Jun 112012
Getting Hit by Wikipedia

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” -Rocky Balboa to his son

I am sure we have all taken hard hits from life at one point or other. It could be due to unexpected misfortunes. Or it could be due to hardships faced in trying to achieve a goal or to make a dream a reality. Yet we cannot and must not allow the hits we take to keep us down for good. We must reach deep within ourselves to find the strength to stand up and carry on especially when the going gets tough.

From personal experience, I have relied on three pillars to keep me going no matter what. Now I shall share them with you.

The Three Pillars You Need to Overcome Any Obstacle

1. An Indomitable Will

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. -Mahatma Gandhi

Strength of will is greater than pure strength alone. After all, pure strength is useless without the will to direct and use it. In war, if the commander loses the will to fight, his army, no matter how strong or numerous they may be, becomes useless. In life, if you lose the will to overcome a challenge, there is no way you can do so, no matter the strength or the resources at your disposal.

Things that are worth it rarely come easy. If we lack the will to persevere through the darkest of times, we can never reach the light of day. Without a firm will to keep on pressing forward through each setback, obstacle and failure, we can never hope to succeed.

2. Belief in a Greater Cause

Indomitable will does not happen just like that. For each situation, there will always be unique reasons that power one’s will.

Firstly, there is belief. Unless you believe you can do something, there is little chance that you will have the will to succeed. Without this firm belief that you can do it, every doubt and obstacle is just another reason to give up.

Secondly, there is a greater cause. It could be a promise, a duty, a desire to protect or a belief in the justness of an action. Your will can only go so far when you live for yourself. But when you have a greater cause to live for, when you have people or a cause to nurture, nourish and protect, you will have the heart to persevere.

3. Flexibility in Approach and Method

It is well and good to have indomitable will, confidence and belief in a greater cause. But all this will be for naught if your approach and methods are faulty. You see, we cannot allow an iron will to translate into rigidity in approach. The best way forward in not always directly into the path of harm. Trying the same thing repeatedly only to achieve failure each time is a waste of will, time and effort.

What we need here is to temper our wills with flexibility in our methods. We need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and learn from our mistakes. When you balance strength of will with flexibility in approach, there is no challenge you cannot resolve.

Flow by R-Z

Taking Action

What are some of the hard hits that you have taken in life? How did you find the resolve to press forward when it would have been easier to give up? Do share your experiences, thoughts and comments below. They might just inspire others to press on when the going gets tough. :)

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  26 Responses to “The Three Pillars You Need to Overcome Any Obstacle”

  1. I believe we have been on the same wave length.
    Obstacles… they come at the most inconvenient times, unexpectedly. Sometimes I wish I could stop it all from happening, but I have found that I usually end up with a good lesson, or a new direction is presented I was unaware of before. I may complain at the time… but often find myself giving thanks afterwards.

    I do agree most hardily with your 3 pillars, your will, belief, and flexibility. Being able to make a U-turn is not always easy, but sure is worth it. Of course you must have the belief and the determination to make it happen.
    Barbara recently posted..Taking a Detour in LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara,

      If we were fully prepared for obstacles, they won’t be obstacles in the first place. All we can do is to deal with them as best as we can when they happen. This is the purpose of this article which reflects the pragmatic steps I am interested in.

      Sometimes the way to our goals is not the most direct path, but rather an indirect one. We need to have the will to take the longer route to reach our goals.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  2. This post encouraged me to reflect the degree to which all three of these qualities exist within my being. I do have strength of will to a certain degree, but I see how it is tarnished by doubt and hesitation at time. I need to polish it up. Thank you for helping me see that! I’ve taken many hits in my life! I see myself as a survivor and, of later, I’ve found receptivity to be another quality that helps me ride the storm.
    Sandra / Always Well Within recently posted..The Power of “Yes, But…” to Catapult You to ClarityMy Profile

    • Hi Sandra,

      I have had my fair share of struggles with doubts and hesitation, so I know how it can sap the will.

