The Obstacle is the Way
So you’re looking for something but just aren’t sure what it is. Well that’s okay, welcome to the 21st century where no one really does! Although it comes easier for some people. Whether it be a career choices, significant other, life goals, aspirations, or just a reason to get up everyday, without a doubt all of us struggle through the same obstacles. I like the stoicism reference or title of Ryan Holiday’s book “The Obstacle is the Way” – the idea of obstacles becoming the direction that we pursue. The Alan Tek perspective is that life seems to always bring us challenges and struggles but also solutions and signs in our daily life or through other mediums, but it’s how we see, understand and apply these is what defines where we go.
You can read more about Mr. Holiday and his book here:
Why is life so hard?
So my old jiu-jitsu coach used to tell me after I would lose a match, “Alan sometimes you’re hammer and sometimes you’re the nail. Today you are the nail”. Sounds depressing but it is totally true. We can’t always be winning and hammering out goals and successes, everything runs on its own frequency and there are peaks and troughs throughout. Being the nail or trough or feeling low is just a part of the process. Everything comes and goes. What would life be if we were constantly the hammer or winning? We wouldn’t even know the difference and there would be no change. Going through challenges big and small are parts of our lifespan that helps us become who we are and meant to be. I believe self-actualization only comes through moments that basically define us and it takes these realizations and desire for change to grow and become who we are meant to be.
Read more about my self-actualization techniques here:
Alan Tek’s Tools to overcome challenges in life
Everything in life is like a game, challenges are just like levels to beat. In Super Mario Bros. you have to beat levels in succession in order to get to the next and more challenging one. The further you progress, the more difficult the level gets but also the easier it is to overcome previous levels. Well life works that way too. Everything starts off at a basic level and the more you learn, practice and try, the easier the challenges become and soon enough those little things you used to sweat are a cinch. The real ones to worry about that need to be extra prepared for are the big events and obstacles that we come across. Whether it be health, relationship, financial, challenges they can be mitigated with a slow prep and insight.
The key tool to overcome challenges is insight
The key here is the expectation of them arriving. If you don’t have some sort of understanding that big problems may lay ahead, well then you’re most likely going to be surprised and panicking when they come. However, we can offset the level of intensity by envisioning and preparing strategies to combat them. If this is too vague, I can give you some examples. If you are worried about health problems, do your research and begin to change your diet to be healthier and add proper daily exercise (this will be a future blog post topic, stay tuned!). If it’s relationship issues, then communicate better with your partner and listen to their needs and express yours as well. If it’s financial, then cut down unnecessary costs and find ways to make more income or live a more frugal life (this will also be another blog post!). The idea is just some planning and not letting yourself get hit by the bus.
Now this may not be exactly what you’ve been looking for but I hope it was able to bring some insights and perspective on tackling what we all go through, which is what we refer to as life.