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Every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity

Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition. Pexels There is an old Zen story about a king whose people had grown soft and entitled. Dissatisfied with this state of affairs, he hoped to teach them a lesson. His plan was simple: He would place a large boulder in the middle of the main road, completely blocking entry into the city. He would then hide nearby and observe their reactions. How would they respond?

Would they every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity together to remove it? Or would they get discouraged, quit, and return home? With growing disappointment, the king watched as subject after subject came to this impediment and turned away.

How to Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

Or, at best, tried every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity before giving up. Many openly complained or cursed the king or fortune or bemoaned the in- convenience, but none managed to do anything about it. After several days, a lone peasant came along on his way into town. He did not turn away. Instead he strained and strained, trying to push it out of the way. Then an idea came to him: He scrambled into the nearby woods to find some- thing every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity could use for leverage.

Finally, he returned with a large branch he had crafted into a lever and deployed it to dislodge the massive rock from the road. Beneath the rock were every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity purse of gold coins and a note from the king, which said: The obstacle in the path becomes the path.

What if you had the ability to flip your obstacles and turn them into opportunities? Here are 10 historical strategies for doing just that—practiced by great men and women throughout the centuries. Alter Your Perspective Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. How we approach an obstacle determines how daunting it will be to overcome.

By controlling our irrational emotions, we are able to see thing as they are, not as we perceive them to be. Think of it as selective editing—not to deceive others, but to properly orient ourselves. Where the head goes, the body follows. Right action follows the right perspective. Having a terrible boss is now an opportunity to learn from his faults while you fill up your resume and look for better jobs elsewhere.

Notice this is a complete mental flip: Seeing through the negative, past its underside and through to the positive.

We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out. Courage is really just taking action. Obstacles seem more intimidating when we stop to look up at them. Fail Cheaply and Quickly What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better. Failure is a Feature. Each time it happens, new options open up to us and problems can be flipped into opportunities.

When failure does come ask: Why did this happen? This helps birth alternative ways of doing every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity needs to be done.

Failure puts you in corners you have to think your way out of and is a source of breakthroughs. Follow The Process Under the comb the tangle and the straight path are the same. For whatever obstacles you come across, take a breath, do the immediate, composite part in front of you—and follow its thread into the next action.

The process is about doing the little things, right now. Not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture.

Start thinking like a radical pragmatist: Think progressnot perfection. Use The Flank Attack Where little danger is apprehended, the more the enemy will be unprepared and consequently there is the fairest prospect of success. It forces every obstacle can be turned into an opportunity to find workaroundsinstead of challenging our enemy head on. Remember, sometimes the longest way around is the shortest way home.

Sometimes you overcome obstacles not by attacking them but by withdrawing and letting them attack you. A castle can be an intimidating, impenetrable fortress, or it can be turned into a prison when surrounded. The difference is simply a shift in action and approach.

So instead of fighting obstacles, find a means of making them defeat themselves. Seize The Offensive The best men are not those who have waited for chances but who have taken them; besieged chance, conquered the change, and made chance the servitor.

Chapin Ordinary people shy away from negative situations and avoid trouble. What great people do is the opposite. They never waste an opportunity to flip a personal tragedy or crisis to their advantage. At certain moments in our brief existences we are faced with great trials. It is in these moments that we must seize the offensive, because it is when people least expect it that we can pull off our biggest victories. The impediment to action advances action.

What stands in the way becomes the way.