Managing the Second Thing

Obstacles make leaders relevant. Exemption is not an option.

Positive thinking never eliminates obstacles.

what stands in the way becomes the way

Doing great work doesn’t give you a pass on challenges, resistance, frustrations, complications, disadvantages, impediments, or hurdles.

Obstacles are two things:

Everything that happens to you is made of two things.

The first is the thing that happened. The second is the way you think about the thing that happened.

Managing the second thing:

The most important thing you do is manage the second thing – the way you think about obstacles.

#1. Opportunities.

Every obstacle is an opportunity, if you choose to make it so.

Clear thinking, not feeling, transforms obstacles into opportunities. Emotion is baggage when it comes to obstacles. You’ll hate leading until you think of obstacles as opportunities.

Viewing obstacles as opportunities changes you, not the obstacles. The profound question of leadership is, “How do you need to change?”

Your greatest opportunity is developing your ability to serve. When you view obstacles as enemies, resentment destroys the opportunity of self-development.

Resistance blocks development.

#2. Lean in. 

The obstacle you run from today, meets you around the corner tomorrow.

Marcus Aurelius wrote,

“Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

#3. Optimism.

Never minimize challenges in the name of optimism.

  1. Optimism is looking the darkness in the eye with reslove to be better; to learn, grow, adapt, rise, and move forward.
  2. Optimism is whispering, “Who are you calling me to become?” into the darkness.
  3. Optimism is realizing you aren’t able right now, but you will be. 

What type of thinking serves leaders well when facing obstacles?