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The Power of Obstacles

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Scrabble tiles lined up to spell "No sand no pearl"

Never let your mind become the greatest obstacle to success.”

-Roy T. Bennett

Ralph Braun was born with muscular dystrophy. He was often told he would never live a “normal” life and would likely be dependent on those around him for daily activities. However, Braun realized at a young age that his diagnosis–a major obstacle in his life–was something he could use to discover his purpose. Ralph Braun went on to become the "Father of the Mobility Movement,” creating wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and the first ever wheelchair accessible vehicle. His company, BraunAbility, continues to lead the way in innovative measures and technologies for those who are disabled.

Ralph Braun refused to let his obstacles stand in his way. In fact, he utilized those obstacles to propel him towards his passion and purpose. He understood that from great obstacles come even greater opportunities.

Obstacles are usually seen as barriers that hinder or prevent us from reaching our goals. Some obstacles are material–lack of money, time, skills, or resources. Other obstacles are mental–lack of desire, opportunity, passion, or discipline. Still, some are completely unforeseen and entirely incidental, much like Ralph Braun’s case.

Identifying and classifying the obstacles we face is the first step to overcoming them–and using them to drive us towards our purpose. Ralph did it. Now, it’s your turn.

Consider these questions to help you identify, reflect on, and maybe even change your perspective on the obstacles that stand between you and your purpose:

  1. What obstacles are you currently facing? Name them.

  2. Are these obstacles material or mental blocks?

  3. What would it take for you to overcome them?

  4. Do they even need to be overcome? Or, could they, instead, help you pursue your passions?

  5. How could they help you find and achieve purpose?

Each of us faces obstacles of some sort on our path to our purpose–it’s inevitable. By changing our perspectives and realizing the potential each obstacle holds to drive us toward our passions, we might just overcome even the most insurmountable hurdle to discover our true purpose.

For more about our perception of obstacles, check out our feature story, “Brian Delozier – Experiencing the Opportunities within Obstacles”. Or, check out our Power Video Series to discover the power of purpose, and passion.

© 2023 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

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