Overcoming Obstacles


When water flows, it always takes the path of least resistance.

When water hits an obstacle, it goes around the obstacle, or over the obstacle. Water does not go “through” the obstacle.

Obstacles in life can be difficult people, situations, rules, technical glitches, negative responses, fear, etc. Usually when we hit obstacles, we think we must push through the obstacle!

Our ego gets hostile and thinks, I will not be stopped by this obstacle! We look for someone to blame regarding the cause of this obstacle. We get angry. And, in our pride, we try to go right through the obstacle again!

Often, we are rejected. The obstacle seems not to care. Our tension increases.

Instead of blaming the obstacle… cursing the obstacle, or using a lot of energy to try to break through the obstacle, we first should first consider the reason for the obstacle.

Many times, obstacles are there to show us the “wrong way”. Obstacles are doing us a favor. They are showing us where not to go. They are telling us to find a different path.

What we need to find is the path of least resistance. Where can we flow, with ease? Is there a way “around” the obstacle, instead of “through” the obstacle, like a detour?

When we are driving and the road is closed for construction, do we try to drive right through the construction zone? No, we follow the signs and take the detour, otherwise we risk damaging the car!

If there seems to be no way around the obstacle, then we need to consider what we are trying to achieve in the first place.

What is it that we “want” on the other side of this obstacle? And is that thing that we want really going to make the world around us “better”?

Is the goal on the other side of the obstacle really worth pursuing?

What if this obstacle is showing us that the thing we seek might not be the “right” goal in the first place?

When we are thriving, when we are flowing through life, we encounter few obstacles. When we are living in the moment, instead of in our ego-mind, we flow effortlessly forward. We embrace and thank obstacles for showing us the “wrong” way.

Sometimes, if our ego refuses to back down after a few rejections, we push right into the obstacle anyway. The result is hardship, more obstacles, bad attitudes, even bad luck. We may have won some small battles with the obstacle, but we are losing the war. We are “getting our way” but we are not happy about it. Now we are getting a lesson from the obstacle. We got what we thought we wanted but it is not enjoyable. These types of obstacles are like quicksand, the harder we struggle through them, the deeper we sink. If we don’t find peace with the obstacle, it will continue to slow our progress.

Water flows. Water goes over, it goes around. It does not go back, it does not go through. Be like water.