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The Accompanying Workbook

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dealing with Obstacles

In our last column we talked about dating and how to find a good adventure partner, this time we are shifting gears a bit to talk about how to overcome obstacles when pursuing our goals. At some point everyone has a goal in mind they really would like to achieve, but are stymied by a usually unforeseen obstacle to that goal. The impediment can be money, time, a person or just bad luck.
The preferable time to overcome an obstacle is during the goal setting, planning stage. If you can identify any obstacles that might thwart you from achieving the goal when you set it, you have a much better chance of overcoming the obstacle with little difficulty. This is why I suggest identifying all obstacles you can think of when you write down your goals (the columns two and three weeks ago covered this process).
However, let’s say that you followed the process I outlined and you missed an obstacle that has now bit your backside. What to do? Well the first thing to do is to remember that obstacles, challenges and failure are part of the process and that EVERY successful person you have ever known or heard of experienced these things on their path, so you are in good company. For example, Thomas Edison had to try 10,000 times to make the light bulb work and that invention has worked out pretty well for all of us!
The next step of the process is to review your past successes, remember those successes likely had setbacks as well, and realize your setback is temporary if you choose it to be. No, do not skip this part; it is important and besides it only takes a few minutes.
Now review the obstacle or failure and what went wrong. Make sure you are willing to admit your shortcomings and responsibility in the failure. You can’t fix them if you don’t and besides you will just repeat the mistakes again if you don’t fix them.
After reviewing your plan and where it went awry, ask yourself if you can tweak the plan or is a whole new approach necessary? Make a new plan taking what you have learned into account. Stick with me here; don’t skip a step in your excitement to get back into the fray.
Part of your new plan should contain a list of other challenges, obstacles and opportunities that may crop up and the contingencies to deal with them effectively. This step includes identifying the people in your life that can help you with your plan. For many people this is the scary part of the process. You have to tell people of your new plan. If you don’t tell them how can they help you?
This brings us to the last step in our discussion for the week; find a mentor. A mentor is usually someone that has already walked the path you are attempting and you may have several different mentors for each of the different parts of your life.
I know you are chomping at the bit to know how to find a good mentor, but we are at the end of our time for the week. So reread this column, think about it and pass it on to someone you love. Be patient, this is all part of MY plan for our time together.

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