Chances are, no. Perhaps running is such an integral part of who you are that you couldn’t imagine life without that outlet. Especially if you knew that the cast was going to come off in six weeks, getting you back on your feet just like before, right?
The accident is just simply an obstacle that keeps you from continued training towards running that race – an annoying and painful obstacle – but perhaps not one big enough that would keep you from ever running again.
Now imagine in life you have set a dream or goal of another kind. You’re so excited that you can almost see and taste it. Then an obstacle happens, do you move forward, despite? Do you reorganize and take another route? Or, do you give up?
As a coach, I meet with people daily who seek my guidance looking to fulfill their dreams and intentions. They sit in the chair describing their obstacles begging for me to wave the magic wand hoping to magically place them on the right path or trying to convince themselves and me that it was never meant to be!
I believe obstacles are a human’s best teacher in disguise. Take the example above. What if instead of sitting around just waiting for your leg to heal, wallowing in self-pity, you decided to take advantage of the downtime and work on another area of your life that could and would potentially support you, the marathon runner, to be most successful? For example; what if you spent that time learning about the most optimal nutrition for runners, something you may have not had time for in past. What about enhancing your sports psychology — creating the best mindset for competitive running? Perhaps this time could be used to clean up some of the other cluttered areas of your life – freeing up internal emotional space, allowing the runner in you to feel lighter.
You see, perhaps this obstacle is not happening “to you” but “for you.” It’s been sent to help you create the best foundation for the greatest success. It’s all in the attitude.
This is a tool used by some of the most resilient people in the world. Nelson Mandela who sat in a prison for 27 years used that time to practice deep forgiveness and personal strength and courage, claiming that that was the foundation for how he was able to win South Africa’s first black presidency four years after his release. Abraham Lincoln endured a steady stream of failure and defeat before becoming President of the United States. And Stephen Jobs was fired from his very own company which he built from scratch, only to be asked to comeback after successfully launching two other companies where he worked on the necessary skills and tools that created the most successful modern tech devices in history.
Practicing and teaching resiliency to our children could perhaps be the best survival tool they will ever use. And it all begins with the attitude.
Bring on the obstacles,