When the crowd witnesses your talents on full display and you hear them react saying “Ooooohhhh”, we say quietly to ourselves with a great big smile, “Hmmm…the results of Practice U.” You’ve got the crowd in the palm of your hands as you dazzle them and hold their attention with what you’re saying or doing before their eyes and ears. Seldom will the crowd think about the countless hours you put into your craft to evolve into what you are today. Between the days of practice and rebounding from the loses, there were also the days of experiencing some obstacles such as personal, financial and relationship obstacles. Relationship obstacles are outside our control like working with undisciplined minds, uneducated people, politics, cronyism and nepotism. Other obstacles are fear and doubt which are normal because they are the result of a first time experience, a lack of practice or the opposite of practice. However, the obstacles I’m referring to are the results of our own doing. They exist because we’re so driven and passionate about achieving our dreams and goals that we don’t see what we are doing to ourselves. We sometimes over work ourselves into becoming a different person. Let’s explore five of these obstacles and see if we can help someone along the way.
Distractions Are Designed to Break My Focus
The number one and biggest obstacle in the world a person can expect when pursuing their dreams and goals is "distractions". Making it personal, distractions are designed to break my focus and cause me to look away. At first, we don’t see it as a distraction until later on when we see and feel the consequences of our decision(s). We say things like, “I didn’t know or I got caught up in what started out as fun and now I’m so far removed from my original purpose, it’s hard catching up.” Some of the leading examples of distractions are social media, multimedia, money, pretty women and handsome bros saying, “Come on over.” These distractions are basically, temptations or a test of our social norms and boundaries taught to us by our parents, schoolteachers and mentors from childhood and teen years to our young adulthood years. Our social norms are our core teachings such as morals,
values and principles. At Practice U, we call them the MVP qualities of our inner character. Morals teach us the difference between right and wrong, fair and unfair, or acceptable and unacceptable behavior and language. When it is wrong or unfair, we may say “Uuuhh…Dude, that ain’t right.” Moral thinking leads us to assess our values. Values teach us to hold onto the important teachings that we were taught. For example, in our family, we value the Bible, loving hugs when we greet one another, respect, honesty, privacy and a whole lot more. Our collection of values reflects back at who we are. Family values also lead us to our family principles. Think of principles as rules or a belief with boundaries that constantly remind us about the right way and wrong way, more importantly the rewards and consequences of the right way versus the wrong way. We don’t realize how deeply rooted we are in our family morals, values and principles, until we are challenged by our peers. People that come into our lives as friends may not have the same high MVP qualities that are emphasized at home, school, church or other organizations. If we are not grounded and deeply rooted, then we easily follow their distractions. Consequently, our friends’ bad habits become our bad habits, until we learn to take a hard stand, and say, “No, that’s wrong. I’m not about that life. That’s not for me.” Resisting distractions helps us to grow up, get pass the temptation, and stay focus on our dreams and goals. Remember, distractions are the biggest obstacle in the world.
Impatience Will Eat Me Up
The second big obstacle is the obstacle of impatience. Impatience happens a lot when we’re passionate, driven and/or in a hurry. We want our results right now, or ASAP! When it doesn’t happen, we become frustrated, irritable, critical, and sometimes insensitive to other people. This type of obstacle blocks our blessings when we offend people who could be of help to us. To overcome our impatience, we have to learn how to exercise patience. At Practice U we define patience as “thinking before I speak, thinking before I act and thinking before I react”, because what I say and how I say it can and will affect how the listener will decide to help me. Sometimes a little counseling can be helpful, as well as getting some rest, working out and a proper diet. The goal is to get impatience under control.
Pride Can Turn Me into a Stubborn Person
The third big obstacle that we can expect is the obstacle of pride. Pride at a reasonable level may say things like, “I know, or I already know that” meaning you are confident and proud of what you know. No harm in feeling that way. That’s good and we’re proud of you for knowing what you know. However, when you are working daily on your dreams, goals and feeling your independence, you sometimes get a little cocky because of the confidence you carry, or hype, praise and recognition you receive. When you buy into the hype, pride can set in and cause you to resist parental rules or simple suggestions so much so, you become a stubborn hard-headed individual. Like impatience, this obstacle of pride can cause people to walk away or discipline you.
Arrogance Can Diminish My Image
The fourth obstacle is arrogance. Arrogance is that offensive attitude of superiority that follows pride. It says, “So what, I don’t need your help, or You can’t tell me what to do!” How often have we heard those words? We need to check ourselves, because it is possible, we are becoming self-destructive to ourselves and offensive to the people who admire us such as our family, friends and fans. We are so caught up in being arrogant and defensive when questioned, we don’t see ourselves turning into a monster. If not caught early on, it may take a painful lesson in life to humble us. We may have to lose a few things in life such as opportunities to participate in an event, fan support, money or our health. It’s not a good feeling when we are rejected because of our arrogance. These are the consequences of the choices we make. As arrogance diminishes our image, our market value depreciates like a good car (person) that's lost it's shine. Having an offensive attitude of superiority is not what you want to become when pursuing your dreams and goals. Besides, children, teens and young adults are watching and your arrogance teach them how to be arrogant as well. Our society doesn't need more arrogant people.
Revenge Can Weaken Me Spiritually
The fifth and final obstacle is revenge. Revenge is most evident when training and rehearsing or practicing and preparing for competition is a part of reaching our dreams and goals such as sports, dance, theater, debates, designing a project or anything I'm passionate about. Revenge says, “because you hurt me, I want to hurt you back. You need to feel my pain. When I crush you, I’m going to celebrate your loss.” Slowly we’re growing into the Sith Lord Darth Vader. To overcome this dark side of ourselves, we need help in seeking better ways to understand how to monitor our passionate drive. Fueled by our emotions and uneducated friends or influencers, we can become evil, ugly, foolish and weakened spiritually as a result of copying the immorality we see on TV, videos and on social media. Look to better examples to educate yourself on how to grow towards wisdom, class and dignity, not revenge, foolishness and profanity. When you do that, your mind and heart will be at peace.
In short, when we know about these 5 obstacles ahead of time, we should be better prepared with what not to do when pursuing our dreams and goals. Another way of looking at these 5 obstacles is to view them as liabilities. We must do all that we can to avoid these liabilities because they’re all negative and counter-productive. It’s something to think about when moving towards self-improvement.