Overcoming Obstacles by Using Obstacles Against Themselves

Overcoming an obstacle surely requires taking action. Action has many definitions…taking action does not necessarily require force or motion for it to be effective—implying that we can take firm action by not acting as the average person would.

Sometimes, the best or easiest way to overcome an obstacle is by halting, stepping aside, remaining a bit laid back, and even letting the obstacle advance towards you, instead of attacking it when the opportunity arises.

In many regards, inaction or dormancy is enough action. Everything doesn’t need to be as active or forceful as people or society would expect. We are at liberty to act in ways that would make any obstacle absorb its own power and destroy itself, but still work for us on the other hand.

Perhaps, your obstacle or enemy looks really insurmountable, as it did against Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and many others who concentrated on overcoming obstacles by pitching love against hatred, and peace against violence, injustice, and intimidation. 

Some obstacles may be impossible to defeat, regardless of the action you take or the amount of effort you put in. Instead of using your own unlimited resources to attack, why not find a way to use your obstacle’s resources and adversity against its totality—against itself.

It hardly ever occurs to us that, in some cases, standing still or moving backward is the best way to advance

Actually, sometimes we need to take action. But we also have to acknowledge that inaction—restraining ourselves or “holding back”—might be the best action to eliminate the blocks on our respective paths.

Sometimes, each person needs to have patience or a bit more patience than the patience they have cultivated in their life: sometimes, we just need to wait for obstacles to dry up or fizzle out.

Sometimes, an obstacle might not require anything or much from you. As a result, taking any or too much action could become your own worst enemy and get you consumed when moving forward.

We wrongly assume that the only way we can progress, the only way we can win, is by attacking or moving forward, instead of pausing or standing—in fact, doing virtually nothing!

At the end of the day, what matters is whether the approach you use gets you to the place you desire. Although pausing, slowing down, or using obstacles against themselves may seem ineffective, it is different from doing nothing, and can often help to achieve a great deal.

Look closely and you may be surprised to find out that the bigness of your obstacles can, in fact, be an advantage for you and a disadvantage for your obstacles. It can help you push the tide against your obstacles.

Yes, we can use the things that seriously challenge us to our advantage and make them do the hard work for us. Sometimes, this would require us to calm down, leave our obstacles the way they are, instead of stressing ourselves to take every conceivable action.

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