H.G. Wells says, “What on earth would man do with himself if something didn’t stand in the way?” Think of all we could accomplish if we didn’t encounter obstacles in the pursuit of our dreams. We humans are creative — gifted in so many ways — to the benefit of self, benefit of others, benefit of the planet. And yet, in direct opposition to those gifts are a plethora of obstacles—hurdles if you will. Sometimes it is our own best intentions that oppose us. Sometimes the world itself seems to be ordered in such a way as to thwart our every effort. Perhaps it is as basic as physical science: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Whatever the reason, the question becomes, Why? I have an idea.
Life is not easy. Life is a push, pull, advance, retreat, assert, reassess. Life is designed to be pushed against—to strengthen us, to help us develop our character and tap into our own resourcefulness. We have dreams, goals, vision, and purpose. It is in living out the dreams and goals that we find our personal power. The goal itself is of little consequence if taken out of the context of who we become in the process of attaining it.
If creating a great life were easy, everyone would have one. The truth is that having the life we want is both incredibly easy and incredibly difficult. It is easy if we are willing to do whatever it takes. Simple. One thing to do. The ‘whatever it takes’ is the tricky part. What is your ‘whatever it takes’? For many it is a life-long quest to develop missing aspects of ourselves – our assertive parts, our gentle parts, our ability to say no, our ability to ask for help. These traits we are born with but somehow lose along the way.
See Also: Gratitude – A New Paradigm
Then we partner. And neither of us have all the parts we need to function in an adult relationship, which means being miserable or divorcing. Ugh. What a choice.
Or… we can get serious about finding and developing those lost aspects. If done soon enough, and with outside help, a relationship can be saved. Even if the relationship is gone you can still save yourself. When you avail yourself to what I call the rock tumbler of life, the grinding and rubbing and polishing will smooth your sharp edges and reveal your character. The result is a gem of a life. It is our willingness to stick with it, to be polished, to see our cracks and strengthen them that brings us to full functioning… or at least closer.
We have an alternative. (See if you’ve had thoughts like this about your marriage.) And that is to live by default, settling for what we are handed, wishing and dreaming for more, overwhelmed and afraid to try something different. After considering this alternative, jumping in and creating the life you want may not be such a difficult choice.
To ponder what we might do if nothing stood in our way is an awesome thought, but life isn’t so ordered. Life does get in the way–on purpose. It is our privilege to find our way through it and become our best selves along the way.