Hannah Moore called obstacles, “…those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” It really is a true statement, and you know it is, even if you don’t yet realize it. Think of something that you’re particularly skilled at. Maybe you’re an awesome cook, or you might be a great endurance runner. Maybe you’re a reader, or a knitter, or an incredibly devoted parent. You might be an auto mechanic, or a nurse, or a customer service rep. Are you an excellent skier, a stamp collector, a pianist, or a fisherman? There’s a very high chance that in some area of your life, probably more than just one area, you are literally in the top 1% of people at that particular endeavor in the entire world!
over coming obsatcles – AllThePossibilities.com
It can be empowering to think of yourself in that way, but that’s not the important reason for bringing it up in this article. The reason for mentioning it is to get you to imagine yourself doing that activity where you’re among the best of the best. See yourself totally in the zone, and then imagine yourself looking around for obstacles. That’s not what you would be doing under those circumstances, is it. Watch an expert skier navigate down a steep chute or through a tight grove of aspen trees. Of course they avoid crashing into the many available objects, but is that avoidance because they perceive them as obstacles?
If you ask these athletes you will almost universally discover that they’re not spending any brainpower whatsoever, thinking about the routs they can’t take down the mountain. They are concentrating so hard on where they want to go and what they want to do that they wouldn’t be willing to spend a single fraction of an instant concentrating on where they don’t want to go or what they don’t want to do. Of course the skier is totally aware that the trees exist, but his concentration is entirely on the gap between them.
Stretching this analogy farther, if you’ve had this experience yourself, or if you take the time to watch a great skier on video, you’ll probably notice that the things an amateur might interpret as obstacles are instantly converted into opportunities. A cliff is a chance to fly like a bird, a tree might become the perfect place to sculpt a turn, a bump is often transformed into the chance to catch a little air while celebrating the freedom with a nifty trick.
The point is this: If you can perform at an extremely high level in one area, you know that absolute focus on your goal is the key to success. This is a simple principle that most people completely overlook when trying something new. After all, when you’re a beginner the obstacles are the main things you see. Sometimes it can feel like the most important objective is “not failing,” rather than “succeeding.” So yes, obstacles are going to exist when you first try something new, but the surest route to success is to take personal control and focus your concentration on your goals, instead.