      But I have come to realize that doubts and hesitation reflect a lack of clarity on my part. I am not fully certain about the approach I should take. Usually I give myself the time I need to find my way. Once I have determined my path, my doubts and hesitation disappear and I can press forth again with renewed vigor.

      I also agree with you that receptivity is a good quality to ride the storms of change. If we keep on resisting change, we will not be able to go forward.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing a wonderful and inspiring post. We all had our share of hard hits whether at work, love or life in general. It depends on how we deal with them. For me, the hard hits I’ve experienced made me stronger, wiser and better as a person.
    Lucille recently posted..dating tips for men in 2012My Profile

    • Hi Lucille,

      Yes adversity can come at us from any area in our lives. Since we cannot avoid adversity, we have to learn to manage them well. If we can do so, they make us stronger, wiser and better people.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  4. Vizier, to preserve during life’s obstacles is a great quality to overcome obstacles. When obstacles challenge us most and when we want to throw in the towel, is the time we have to fight harder:) We may lose the battles but having the right amount of will can win the war!

    I’ve come to find that one of the ways to preserve is not attach yourself too much to the results. If you hold onto results as an indicator of success, it’s easy to give up. If you keep plowing through no matter what, regardless of the temporary results, you’re more likely to achieve your goals in life. Sometimes temporary indicators mislead us and sabotage us.
    Vishnu recently posted..Dude, where’s your inner peace?My Profile

    • Hi Vishnu,

      I love your spirit. Yes, we may lose some battles, but we must ensure we win the key battles to win the war. At no point can be let setbacks overcome us. The moment we throw in the towel and give up, all is lost.

      It is true. Temporary indicators may mislead and sabotage us. We should have a plan and keep on plowing ahead to implement and execute it to the very end. We must not let the results and minor milestones along the way distract or mislead us. At most, we should be aware of them to ensure we are going in the right direction. With this detachment, we can persevere to the end.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  5. Hello Irving,
    Been away and have missed several of your posts – it’s all good though.

    Great post about the human WILL! I love this part of your post: Trying the same thing repeatedly only to achieve failure each time is a waste of will, time and effort. —- In my humble opinion this seems like the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

    The will is strong when we put our desires in there…..you make some great points and I do remember several times when my will was greater than my sorrows. I turned things around and created my inspirational website…..so the key is always thinking positive…right?

    Nancy Shields recently posted..ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR THE LITTLE THINGS LIFE HAS TO OFFER?My Profile

    • Hi Nancy,

      Yes, we cannot expect different results if we keep trying the same thing over and over again. We are just wasting our time and effort.

      Positive thinking is much more preferable compared to negative thinking. But it is more than that. We must have intense desire and motivation to fuel our willpower as well.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  6. Your third pillar, flexibility, is the one I had to learn. I used to try to power through, using the force of my will. But that was not always best. Learning to take a step back and developing a willingness and ability to be flexible helped me channel that energy in a more productive way. One theme that runs through this post, and indeed all of your writing, is the idea that we are not victims. I especially appreciate that wisdom.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..A Problem Solver’s ProblemMy Profile

    • Hi Galen,

      Flexibility and willpower is a very potent combination to dealing with any obstacle.

      It is not what happens to us that is important. It is how we choose to deal with these events that truly decides their eventual outcome and whether we will have good fortune or misfortune.

      I believe that if we are able to think of a creative enough solution on our own or with help, we can solve any problem we face.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  7. In this day and age we do not will power detemination and flexibility we will not be able to adapt to the changes that are rapidly taking place around us. The end result is that we are likely to fail at overcoming obstacles. I like this post.
    Sandy recently posted..hair removal productsMy Profile

    • Hi Sandy,

      I am glad you like this post. :)

      You’re right too. Without willpower, determination and flexibility, obstacles and change are likely to get the better of us.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  8. Such an inspiring text! I feel so lucky because I just need some extra-motivation these days and your three points have already inspired me. I really like your point on believing in a greater cause, sometimes it could be really useful and motivational if we think that a higher force leads us on our way to reach our goals.
    Susanne recently posted..Rampelotto Ausstellung im MAK WienMy Profile

