On Obstacles

Submitted by c0c0c0 on Sun, 07/01/2018 - 15:59

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. – Marcus Aurelius

Every morning, the universe prepares for you a new course of obstacles to face. Your entire day, from the moment you open your eyes until your return to your dreams, will consist of a gauntlet, a trial to judge how well you meet these obstacles.

Each obstacle will offer you a lesson; sometimes several. Some teach patience, others humility. Some can teach you the importance of decency and respect. Others offer determination and contemplation. The menu changes every day, but the goal remains the same: Complete the course and end the day a better man than the one who woke up.

Running life’s obstacle course is akin to lifting weights: When lifting, the new muscle comes not from having lifted but from attempting to lift. Likewise, the rewards from life’s obstacles come not from overcoming them, but from how you make the attempt.

And so you must meet each of the day’s obstacles and attempt to best them, while staying true to the values you hold true. Sometimes, you will succeed. Sometimes, you will not. Either way, you take the lessons that challenge has for you and move on to the next. Win or lose, you move on because “win or lose” really wasn’t the point.

All that matters is that you look back at the end of the day, aware of the good fortune you had to encounter these obstacles. It is they that have made you the better person now drifting off to sleep.