Overcoming Obstacles

What are your road blocks? What holds you back? Would you like to overcome obstacles that are stopping you from being excellent in your field and/or your life?

"Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Time tests and proves what we really are."
– Pat Mesiti

In our business and our personal lives we all have issues that pop up from time to time that stop us doing what we truly want to do. These issues are usually little niggles that we carry around in our own heads that like to have a chat with us from time to time. I’m sure you have often heard reference to your ‘head voice’ or you’re ‘conscience’ or ‘the little person on your shoulder’. Far too often we let this little voice dictate our direction or put the brakes on our ability to excel or do something absolutely outstanding.

This very morning as I was formulating an article idea in my head we heard the devastating news of the bomb blast at the Boston marathon. Wayne and I were glued to the television for news of survivors and more detail to confirm this tragic event. Our hearts went out to all of the people involved - the competitors, the spectators, the huge army of volunteers and helpers that were organising the event and of course the general public that just happened to be in that area, on that day, doing what they normally do. To know that we had at least 45 New Zealanders running in that event made it even more real to us and especially so as I have been a long distance runner myself and understand the drive and motivation that takes you to an event of that magnitude.

Given that you have come face to face with something so frightening and life threatening you could be forgiven for deciding to not continue in that line of sport or work or whatever it was that had you in that place on that terrible day. However, I am confident that if any of the competitors were asked after this event if they would ever enter an event like this again you would find that the majority would still say ‘Yes’. Naturally there will be some who will be put off from participating in anything that attracts huge crowds and would see that kind of event as a recipe for disaster but you have to admire the sheer determination of those who look fear in the face but refuse to let it dictate to them.

Five months ago I had a horse riding accident. Actually I can’t even call it a riding accident as I was mounting at the time and not quite in motion but my new horse took fright and reared, throwing me off to the left and depositing me rather unceremoniously onto a concrete path. Being in the older age bracket I’m not as agile as I used to be and from what I can recall I landed with a very unforgiving thump onto the top of my left arm. This resulted in a broken left humorous (I will never understand how it got its name as I was not laughing at the time) but fortunately nothing else. The break was right through and halfway down the bone which meant rehabilitation was not only long but very painful and to this day of writing, still ongoing.

What surprised me however were several people whose first question to me after the accident was "are you selling the horse?" This was a no brainer to me. I had only had the horse a month so was still getting to know him and he reacted to something that frightened him. Sadly, had I fallen off in the dressage arena on a softer surface the only thing broken or bruised would have been my pride. Had this been a recurring situation with a horse that was difficult to handle then yes I would have been ready to move him on to someone who was better equip to cope with him. However, this was not the case. It was simply an unfortunate group of events that have left me out of action for a long period of time.

I know that the first day I am able to ride again I will have a small amount of fear but my passion for riding is so strong I know it will pass and in no time I will be back in business. As for our friends in Boston, well they will not be as lucky as I am. Tragic events of this magnitude cause ongoing grief and fear and many will now have huge road blocks to overcome. For those who work in the area there will be fear of returning to the place it happened and fear of reprisal. Some will have nightmares; fear of crowds, frayed nerves, and the list goes on. What did touch my heart however was the news report describing the help and support that people gave each other on the course. Don’t you just love the way that people muck in when things are tough or tragedy strikes. It has to be one of the nicest attributes that we have as human beings.

What has happened today really leads us to question what is holding us back as individuals. Why do some people seem to be out in the thick of it making things happen while others sit on the side lines? Is it fear, is it laziness, is it lack of drive? Whatever it is, maybe next time you have something holding you back simply ask yourself "what’s the worst thing that could happen". If you are scared of looking silly, making a mistake, not being liked then turn off that voice in your head that’s stopping you and just do it. Think of all the marathon runners from Boston that are on line today booking their next running event and all of the Bostonians that will return to work in that area as soon as they can. Now it’s time to get off your couch and create some magic.

"Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions". – Albert Einstein

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