The benefit of fighting through challenges

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Anthony Pica
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The benefit of fighting through challenges

The benefit of fighting through challenges

There is an old Zen story where a boulder in the road blocked carts from entering a city.

The city’s king watched as people halfheartedly gave up and turned away. Some blamed the king for the impediment. No one did anything about it.

A weary peasant approached the boulder. He didn’t turn away. He persevered. Resourceful, he went to the nearby woods and found a strong branch to use for leverage.

The peasant moved the boulder aside so his cart could pass. And under it, he found a purse of gold and a note from the king that read:

The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.

It was the king who placed the boulder in the road, because he feared his followers had become complacent with a sense of entitlement, and he wanted to teach an important lesson.

The obstacle is the way. *


Over a decade ago, I worked with a Nigerian entrepreneur.

He was a web development client of mine. He needed a multi-page web mockup prepared in just a few days.

The budget was there and the scope was fine. But the timeline was aggressive. I would need to hustle.

I asked why the timeline was tight. He had an important pitch for a marketing campaign, and the website was key to securing a lucrative contract.

I was hungry, so I persevered.

I worked through the weekend and made a fabulous presentation for him.

He got the deal—which means I got the deal.

His name was Destiny, and he ended up being one of my most fruitful business relationships. Top 10, in fact. For years after, we developed logos, websites, and brands for all kinds of Nigerian organizations (i.e. a bank, law firm, college, energy company). We dominated the web development market in Nigeria.

All because I put effort into attacking the challenge.

Keep in mind:

  • The things that pressure us are usually those that are most rewarding.
  • We blaze new trails when we step out of our comfort zones.
  • You grow when you turn obstacles into advantages.

Throughout my career, I’ve realized that it is when I attack challenges and overcome obstacles that I make the most significant progress toward mastery in my field.

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