One of my favorite Marcus Aurelius quotes is "The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way."
This is also basically the title of one of my favorite books "The Obstacle is the Way". by Ryan Holiday. If Aurelius was around today there would probably be some copyright infringements going on between those two!
This quote again is so central to Stoicism and probably why the philosophy speaks to me. It speaks to both acceptance and not blaming/excuse making. It speaks to inner strength and then creativity to problem solve. Notice this approach is almost the opposite of what you hear and see in the mainstream every single day.
The world focuses on the obstacle and blames it... the system.... other people.... the government.... your skin color... your sexual preference.... on and on and on! Whereas true leaders focus on acceptance of what is and creativity of how to work with it. One says "Its the system" the other says "ok how do I work in the system?" One blames the system... the other beats the system.
Often when an obstacle comes we are tempted to throw our hands in the air and just say I quit! Or, "its not worth it". When we do this we miss all the advantages of inherent growth which the obstacle brings to us. It is opportunity in disguise.
Just look at 2020.... so many obstacles.... so much opportunity for growth, change, personal development. For me an already putrid display of social media dove even deeper in 2020 with both the pandemic and an election year.... My first thought? How do I beat the system?! I made a DECLARATION! Social media does not espouse my values and I will not support it. I created a plan. A transition completely away from social media in a stepwise manner.... create my own platform... then learn how to use it! Can you see in this one small example how I faced a minor obstacle in my life and used a positive attitude and creativity to effect change in my life?
It is our responsibility to see obstacles not as an excuse to quit or blame... but as an OPPORTUNITY. An opportunity to be better. An opportunity to work smarter and harder. An opportunity to separate ourselves from the 98%ers. If you have 1500 friends on facebook...be the one that leaves and starts his own website! Look for obstacles in the important areas of your life. Maybe its in your relationships, your career, your health, diet or social media use.... then make a DECLARATION!
Make a DECLARATION! I will not be beaten by this! I will not quit because of this! In time you will start to see obstacles in a new light... for what they really are OPPORTUNITY. And 2020 has tons of opportunity. What a blessed year! It is not the END TIMES... but the kick off to an amazing future!
Makes some DECLARATIONS today!
Youtube link for today-https://youtu.be/xblnh_7vr54
Book I referenced- https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Obstacle-Is-the-Way-Audiobook/B00K252ET8?source_code=MSNGBWS0929169043&cvosrc=ppc.bing.&cvo_campaign=367588667&cvo_crid=76622343149833&Matchtype=e&msclkid=f29b37c325ff1d076ca368cb44324c8c&gclid=CLCkwqLmwuoCFcRvgQodIncHUw&gclsrc=ds