Navigating External Obstacles To Achieve Your Goals

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As soon as you conquer the inner world, the external world is for the taking. This does not mean that the road to success will be a downslope. It simply means that you will be well positioned and mentally prepared to handle challenges that are inevitable on your path to success.

These are examples of external obstacles you will encounter before you reach your goals:

  1.  Unproductive Activities

Lack of goal achievement is precipitated by poor planning and trying to do many things at once. Many of us are caught in the doing, thereby failing dismally to distinguish important from urgent stuff. This point is articulated in a simple, yet powerful statement by Ernest Hemingway that “never mistake motion for action”. Your brain is looking for simplicity and you can attain that by reducing the levels of confusion, noise and clutter in your life. Once you do that, you create room for value generating activities. In his book, Rich Habits: The daily habits of wealthy individuals, Thomas Corley points out that 67% of rich people watch TV for 1 hour or less per day as compared to 78% of the poor who watch more than one hour of TV each day.

Use the simple test and ask yourself:

–           Is 80% of my results due to 20% of my efforts?

–           Is 80% of my effort responsible for 20% of results I get?

If the latter is true, you will need to reassess your  focus areas.  This is a clear indication that you are engaged is value draining and unproductive activities.

2.  Curves and turns


During the past two weeks, I had the opportunity to drive on the BMW Racing Academy. I have always been fascinated by how fast car drivers could navigate turns with alarming speed.  I learned what is called “banking”. It is when the turn is approached an at angle that helps the car to stay on the road.  At the beginning, this is a terrifying experience due to the sharpness of the turns. This experience reminded me of the old saying that “a smooth sea never made a skilful mariner.” Remember, it is only through preparedness that we can go through adversities, curves and turns to become a better person. Most of us give up when we find ourselves in the deep. The turns and curves along the way build character, makes us stronger and most importantly, sharpen our resolve. Like the fast car drivers, learn to navigate these turns and come out the other end triumphant.

3.  The company you keep

Some people are comfortable with their current stages in life and they do not have plans to challenge their assumptions and turn things around. These may be friends or family who project their own fears and limiting beliefs on to you. They will do almost everything in their power to frustrate your efforts, actions and dreams. Some will plainly and knowingly try to pull you into activities that sabotage your goals. You will need to do a thorough assessment of their contribution to your life and cut them off your plans. The company you keep must be the one that helps you to grow instead of suffocating your life.

4.  Physical fitness


With my travels in Africa, I realised that the phenomenon of traffic is not only peculiar to Johannesburg. Generally, across the continent people work far from their homes, they commute in hectic traffic that takes 1 to 2 hours and in some cities such as Lagos, it takes almost 3 hours to get to work.  There are many factors in addition to traffic such as long hours invested in the work itself, social, family and financial pressures that subject people to stressful situations. It stands to reason that stress can  derail your goal achievement.  Physical exercise acts as a shield and helps to reduce stress. It revitalises the body and impacts what goes on in your mind. You don’t have to pay for expensive gym membership, you can learn simple exercises that you can perform at home such as push ups, sit ups and also jogging around the block. Stay fit, rejuvenated and energised for the road ahead.

5.  Resources

Lack of resources is cited by many people as a reason why they cannot achieve their goals. These could be money, equipment, books or any tools that are essential to goal attainment. Most people see these as unmovable objects instead of asking themselves about alternative means they can employ to reach their goals. If money is the issue, should  you consider additional work to raise the funds you need?  Should you shift the timing of your goals? There is plethora of blogs, journals and articles to help you gain understanding of projects related to what you want to achieve. The idea here is not to list all resources available under the sun but to drive the message home that there are alternatives out there instead of seeing everything as an obstacle.

Tex Hlalele

Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper



  1. Thank you for the inspiration blowing the mind. Getting out of the comfort zone can allow us to discover our purpose and activate them.

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