face the obstacle and deal with it now. You can always wonder why later and stay focused on what steps to take to solve the problem promptly.
My son Michael, now an executive with a global company, was 18 when he told me when you're in the dark, do something; it will give you the feedback you need to move towards the light. As you progress, you may bump into a wall, but if you pay attention and move slowly with awareness, you gain information that you can use to achieve your goals. And you just don't sit in the dark, waiting.
I emailed a friend the other day, saying that it strikes me so funny that your path in life often reveals the next step as you take a step, and not before. It takes courage, laughter, and resourcefulness to continue on the journey when you meet an inconvenient obstacle.
My friend Bill Sparkman wrote in one of his posts that "Most people just can't and won't tolerate the inconveniences required to get what they want. People want to play the piano, but not take lessons, want to speak a foreign language, but not study, and enjoy success without earning it. They don't want to accept the work that comes before having or being. Achieving what you want in life or your business is always earned by doing the things others are not willing to do, like whatever it takes."
I laughed out loud when I read Bill's words. I thought about how obstacles are always inconvenient and also thought about what you would need to do to have a different relationship with the inconvenience itself, even after you take the lessons, study the foreign language, and keep on keeping on towards your goals.
In addition to untimely, inconvenience means awkward, confusing, troublesome, and downright annoying. It can be anything from getting a call interrupting dinner, employees not showing up, customers complaining, and vendors not fulfilling their promises.
Here are some of the other inconveniences I hear about:
2) Losing a job and finding a new one
3) Doing a job you are increasingly repelled by
4) Disagreement when you thought you had agreement
5) Someone isn't listening to you or won't discuss issues
6) Cash flow
So what is the best approach?
1) Accept what's happening. If you start resisting the situation, the phone call, the layoff, someone is changing their mind or not listening, your cash flow; you will increase the size of the problem by adding your concern to what is already happening. What you resist persists. You can transform stress, resistance, and disappointment through acceptance. Acceptance creates space for possibility.
2) Develop self-control. How? Create a context such that the situation is no longer inconvenient. For example, not liking your job may move you to take a risk with something new that fulfills you. Disagreement, when you thought you had an agreement, may allow you to deepen a relationship so you can listen to each other, and reach real consensus. Cash flow issues may cause you to tighten your belt and bring more simplicity to your lifestyle. The context I often use is breakdowns into breakthroughs. It causes me to bring awareness and attention to planning success. Not leaving things to chance and adhering to your plan requires self-control. Inconveniences don't last. Don't prolong problems through sustained irritation with yourself, or others, or life itself.
3) Shake it loose. There is nothing that clears your head, so you can do #'s 1 and 2 like taking a walk, going for a run, doing yoga, swimming, or stretching. Get moving and shake the inconvenience out of your mind and heart. I guarantee you this will make room for what you need to do to be both authentic and useful.
Internalize these three practices, and turn your inconvenient obstacle into a welcomed opportunity.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis