Rules for Intrepid Living: Rule #9

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Rule #9. A path with no obstacles won’t lead anywhere worthwhile.

I have a lot of goals, ideas, and plans for my life. There are so many things I want to do, so many experiences that I want to try, and sometimes I get frustrated. I get frustrated because I have to go to work instead of backpacking the John Muir Trail. I get frustrated because I have to pay bills instead of buying a bow or a kayak. I get frustrated because I’m tired of waiting; I grow impatient with overcoming the obstacles that are in my way.

It’s at this point that I have to say to myself, “Suck it up, buttercup, remember rule number nine; A path with no obstacles won’t lead anywhere worthwhile.” You’ll notice that I started this post with a lot of “I” statements. That isn’t a writing convention, it’s just honesty. I’m really bad at respecting this rule in my own life. Maybe you’re the same way, maybe you’ve grown sick and tired of trying to overcome the obstacles that are between you and your goal. What we need to do in these situations is remind ourselves of two things. The first is that it’s a good sign that we’re leaping hurdles and scaling barriers; the fact that we must overcome obstacles means that we’re likely headed to a worthy goal. Second, we need to remember that everyone is facing their own obstacles. It may be financial difficulties, lack of confidence or experience, sickness or disability, or unsupportive family and friends. It doesn’t matter who we are, if we’re working on our goals then we’re facing down obstacles. If we want to achieve worthwhile accomplishments, then we’ll have to overcome them.

So don’t despair when you’re faced with an obstacle. Take heart, because it means you’re on a glorious path. I have to remind myself of this too when I start to lose faith; overcoming the obstacles is part of the adventure. So even when you’re tired, hurting, or feeling defeated, don’t surrender. Get up and start climbing the wall, leaping the ravine, or swimming the channel. Rest if you have to, but don’t give up on the dream. Whatever the obstacle, keep fighting to overcome it. If we stay the course and persevere, we’ll find adventure and glory on the other side. Don’t let obstacles stop you, because a path with no obstacles won’t lead anywhere worthwhile.

“Rules for Intrepid Living” is an ongoing weekly article that gives potential guidelines for how we can all live a bit more of an intrepid life. 

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