What is really stopping you from living a great life?
Is it something that can be overcome? Is it a legitimate excuse? Is it something that is real, or is it something you use to rationalize all your limitations?
All of us have obstacles. Sometimes we acknowledge them. Sometimes we address them. Sometimes we overcome them.
However, sometimes we incorporate them into our lives.
For years, I had a nagging knee injury.
It wasn’t something that affected me on a day-to-day basis, but it got in the way of me doing certain things. It was a convenient excuse for not being as healthy as I wanted to be. If I ran for any significant distance, I was limping the next day. If I was playing football, I couldn’t go full out (or if I did, I would pay for it).
I used it as an excuse. For years. Finally, I really did myself in.
I was practicing with the local football coach and with some of my friends, and like an old dog playing with puppies, I became the puppy. I sprinted across the outfield and caught up to long balls. I laid out for playing shots. I gave these people a real run for the money. I had the time of my life.
The next day, my knee fell off.
Well, it didn’t really fall off, but it failed to work according to manufacturer’s specifications. It swelled up. It hurt.
I finally did something about it. I talked to a doctor. We agreed on a plan. I had surgery. Now I’m like a sheared sheep leaping around a sunny field (well, at least like a middle-aged guy who can finally run again).
Our obstacles, even those we can overcome if we choose to, can become part of our lives—a built-in reason for not having complete, fulfilling lives.
For every excuse for not having a rich life, we should attempt to fully understand the reason why. If we are not addressing our obstacles, why not?
Maybe there are obstacles we can’t address. Maybe it could be some more trouble than its worth.
If we can’t or won’t address an obstacle in our life, that shouldn’t be the end of the story. We should fully understand how it affects our life. We should ensure we’re doing everything we can to adapt to the limitation to have the best life we can.
So how do we move to better understand the obstacles we face? The very first step is to identify them. Some are more obvious than others, but if we are to fully know ourselves, we should be aware of all our obstacles. These might include:
Sometimes the people in our lives or the things we do can be obstacles to living a full and rich life. We should regularly take stock of our circumstances and not be afraid to make changes.
Sometimes we don’t have to go farther than the mirror. What are we doing (or not doing) that prevents us from leading a great life? Are they things we can change? Some of the things we should consider include :
Our outlook: The way we see the world can either benefit our lives or hinder a fulfilling life. We need to regularly ask ourselves if our attitude is enriching or limiting.
Our actions: What did we do today? Were our actions beneficial (to us or to the world)? Did they contribute to our lives being better?
Our health: If our health is not all it can be, it can be an obstacle to a fulfilling life. If we don’t feel good or have low energy, our lives will be lessened.
The key here is that there are always things we can do about our obstacles—fix them, adapt to them, or just acknowledge them. If we know what our obstacles are and how they affect us, we can ensure we’re doing everything we can in response.
The worst thing we can do is to pretend they don’t exist.
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