There’s a psychological barrier when we’re planning projects that says obstacles are in our way, preventing us from getting things done. There’s an alternative interpretation, however: obstacles are just another to-do.
Picture: John Haslam/Flickr
As author Ryan Holiday explains, many people get discouraged by encountering obstacles, and rightly so in some cases. Most of us won’t become President of the United States. But for more realistic goals, your set of obstacles can actually be motivating, even giving you the blueprint for how to accomplish them:
…we look to envision what could go wrong, what will go wrong, in advance, before we start. Far too many ambitious undertakings fail for preventable reasons. Far too many people don’t have a backup plan because they refuse to consider something might not go exactly as they wish.
Productivity blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree elaborates on this, explaining how identifying obstacles is the first step in making a plan:
Mental contrasting is so powerful because it juxtaposes wishes with reality. It stress-tests your desired outcome. Questioning your wishes leads to insights about how to proceed in the real world.
No matter what you plan to do, you’re going to face some obstacles. How you deal with them makes the difference between success and failure. Rather than letting them discourage you, turn them into your plan of attack.
How To Go From Dreaming To Doing: 4 Steps To Motivation [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]