“Life is full of obstacle illusions.” (Grant Frazier) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently.
I love this little quote. It reminds me of something that Malaprop Man would say in the Frank and Ernest newspaper cartoon stip. It also sounds like something that Yogi Berra might have said. It is so appropriate to discuss, because so many obstacles in our lives are just illusions; figments of our own imaginations. In cases involving egomaniacs and self-centered narcissistic people, the quote might be changed to read “Life is full of obstacle delusions.”
I think the point of Frazier’s quote is that too many of the things that we see as obstacles are actually figments of our own imagination – illusions. The human mind is a wonderful thing, capable of figuring out and finding solutions for complex situations that defy duplication by man-made alternatives like robots or artificial intelligence. It is also capable of conjuring up fears and scenarios for failure, however unlikely, that give us pause before acting. We can create our own roadblocks to success in our minds – obstacle illusions.
I think the key to making sure that you don’t get blocked in life by obstacle illusions is to develop a quick mental routine to use when confronted by what appears to be an obstacle. If you ever watched golf on TV (and this applies to other sports, but is just not as obvious as it is in golf) you’ll notice that the gold pros have routines that they faithfully go through before each shot or putt. They are analyzing and visualizing the shot or putt in their minds and recalling the muscle skills that they have developed over hours and hours of practice. They are essentially taking the time to bring to bear on the situation at hand all of the knowledge, experience and best practices that they have trained for to get to that point. They are eliminating the obstacle illusions that might otherwise be in the shot or putt by visualizing a successful outcome and then trying to execute that vision.
We can all do the same thing in our daily lives. Instead of focusing upon the obstacles that we think we see to our success, if we concentrate instead on using our knowledge and experience to visualize a path to success, we might find that many of the obstacle illusions that we thought were blocking our way just evaporate back into the thin air from which our imaginations conjured them. Our focus on the positive things that we need to do to achieve success doesn’t allow us the idle time to imagine every possible way that we could fail.
Sometimes the obstacle illusions that we see ahead of us prevent us from even starting; we are frozen by the fear of failure. Many times those are fears of things that have no chance of happening anywhere other than in our minds. We may talk ourselves out of even trying, or let the first set-back stop us from continuing to try. Justr remember a quote by that great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar – “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” So, don’t let obstacle illusions prevent you from starting.
Don’t let an obstacle illusion block you from greatness.