How To Push Through Obstacles

When I moved out of my parents house this year, it was a scary process. My end goal was to live on my own and start to manage my own life, but every step of the way I faced obstacles I didn’t anticipate.

It had to be in our budget, it had to allow pets and it had to be close enough to all three of our work places.

After painstaking efforts to find somewhere that met all the criteria we had to gather all of our information and convince the landlords that we were the best tenants.

Finally we got the place and moved in, I thought it was all sunshine from there.

But boy was I wrong.

We had trouble getting the internet working, paying bills for the first time, figuring out groceries and a hundred other obstacles. To this day at least one house related obstacle pops up per week.

Right now, here at 2HelpfulGuys, we are in the middle of writing a book. I can already imagine the hundreds of hurdles that we are going to have to conquer.

Nothing you do will ever come without an obstacle or two so here are my tips to help you push through them and accomplish your goals.

Obstacles are a part of life.

The first thing that will help you push through these pesky obstacles is realizing that obstacles are unavoidable.

They are going to pop up, you can’t stop it. Even if you anticipate as many obstacles as you can, you are still going to run into a few nasty surprises along the way.

For your own sanity, it’s best that you become friends with obstacles.

Use obstacles to help you improve.

By definition an obstacle will help you improve and grow. If you didn’t need to grow to get past the obstacle, then it wouldn’t be an obstacle. It would just be another walk in the park.

When you realize that every obstacle matures your abilities and your drive, you will begin to become excited to face them.

Relish the opportunity to conquer something. It will only lead to more victories.

Break down your obstacles.

When you first encounter an obstacle it is almost always daunting. When you see a mountain from far away you think to yourself “It must be impossible to climb to the top! Look how high it is!”

But when you get closer you start to see the individual paths you can hike. You see it broken down into details that are easier to conquer one by one.

Do this with every obstacle you face. Break it down into small bite size pieces and start chewing.

Never give up.

Some people say Edison tried up to ten thousand different prototypes for the light bulb. Even though the first nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine didn’t work, he refuse to say that he ever failed.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
-Thomas Edison

This is the way you need to think. Every time you try something that doesn’t work you are getting closer to finding what does work.

I’ve learned that nothing you try will ever work the first time. Or maybe you’re lucky and you can get a hole in one.
I never can.

Learning to be okay with being wrong is the most important skill you will ever gain.

Keep being wrong until you find what is right. Just make sure you don’t give up.

As always, I’ll see you next Friday.

With Love,
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys

Replace your have with a want.

I have to write this article.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but I have deadlines and sometimes I’m caught in a rush.

I completely forgot that I had to write an article for Friday instead of Sunday from now on.

So I add it to my ‘have to do’ list.

But that list can be scary.

I have to do my Spanish lesson, I have to meditate, I have to come up with my ten ideas today, I have to write a 2HelpfulGuys video, I have to go to the gym, I have to, I have to, I have to…

When I get into this mode of thinking it’s no wonder I become stressed.

I enjoy doing all of these things. They are the kind of activities I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

So why do I feel this immense pressure when I think about them?

Change your language to change your life.

A while ago a wrote an article about replacing the word should with the word could. That way you see things more as opportunities instead of obligations.

Since then I’ve been contemplating the language I use in my self talk. What am I saying to myself and how is it affecting the way I perceive my daily life?

I realized that this whole time I have been saying “I have to” and it has been giving all of my actions an overtone of pressure and responsibility.

Where did all the fun go!?

I worry that one day I’ll accomplish everything I want but I will be wandering around the streets grabbing people and yelling “where did all the fun go!? Do you ever have fun? Why do I hate my life!?”

That probably won’t happen, but I still can’t help feeling the pressure of a long “Have to do” list.

Replace your “Have to” with a “Want to.”

If these are all things that I enjoy doing, then why do I think about them using the same words as when I have to go to work? Or when I have to clean the toilets in my house?

Toilets are disgusting, but I love meditation.

From now on I am going to put in big bold letters at the top of my to-do list “Today I want to…”

That way, I’ll always subconsciously know that these things are my passions. They are what keeps me balanced. They are what brings joy and progression into my life.

I don’t have to do these things.
I want to.

This is my plea to you.

Watch your words, they dictate how you perceive your world.

Don’t say you have to play with your kids. Say you want to.

Don’t say you have to take your mother out for coffee, say you want to.

When you want to do something it feels like a choice, and one that you enjoy. When you have to do something it makes you feel as if you are at the whim of outside forces.

Sometimes you do ‘have’ to do things.

That’s fine. We all need to do things we don’t enjoy.

But save that language for your chores, not for the things that move you forward in life.

And not for the things that make life worth living.

I had to wanted to write this article today.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.

As always, I’ll see you next Sunday Friday.

LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOURSELF

“Everything I ever do blows up in my face.”

He is slumped forward in his chair, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting with his hands.

“Everyone told me to get a car. ‘It will help’ they said. I didn’t need it, I lost everything I had worked for in eight months.”

“People told me to go to school, they said it would help. Now I’ve wasted four years and I’m in debt.”

