My favorite author had it going when he wrote his most famous work – had it going down the drain, that is. You see, back in the late 1940’s, C.S. Lewis was hitting an all time low both personally and professionally. He had just been passed over for two major promotions at Oxford, his best friend just died suddenly, and his brother (living with him at the time) was battling alcoholism. As if these weren’t obstacles enough, Mrs. Moore (care giver) had developed dementia and flipped from giving to taking care. Lewis’s dear friend Tolkien had also gone south on him as he accused Clive of stealing some of his literary ideas. Yikes. The Oxford college of English is divided on what direction to go and Lewis finds himself more isolated than ever. So, what does he do?
He does not give up, he does not stay down, and he does not stop working. Nope, he does not. He keeps working and decides to double down on his effort even though at the time he’s overwhelmed with his workload. He escapes into an imaginary world and begins writing with almost wreckless abandon. The result?
The Chronicles of Narnia.
Yes, friend, whatever obstacles are in your path, however large they loom, and difficult the way appears, remember the ancient wisdom from our Stoic friends – The Obstacle becomes the way. The obstacle is the way. Your obstacle is your way. Nate Tomesello (OSU stud grappler) told his team last week that his torn up knee was not stopping him. His injury is an obstacle. His mindset is that this is the new path, the new way forward. OSU Wrestling is facing this obstacle together. The teams collective mind is not afraid of this obstacle or the next obstacle, or the next one after that. Obstacles are a fact of life, friend. We all have ‘em.
What, friend, is in your way? Like Lewis and Nate, your obstacle is fuel. Fact. Your mindset determines if you use it to energize you and your mates, or you let it use you and burn you up! Choose wisely the story you tell yourself about your obstacle, friend. Most choose to live in the story of victimhood when life’s large obstacles block their way. Choose, instead, to look through a lens like Lewis and young, Nate.
Use your imagination. Use your obstacles. Your next chapter awaits. Your obstacle is your way. Good…