Circumstances are the biggest stumbling block to our achieving anything great in our lives. More than any other single factor, we let circumstances get in the way of us moving forward and we let our dreams become shattered and lose sight of our goals. Instead of giving it our all, we give up, we allow circumstances to block us from doing what we know we should be doing.
We will often say “I wish I could do this or have that but I just can’t because….?” Circumstance is the part following the “because”. I can’t get ahead in my job, because my boss has it in for me. My marriage is terrible because my wife just doesn’t understand me. I can’t buy a house because it costs too much. When you are faced with a circumstance you have a choice. You can let it block you from moving forward or you can find a way around it.
Look at the people you admire, those that are successful. They use circumstances to leap ahead to make great strides forward, because they see them as opportunities instead of seeing them as roadblocks.
George Bernard Shaw says, “People are always blaming circumstance for what they are. I do not believe in circumstance. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstance they want and if they can’t find them they make them.”
What is interesting about this is that circumstances are really just decisions. When you hear someone saying that they can’t buy that new car because they do not have enough money, they are really saying I have made a decision that I do not have enough money to buy the car. Have you ever noticed that whenever someone really wants something, they find a way to get it. They made a decision.
Try this. The next time someone tells you they don’t have enough money to get the thing they want, tell them they don’t need any money. They will most likely look at you like you are a little crazy and say “What do you mean I don’t need money?”
You can then say that until you make a decision to buy this thing, you do not need money. Once you make the decision to go ahead and do it, you will find a way to get the money you need. Invariably, they always do.
One of the most common circumstance people use is the lack of money. The real cause of their problem is lack of decision. You always attract what you need when you decide it must be done.
Let’s look at decision a little closer. Decision is a process that moves you towards a goal.
Without a clearly defined goal, it is impossible to know how to get there. For example, you get in your car and start driving out of the driveway. If you do not have a goal, how do you know which direction to turn at the end of the driveway. Let’s go one step deeper. You are going to the food store. Now you know that you need to turn left and follow a specific route to the food store. You arrive safely. Now what? You need to have a purpose for going to the store. Maybe it is to get food for lunches, or for the big dinner planned for your spouse.
Purpose is the “why” of goals. Without knowing why, you will easily be stopped by even a small roadblock. Most people move forward without a clearly defined purpose, and when they are faced with an obstacle they begin to doubt their goal, or fear that they have made a wrong decision. That’s when the confusion sets in. When this happens they usually fall back into what we call the comfort zone. This is the place where you know what to expect, you are used to it, even if it is not what you really want or where you want to be.
To get past the stumbling block of circumstance, here are three steps you can follow:
1. Develop a clear purpose, including a vision of what your purpose will look like when you have achieved it.
2. Establish a set of goals that lead you step by step towards your purpose.
3. Make a decision and do it!
Circumstances can be stumbling blocks or they can be opportunities to propel you forward. It is your choice. You get to make the decision.