Obstacles to achieving a Goal – what do they mean ?

Frequently we are starting an endeavor and from the start we encounter an obstacle, a strong resistance to our efforts,

An Obstacle, Quite a Road Block
An Obstacle

not even from people but from circumstances around us.

Where do Obstacles come from?

Are those Obstacles the Sign from Above that we are on a wrong path and should use our resources differently?

Or, may be otherwise, those obstacles are simply an opposition to holiness? In that case, should we fight tooth and nail to overcome them?

Soul or Ego?.

The answer depends on where the opposition comes from.

If the source of the opposition is our own soul, then we are on the wrong path and need to quickly re-route our efforts into other channels.

If however the source of the opposition is our ego, also called yetzer harah, one definitely needs to add more efforts to break through the obstacles no matter the cost!

  Soul-directed prayer.

Simple, but fool-proof answer is prayer – tefilla. Tefilla, that is soul-directed and not hijacked by the ego.

We need to divest ourselves from ego-inclinations as good as we can, and direct our prayer to empower our soul, asking to clarify the situation.

Our current goal in question should become completely irrelevant for us during this Tefillah.

Our only desire should be to submit our will to One Above and channel our energy for our Soul’s disposal.

We might need to try this more than once, till it works.

Determine the source of the opposition.

If after the Tefillah we see the obstacles weaken or disappear, we know the opposition was coming from our ego.

So we need to add more efforts to achieve our goal and break the opposition.

If however, our soul was the source of the blockage, we will see clearly that we need to abandon our endeavor.

To achieve this clarity, however, we need to structure our Tefillah properly. Initially, under no circumstances we should pray for the obstacles to disappear.

Not even a hint of this desire should be in our Tefillah, or it can lead to  misleading results.

Achieving our goals

After we had confirmed that our objective is positive from our soul’s perspective, only then we can and should use Tefillah and physical actions to achieve our goal. We have to apply both physical and spiritual effort to achieve it.

This principle is simple enough. To actually apply it on a daily basis, we need to start seeing the situation in perspective.

We need to learn to stop before we throw all our resources against any opposition we meet,

being that people or circumstances, and check: do we really fight the right party ?

Do we have a hard time because our ego is having major fun here? Do we battle our own soul?

The above might look a bit simplistic since it doesn’t address the subconscious blocks and programs,

this topic however is for another post.

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