To Achieve Your Goals, Define Your Obstacles
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.-William Ellery Channing
Life throws us many challenges, which we often view as obstacles that prevent us from getting to our goals. Instead, you may want to consider embracing these obstacles. For in them lies the solution to achieving your goals.
Why? Well, over thousands of years, as a species, man has learned to out-think obstacles and find solutions. This has been the primary reason for our survival as a species, and for the progress we have made.
So if you define your obstacles carefully, you will find that your mind very quickly finds solutions, no matter the circumstances. It’s a remarkable skill we all have.
I have used as an example for outlining the steps to achieve your goals, my audacious goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, at 19340 feet, one of the world’s seven peaks. I set a clear time frame to reach this goal in 1.5 years because of a three week school break in January 2005 that my daughter would have to undertake the trek with me. My measurement of success was to get to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet without endangering my life or those in the group. I defined 10 compelling reasons why I was undertaking the climb and printed these out and kept them with me to review at all times. I defined the key benefits I would gain by reaching my goal. I then defined the defined the consequences of not achieving my goals.
When I defined my obstacles there were many in my path.
- Not enough time to train, given my busy work and volunteer schedule
- Cost was high, and we were trying to recover our financial footing
- Health challenges including Achilles tendonitis
- Had a daily lay priest role, early morning
- Time off work as we were re-establishing our business
- Spouse did not approve quietly– her fears that I would hurt myself or die on the mountain
Now it’s your turn. What are the obstacles you foresee for your own huge goal?
List all the obstacles you can think of that may prevent you from reaching your goal, in as much detail as possible. Every time you do this, you will observe an amazing phenomenon. As you list your obstacles, your mind will move into problem-solving mode and start thinking immediately of solutions. Not all solutions will come at once. But over time, you can be confident that you will come up with solutions to every one of the obstacles you list, no matter how big an obstacle may initially seem.