Throughout our journey in this world we are bound to face many obstacles.Physical, emotional, interpersonal.
And every obstacle is different. Some are big, some are small, some obvious, some hidden, some only happen once and others recur after a while. No matter where you are born; your age or the kind of job that you do, we all have to face many obstacles during our lives. You decide if you look at these obstacles as problems or perceive them as challenges to grow.
Yes And Act
The Yes And Act manifesto can help you to change your mindset towards these obstacles. The manifesto is for people who believe that (almost) anything is possible. For such believers, life is an obstacle run and you choose freely to participate in all the aspects of life (the good and the bad ). They approach every obstacle as an opportunity to learn something new.
Let me describe the three big pillars of the manifesto and compare them to an obstacle race.
YES – Go for your dream & suspend judgement
Every obstacle is a challenge where you require certain skills to overcome them. Often a combination of strength, endurance and technique. But before starting an obstacle run, it’s important that you have formulated your dream. Without a dream or goal, you don’t know in what direction you’ve to go and you will get lost.
And dare to dream big … an obstacle race consists of many obstacles and your goal is to finish the race. For most participants, it doesn’t really matter how fast you run a race but finishing the race is a common goal for everybody. In most races, you can choose between different distances – depending on your level of fitness. That’s the same in life, you choose the results that you want to achieve. So dare to redefine your problems (the obstacles) into challenging opportunities. You have to work hard to overcome the obstacles but the reward will be enormous if you’ve achieved your goal.
A lot of times, you are quite scared when you have to overcome a certain obstacle – it involves jumping in cold water; running through mud or climbing a high construction. At that moment, ideakillers come in and you say ‘Yes but it’s too high, too cold, too dangerous, too difficult, …’. At that moment, it’s good to change your ‘Yes but … mindset’ into a ‘Yes and…’ mindset and believe in yourself. Yes, it’s a high obstacle but I can do it. Yes, it’s cold but once I’m running I will warm up quickly. The same is true in life.
If you’re happy with a boring job or a stale relation its your choice. If you’re not happy with it, there’s only one person who can change something about it. Don’t get stuck in ideakillers. Don’t start complaining and blaming people for the lack of happiness in your own lives. These ideakillers won’t bring you any closer to a solution or a happier life. Suspend your judgement and think in a ‘Yes and …’ mindset. What would happen if you believed in your (Lady GiGa) dream and get inspired by those feelings and images. You can look at others to get inspired but don’t feel pressurized to do exactly what others are doing because everybody has his/her own path in life to follow.
AND – Explore alternative perspectives & Imagination
There are many ways to conquer an obstacle race. Most of the time, there isn’t one perfect solution’. You can find your own method to complete it and of course, practice and technique will help you to become better. But in many cases, you can complete an obstacle in different ways. Every obstacle requires different skills – sometimes you need power; sometimes having a good technique is essential; others require endurance or stability … But creativity can help you to find a way that works for you. Don’t give up if one method isn’t working, try something else, and surely you’ll find a method that will work for you to conquer the challenge.
Life’s the same. Many a times, we have no clue how we should overcome a certain challenge. At those moments, you have to be creative and try different things. Every challenge is different for every person and your perception of the challenge is crucial. Try to observe the ‘problems’ in your life as an opportunity to grow and learn something new. Find your solution, and remember that there isn’t one right way to live your life.
ACT – Get into action and experiment
I did my first obstacle run a year ago. I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit scared at the start because most other participants looked a lot better prepared. But I gave it a try and there were several obstacles that were too hard or too difficult for me the first time. But I tried them anyway – sometimes successfully, other times, I didn’t manag to get across. But a small idea/dream was born to conquer this obstacle in the next race. Some obstacles, I had no clue how to ‘overcome’ but just tried something – sometimes it was a success but a lot of times it was a nearling.
And again, let’s translate this to life, a lot of times, you don’t have a clue what your next step has to be in life. A lot of times it’s the little voice inside our soul/head/heart that whispers that something is right or not and most of the time it’s a good idea to follow your gut-feeling. Or at least give it a try. Don’t get stuck in the ideakillers before you tried it. Take action. Experiment and make sure that you fail small, often and forward. Have you ever seen a child that could ride a bike without falling? Innovation or learning something new is inherently connected with failing. But every failure (or nearling) brings you closer to success.
Yes And Act – Choose life and I hope that your life will also be an obstacle race (a fun one where you can grow and enjoy all the challenges).
What’s an obstacle race?
An obstacle course is a series of challenging physical obstacles an individual or team must navigate usually while being timed. Obstacle courses can include running, climbing, jumping, crawling, swimming, and balancing elements with the aim of testing speed and endurance
Written byCyriel Kortleven
Global speaker, Author 4 books, Master of Interaction, Inspirator, Certified Speaking Professional, Sparking creativity, Boosting potential, Interaction, Yes And Act, Less is Beautiful, Human, Present!