Obstacles can take many different forms. There are psychological obstacles, there are physical obstacles, there are obstacles of circumstance and there are obstacles of intellect.
Psychological obstacles for example can take the form of one not having enough belief in oneself because of some sort of personal belief; such as not believing you’re talented enough to pursue your dreams.
Now with physical obstacles I’ll give you an example from own life. I’m pursuing sport climbing as my athletic career. In order to climb a curtain cliff (think Yosemite) I have to be able to physically put myself through pain while my mind is whispering in my ear begging me to give up because the physical task at hand is just to difficult.
Circumstantial obstacles are those of your current physical limits in what your present life offers. For instance; I want to be a movie star but I live in a small town and have no way out.
Obstacles of the intellect are often over looked. Why do people go to school and study? To become something that they currently aren’t. Obstacles of the intellect are overcome through sheer will power in your pursuit of those things which take a lot of time and investigation in order to understand and master. Like a chess player, the obstacle is playing ten thousand quality games, with intense interaction, in order to play at the level of a master. Then maybe you will finally be able to defeat your high school teacher.
Life is full of obstacles, even getting out of bed can be considered on obstacle. What matters is our definition of the obstacle.
For me, obstacles no longer have a definition because as long as I’m living I am facing obstacles and so to breath and to overcome are one in the same. Living is facing obstacles.
When you define the obstacles in your life as if they are the breath in your body then you’ll no longer think of obstacles as obstacles. They become, a zen like state of mind. To breath, to overcome and to live your life.
A king wanted to test his citizens so he placed a large boulder in the middle of the road. His wealthiest merchants were first to walk by, while the king was hiding in the bushes he heard the merchants complain that the king wasn’t doing his job in keeping the streets clean. A peasant came along, dropped everything he had in his hands and rolled the heavy boulder out of the road.
The king left him a purse full of gold with a note in it. The note read, “this is a reward for having moved the boulder out of the road.”
The peasant taught us that day that every obstacle provides us with an opportunity to condition ourselves.