to go through and grow through. If you do it right, the next time you come up against the same situation, you will have a different, more rational response. Because you will have learned from it the first time.
The hard truth is, it’s impossible to go through life and find any kind of success without struggle. There is always a price you have to pay to realize your dream. It’s the price everyone has to pay for success. The question is, are you willing to make that sacrifice? Are you willing to keep pushing when you feel like giving up? Are you willing to keep believing even when God is silent?
Are you willing to stay married to your vision even when it would be easier and less painful to jump ship and divorce it?
It’s important to remember that success is a journey, not a destination. Obstacles are those ditches, boulders, valleys and potholes you encounter along that journey. But instead of using those obstacles as “Stop” signs, use them as “Yield”, “Change Direction”, “Proceed with Caution” signs. Whatever you need to do, keep persisting. Like water on a rock, your persistence will eventually wear down those obstacles to the point where they have no choice but to give way to your determination. As Tyler Perry stated,
“The key to life when it gets tough is to keep moving. Just keep moving.”
What has helped you push yourself to keep going whenever you’ve encountered obstacles?
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26 Feb 2016 - Other