Motivational Monday – Don’t Let Obstacles Stop You Dead in Your Tracks
No matter what path we take in life sooner or later we will come across some sort of obstacle.
Obstacles come in all shapes…
The passing of a loved one…
For the new college student that could be an annoying roommate.
Or the inability to get into the one class you really want and need.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the demands on your time.
Those obstacles are unique to you and no matter how big or small, how you choose to respond is key and has everything to do with your success in school and in life.
Are these obstacles or challenges?
Will you let them derail you?
Or will you take a deep breath, carefully assess the situation and look for a way around. The answer may not be obvious but with careful inspection you will find the solution.
Do problems stop you dead in your tracks? Or do you see them as a source of strength? An opportunity for growth?
In reality you cannot control everything that comes your way but you can always control your response.
Let’s take illness for example and let me share a story with you.
My freshman year in college I came down with mono very early on. If you know anything about mono it knocks you down hard. I found myself sleeping close to 20 hours a day. I’d wake up to find out I was exhausted and slip back into a chaotic slumber. It took three weeks for me to get healthy enough to be back into class. Not the best way to start college, especially as a Chinese and Political Science major.
I could have sunk into a depression, convinced I would never catch up, cursing everything around me and set myself up for a disastrous first semester.
Instead I realized my body was telling me something – I was doing much too much way too fast and I needed to slow down and pay attention to my basic needs. Not only was I far from home, I was in a new country and everything around me, including the food I ate, had nothing to do with what I was accustomed to.
I choose to fight to get my health back and prove to my parents I could handle life on my own.
So I took my illness as a blessing in disguise. One of the deans of students took me under her wing. She brought me fresh greens every day, made sure I ate nutrient rich meals and drank ample amounts of water. In those three weeks I learned to be keenly aware of my body’s needs. I learned to recognize my response to stress and I learned the importance of proper nutrition, hydration and rest. Key lessons that would serve me well far beyond my freshman year and that I most likely would not have learned so effectively under different circumstances.
Once back on my feet, my priorities were clearer than ever and I applied myself to my work with a new zest. I did not take things for granted.
College is hard. It’s demanding physically and emotionally, and it can quickly become overwhelming. But in the end it’s a learning ground for life. In college and in life it’s important to put in place a “checks and balances” system to keep us from sinking when troubles come our way. One of the cornerstones of this is a positive mindset, a belief that everything we encounter has a purpose and is a path that leads to further growth, greater strength and resilience.
How do you respond when obstacles come your way?