Lately I’ve seen a few of my friends struggling with obstacles on the path to something they want very badly. It seems like every direction they turn presents a new challenge, and they are faced with a decision to keep going, or give up and change course. We’ve all had those times. I’ve had a lot of them; some quite recently.
The last thing I wanted very badly did not come to pass. So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about obstacles. When I look back on all of times I’ve wanted something, it seems that there isn’t one time where the universe hasn’t tried to stop me from getting it. Sometimes I was still successful, and other times I didn’t achieve my desired outcome. I’m not really talking about material things here. I’m talking more about goals or dreams. It could be a relationship, or a job, but I’m talking about a place on your life path, not a new TV.
But in evaluating all of these big things, and their outcomes, I’ve learned a few things. I think obstacles will always pop up on the way to what we want. But I think there are two different kinds of obstacles. One type is designed to see if you really want it bad enough. If it’s something you just can’t let go of, then you’ll push past all of the things in your path. You could be going for a big promotion, and all sorts of things get in your way, but you push through so that you’re still evaluated for the position. Maybe you get it, and maybe you don’t, but the obstacles were there to help you decide if you wanted it bad enough to keep trying.
The other type may be the most important. It’s the obstacles that keep us from getting something that wouldn’t be good for us. It’s the same idea because at the time, you really want what you are seeking. But, it’s not a good fit for you, and so things just keep getting in the way of your achievement of the goal. You feel defeated if you don’t hit the goal, but after it’s over you can often see that you dodged a bullet, or discovered a better situation.
So how can you tell which is which? I think if you really pay attention you can tell. But, I know that personally, I’m stubborn, and even if I can see which situation I’m in, I keep pushing forward. I think you can tell by how you feel. If things are popping up left and right, and you’re frustrated, but you still feel good about the goal, then you’ve encountered the first type. However, if it never quite feels right, and you have this underlying bad feeling, then you have the second situation. Like I said, it can be hard for us to stop and evaluate when we think we want this thing so badly.
I know that the last time I was in this position, you couldn’t have told me that I was being blocked because it wasn’t good for me. I would never have listened to you, because I just wanted it so much. I thought the roadblocks were just the test of how much I really wanted it. But as time went on, the feeling just wasn’t good. There was this hint that if I succeeded, I would be unhappy. I kept moving forward though, and eventually it was clear that it was never going to come to pass.
I hope that being able to reflect on these times in my life will help me the next time this happens. I hope I’ll be able to sense the true tone of what is happening and either push forward, or let the dream go. Knowing myself, I’ll probably need a few more lessons in this idea before it sinks in. But, looking back on these moments in my life I’m thankful for the obstacles.