The Obstacle is the Way
The Obstacle is the Way
As my boys get older, I continue to struggle with the concept that they are going to get hurt - by the things they do, the decisions they make, and by the people they meet. I feel like my main job as a parent is to prevent them from experiencing pain. The connection between a parent and child is so unique due to the fact we can almost feel each other's joy and pain as if it were our own. This is what makes a family relationship so special to us. As my boys encounter these challenges, I cringe to think about them dealing with pain.
The pain of falling from their bike and from losing at their favorite video game is difficult for them, but the most difficult pain is when other people hurt them or fail their trust. Whether it’s a friend who doesn’t come to their birthday party or somebody at school who says mean things about them, when the pain is from another person and the intentions are to hurt them, it usually works.
So, as parents, when we decided about the journey of entrepreneurship and how it would affect our boys, we knew pain would be a part of the process. Some customers won’t pay what they owe. Some customers will steal from them. Some people will criticize them, speak negatively of them, or be downright cruel. If they are successful, there will also be other kids who attempt to bring them down socially, which can be the greatest challenge for kids.
We believe that on the other side of our greatest fear is everything we want in life. If that is what we try to model for our kids, then we should seek out challenges and model a sense of empowerment to handle challenges as they come up in our lives. I always preach to my boys, life doesn’t get easier to deal with as you get older. Your ability to deal with it gets better.
When I was dealing with the loss of my loved ones, I came upon a book by Ryan Holiday called The Obstacle is the Way. This book gave me a great perspective on the good and bad things that happen in our lives. Where once I believed life happened TO ME, I now saw it as happening FOR ME. I used to believe that bad things happened to prevent growth and now noticed that bad things are growth opportunities. Holiday does a great job of presenting obstacles as growth opportunities and that we only really are in control of how we view the obstacle and respond to it.
Learning this new perspective gave my life new opportunities. When challenges occur, I now am able to look at how I’m going to grow through the situation or how I can test the new skills I’ve developed to overcome the new challenge.
This book was a true gift in my life. I felt it so important to share this concept with my boys. We as a family have noticed so many situations as entrepreneurs that could help them experience and use these skills for their future. Entrepreneurs do it to experience problems and overcome or learn from them. That’s why we chose this path for them. We believe as a family that their happiness is their ability to look at the obstacle as the way to greatness.
Make sure to check out all the great cards the boys have for sale on the site