The Obstacle is the Way

My thanks to my friend and CEO of AbeTech, Chris Heim, for recommending the book “The Obstacle is the Way.” Decades ago, before the release of this book, my partner, Ryan, who runs the firm, gave me a Christmas gift.  It was a picture of a river with stones creating a path from one side to the other.  The caption said, “Every obstacle is a stepping stone to your success.” Almost 30 years later, with this same partner at my side, all I can say is he was correct.  This ideology is the book “The Obstacle is the Way.”

How does one face an obstacle?  As shared in the book, a positive mindset says, “In what ways can I turn this obstacle into an advantage?” So how do we do it?  Start by being objective.

Take a perspective that works to see opportunity in obstacles.  An initial thought with an impediment could be confusion, anger, or despair.  See the path by taking a breath and focusing on outcomes.  Keep in mind a quick response based on emotion clouds judgment.

The book shares that Edison went through 6,000 filaments before finding the one that worked.  As famously stated, with each failure, he said he knew one more thing that didn’t work.

So what’s the recipe for turning obstacles into a path to success?  Here’s a one, two punch:

  • Use objective perception followed by action.  See the situation for what it is and take action
  • Will.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than anything.”