    • Hi Susanne,

      Everyone could use a dose of inspiration from time to time. I am glad my post inspired you. :)

      We can only go so far and do so much if we live only for ourselves. But if we have a greater cause, we will find the strength to manage great adversity to reach our goals.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  9. Indeed Irving, these pillars are a powerful combination. In my life I have found that understanding the crippling nature of past voices of “NO” is liberating. I allowed this understanding be the foundation of my declaration of independence from the intimidation of old NO’s. I did myself tremendous good when I realized how susceptible I was to the flimsy power of this word.

    When I understood the limitations of past NO’s, I allow myself to become wonderfully obsessed and inspiringly addicted to what I am up to. When we accept this reality we experience ourselves as super self-sufficient beings, which is what we truly are.
    rob white recently posted..Nothing Can Stop You … Except YouMy Profile

    • Hi Rob,

      Without the NO’s in our lives from various sources to hold us back, we will be able to overcome any obstacle in life.

      Indeed we should all take steps to free ourselves from the past voices of NO’s.

      As you rightly point out, doing so is liberating.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  10. I totally agree with you, these pillars help us on how to be strong, how to survive, and reach our dreams. Though some would think that its easy and non sense but the fact is its the most basic thing and attitude in life.
    Ágatha Sousa Santos recently posted..http://www.4thebeach.comMy Profile

    • Hi Agatha,

      I am glad you see the value in my article. :)

      Indeed, having the will, motivation and flexibility will make it likelier for us to achieve our goals in life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  11. Irving: This is my first time to your site I believe. Your avatar looks familiar, but I do not think I have been here, but I really enjoyed reading this post. You are an awesome writer! I totally agree with what you mentioned in this article.
    I think that I have strong will power, but I do not focus on my physical strength. The only thing that I focus on is my will power by concentrating my mind. I would rather have a strong mind than a strong body.
    I was talking to my barber and I believe him to be a very wise person. Me being an African American, I can see this clearly, but he told me that most african americans would rather fight a war with their hands than with their minds. They would rather get strong in strength and power, but not in mind power.

    I find I can strengthen my mind and will power through reading.

    What do you think?

    Best wishes,
    William Veasley
    William Veasley recently posted..The Pursuit of HappinessMy Profile

    • Hi William,

      Welcome to Han of Harmony! :)

      I am glad that you enjoyed and agreed with what I wrote in my article. :)

      Having a strong mind is important, but it should also go with a strong body. After all if your body is weak, how will it serve as a vehicle for your mind to carry out your plans? Balance is the key, there is no need to go to extremes in building a strong body, but it is always good to be healthy.

      It is true that you can strengthen your mind and willpower through reading. But your mind and willpower will truly be strengthened as you face and overcome the unique challenges in your life. There is no better teacher than life.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  12. Really inspiring and motivational! Actually that is what I have searched for… I just feel in stuck nowadays and I also feel a lack of indomitable will, I wish I could get some strength to be able to build those 3 pillars…
    Annelise recently posted..Meine erste neue Arbeitswochen sind um…My Profile

    • Hi Annelise,

      Thank you for your compliments! I am happy that you found my article inspiring and motivational. :)

      Everyone has days when they feel stuck and their wills are not as strong as they would like it to be. During such times, we have to remind ourselves of our purpose. We must know why or for whom we continue to struggle.

      Building the 3 pillars doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. We should cultivate these 3 pillars daily through our personal experiences or the experiences of others.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

  13. I really find it fitting that you use some fighters be the image for this post. They are the epitome of people who are flexible and very strong-willed.
    Dave recently posted..disneyland discount ticketsMy Profile

    • Hi Dave,

      I am glad you liked my image for the post.

      Yes I had the idea of being flexible and indomitable when I chose this picture of fighters. They sum up my 3 pillars nicely.

      Thank you for sharing your lovely comments! :)

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