About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obstacle Course

Obstacles, by their very nature, challenge you to grow, change and adapt. As Abe Lincoln said, when the occasion is piled with difficulties, we must rise to the occasion and we must think anew, we must do things differently. The same old way does not work anymore and we must find a different and better way of doing things.

All of us, including me face obstacles, but God or the Universe is putting obstacles in our path to overcome them. We could trip over them if we want and sometimes we will, but we cannot keep tripping over the same things over and over again. If we are, then we need to do it differently, maybe walk around that hurdle rather than trying to jump over it.
Whether they arise from my personal past or are part of the life path I have chosen, obstacles are good for getting me out of old habits, teaching me about the way the world works, and making me grow stronger and more flexible.

Of course I hope and dream that life can be simple and easy, but the obstacles I face makes me work for what I want. Life can be either a merry-go-round or a roller coaster -- you can either keep going around in circles or take a ride with lots of ups and downs.

The secret of how to overcome your obstacles is learning how to turn them to your advantage.

Many things stop or delay us on our journey through life. Yet behind every hurdle, there is a reason for its existence. Sometimes to keep us out of dangerous places, sometimes just opportunities to learn.

To turn obstacles to my advantage, I have started to see the cause and reason the obstacle as well as the opportunity it brings to me. Maybe it is time for me to learn something new, develop a latent skill, or find a better way of overcoming my issues.

I just have to think seriously about making some changes in life and when I do or when a serious change happens, suddenly obstacles can appear.

Often obstacles make us slow down or stop so past unresolved issues. We cannot be Energizer Bunnies all the time and we need to stop sometime. Sometimes our old perspectives and ideas need to be re-looked and resolved. Sometimes we have to get a virus or a bacteria to help us to slow down. It is all God's or the Universe way of telling you to stop for a while.
By having to slow down to get around the road blocks and speed bumps of my life, I have time to make sure that I wholeheartedly want to arrive where I am headed. The very things that slow me down will help me choose the right path.

Sometimes, obstacles make me change my course or rethink the approach to a person, issue, or next step. They often work as guides pointing me to the Polaris or the right direction of a better path.

There are many causes for stress and obstacles in life. Amongst which are
  • Money ~ When I lack money and constantly struggle to just meet basic needs of life – I find that it can be tough to focus on the bigger picture.
  • Emotions ~ my negative emotions as well as the negative emotions around me really drains me out sometimes and again focus becomes an issue.
  • Stress ~ I need to find my happy place in KL, a tree or something that I can sit down under. In Miri, I would just go take a walk on my beach especially during sunset.
  • Decisions ~ barely two years after having moved from Miri to KL, I have to make decisions again and there are changes again. It is easy to say make a decision and go on with life, don’t fret on whether or not it was the right decision or not. But it is not easy to make a decision when it involves others and not just yourself and your personal happiness. But only time will tell.
  • Distractions ~ Today’s hectic life is full of distractions. Be prepared for them, try to avoid them or just accept the distractions as part of life and obstacles and keep your eye on the ball.
  • Relationships ~ There will be times that we disagree with our spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends and business partners. They may strongly disagree with your goals and dreams.
  • Faith and Self-Esteem ~ lack of our faith in our self to succeed sets us up for failure before we even start. Not believing in self often leads to self sabotage.
  • Belief ~ Do I truly believe in my goals and dreams? Do I even have clear goals and dreams? How will I find happiness if what I am doing is against my beliefs?
  • Knowledge ~ Sometimes we don’t have the knowledge needed. This is easy, go get it.
  • Grief ~ We will all lose people we love. When I lost my mom, I allowed myself time to grief. But sometimes it is not just people, it could be grief over something else. Either way, allowing myself time to grief will help me not to get swallowed up in it.
  • Conflict ~ I will always have a difference of opinion with someone, not everyone at every time. Just have to accept, be grateful and not be in conflict.
  • Nature, Illness and Addictions ~ luckily none of my obstacles are currently in this nature but most certainly an earthquake or a sickness within yourself or family or even an addiction to alcohol or drugs will create obstacles.
  • Perfection ~ Nothing or no one is perfect . I am not and will never be, so don;t expect me to be the perfect person. If I was, I will be God rather than this man facing all these obstacles. 
  • Time and procrastination ~ I sometimes manage my time well and I sometimes procrastinate. I know that I can make time to do anything I truly want to do but sometimes I just procrastinate.
There are some very common reasons for obstacles to occur but what truly matter is how we overcome them. There is always guidance available but sometimes we dwell on the obstacle itself too much that we do not look at a simple solutions.

Not sure if this is a true story but it has been mentioned many times. During the space race to send man to space, the Americans spends hundreds of millions to develop a pen that would be able to write in zero-gravity in space that the astronauts could use. They finally invented the pen at cost of a few hundred thousands and were very proud of it. The Russians, on the other hand, got their cosmonauts to use a pencil.

Sometimes, to overcome an obstacle, all we need is a simple solution. Use a pencil.

I know I will always be guided, by God and my guardians but sometimes I need to seek their guidance. They will not come to me automatically, they got other better things to do. BUt if I do trust and call upon Him, He will light the path.

So, someday, if you see me writing with a pencil, you'll know I have just overcome an obstacle.

Take care and be well.

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