Post #41. How to Embrace Obstacles

I while ago, I came up with this little story about two men, walking on a road.
It helps me when difficulties arise. Hope you find it useful…

THE TWO MEN AND THE BRICKS
Once upon a time, there were two poor men who walked on a path together between their village and another where they sought to work. Suddenly one of them hit his toe hard on a brick that was laying around on the road.

He screamed loudly, and in agony he picked up the brick, damned it and threw it as far  as he had the power to throw it.

“Who would drop a brick here?” He yelled, clearly disturbed. “That’s such a horrible thing to do! Who are these irresponsible people?” 

After a few minutes of silent walking, the other man also hit his toe on one of those brinks laying on the road.

He made a face, as if he had just eaten a fresh lemon. A face that witnessed of trying to mask great pain. He then took a deep breath and picked up the rock in a slow manner. He looked at it for a while and studied the shape & weight of it carefully.

“How could I use this?” He thought to himself silently.

Five years later when the two poor men where walking on the same road between their village and the village where they worked, one of them asked the other:

“Would you join me for a cup of tea at my place today?”

The other man laughed in certain disbelief:

“Your place? My dear friend, have you forgotten that we live on the streets?”

The men continued walking in silence until they came to a beautiful house made of solid bricks.

“Come in!” The one man said.

The other stood in chock, looking at his friends new house, made out of bricks.

With a mixed sense of amazement and bitterness he said: “You used them…?  For all those years… That’s so unfair… Why didn’t you say anything?!”

Tears ran down his face and he clenched his teeth when he thought of all the bricks he threw away, all the bricks he’d wasted…

The man who had used the bricks for all those years answered:

“My dear friend. I’ve been wanting to tell you this for many years, but I wasn’t sure that you’d listen to me… Well, when I was ten, just before my grandfather died, he told me something, he said: ‘Dear grandson, see the hidden blessing in everything, and you will be rich.’ I took his words to heart and ever since that day, I’ve sought out the hidden blessings in everything I encounter.”

***

In life, weather we like it or not, stuff tends to get in our way…

Some stuff that comes in our way is 100% caused by ourselves. Some isn’t.

For me, it doesn’t really matter, because I’ve learned that our true power lies in how we use the situation, what we do about it… Even if it was not in our control, there’s always an opportunity for us to build something useful with it… Like the man who fought for the hidden blessings…

The meaningful thing is to be found in looking for the lesson of everything. And in this way letting your mistakes become your greatest teachers.

You can turn your mistakes to your greatest teachers by asking yourself questions like: 

* What qualities can I develop to handle this better next time? 
* What can I learn from this?
* How can I deal with this in greater integrity? 

* What could I have done differently to produce a more beneficial result?
* What will I do differently next time?

* What advice would I give to someone in a similar situation? 

THE KEY LESSON…
…is really this…

Obstacles (can) make us stronger… 

Struggles (can) make us wiser… 

Challenges (can) make us sharper… 

If we choose…

It’s possible only if we choose… choose to pick these experiences up, dare to look at them closely and see how we can use them…

Remember:

We are not what happens to us, we are what we choose to become.

Paraphrased from: C.G. Jung’s quote:

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

+ this gem from Keller:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” 
– Hellen Keller

+ Some cool research from Daniel Amen MD:

“New brain-imaging research suggests that when some people fail their motivation centers become more active, making it more likely they will be able to learn from their experience. When others fail the brain’s pain centers become more active—it literally hurts—making it more likely they will do whatever they can to avoid thinking about the episode, which means they are more likely to repeat the mistake. Learn from your mistakes and use them as stepping stones to success.”

 

***

With love!

Daniel J. Galovan

 

3 thoughts on “Post #41. How to Embrace Obstacles

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