I didn’t really know what to say to him. Most lessons we encounter in life are only remembered because they leave scars.

That day, he peeled back the scar tissue and showed me the painful lesson he had learned.

dont let

Don’t life your life according to someone else’s curriculum.

I recently quit my job. The place I work at was infamous for trapping people and keeping them forever.

I had been there seven years, I was making better money than I would elsewhere but it no longer felt right to me.

It was a toxic environment that was chipping away at my mental stability.

I was due for a raise and I figured that the extra money would make it more bearable. That I would be able to stand it if I just made a little more.

But the raise came and went, and I was still coming home feeling drained and depressed.

So I quit.

People warned me that I would not make as much anywhere else.

They poked and prodded me to find out what my plans were so that they could talk about me behind my back.

“He wants to go to Spain and travel for a year, he won’t be able to afford that.”

“This 2HelpfulGuys thing isn’t going to go anywhere. He should have just stayed here and saved.”

Living to appease those around you will never lead to happiness.

Our whole lives we are told what we should do.

People tell you that you should go to school, get a job, find a spouse, mortgage a house, raise a family.

I didn’t want to go down this path and I can feel how uncomfortable it makes people around me.

As soon as I tell people about my dreams, writing books, public speaking, motivating people, starting businesses, they immediately warn me of the inevitable outcomes.

“You only have a 1% chance to make it. What about retirement? Where is the job security?”

Whenever people tell you what you can or can’t do, remember that it is just a reflection of their own limitations.

These people never chased their dreams.

They left them to die somewhere in the past.

In a classroom where the teacher said they couldn’t make it. Or in their living room where there parents told them that they would amount to nothing without a degree and stable job.

I know too many people with degrees they will never use, material objects that bring them no joy and lives that leave them unfulfilled.

All so that people will say “Oh, that’s good for you.” When asked what they have been up to.

I have no idea where my future will take me.

What I do know is that as long as I am following what I believe is my purpose in life, I’ll be happy.

I know people don’t believe in me when I tell them my goals, but I don’t need their approval.

The only approval I need is from the man in the mirror. When I am home alone, contemplating my life, everyone else in the world may as well not exist.

They will come and go like seasons in my life. The only opinion that matters is the one staring back from the glass.
And right now he is thinking “You’re doing the right thing, you’ve got this.”

Replace your Should with a Could

They say you should be yourself.

I’m not sure who they are but I’m starting to think that they are on to something.

Every time you act like someone you aren’t or do something you don’t want to just to appease someone, you get a little bit further away from who you are.

Fear

Everyone agrees that you should be yourself. There are thousands of quotes and motivational pictures depicting this. No one would ever tell you “Be more like someone else.”

So why is it people still spend so much of their time doing things they don’t want to, and traveling down a path that isn’t right for them?

It’s because of fear. They are afraid that what they want in their heart won’t work out.

Afraid that if they take the leap there won’t be anything there to catch them.

They let fear push them into a corner.

Should

I hate that word. I encourage you to throw it out of your vocabulary.

Whenever you are using this word it’s because you’re thinking about something that you don’t want to do, but for some reason feel like you have to.

should go to university. I should get a normal job. I should settle down.

This word is a virus that you have because you’ve been surrounded by it your whole life. You parents, teachers, peers and society have all instilled their own “shoulds” into you.

After writing that word so many times it looks alien to me. I hope it looks alien to you as well.

Every time this word appears in your life I want you to think very carefully about how it got there and if you really need it.

Could

I would encourage you instead to replace all of your shoulds with coulds.

Could is a word that I can get behind. It allows you to imagine possibilities.

When you are thinking of a could, you are allowing yourself to believe in something that you want.

could start that business I’ve been thinking about. I could talk to that cute cashier. I could travel around Europe.

It’s a much more useful word.

Rid yourself of the shoulds and start thinking in coulds.

You’ll explore more of who you are and less of who other people want you to be.

dr seuss

Ten Commandments Of Learning

I’ve tried a few things in my lifetime. Some of them I have been good at, and others have caused me to fall flat on my face like Bambi.

I’ve learned how to play the drums, how to do door to door sales, speak/act on a public stage, create YouTube videos, work out, and the list goes on.

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and throughout the years I started to realize that any venture you plan on undertaking will have certain universal truths that can help you be successful.
And save you a LOT of time.

I could write an article on each of these, but I want to give you something comprehensive.

Without further ado, here are my “Ten Commandments of Learning.”

1) Be Passionate

No matter what you are going to try, you have to have passion.
It has to invigorate you.

If your venture doesn’t excite you then at some point you are going to lose interest and motivation. You don’t want to get into something that you will eventually drop and forget about.

If the thought of sewing doesn’t excite you, pick something else. This should be common sense but you would be surprised how many people do things with a lack of passion.

Maybe they want to impress other people or they think it’s something they should learn.

Don’t do something for any other reason than fulfilling a passion. Otherwise the results will be lack luster and you will waste your time.

2) Learn From The Professionals

We are lucky to live in the internet age. There are thousands of qualified people giving out free information at every turn.

Instead of just jumping in head first without knowing anything, take a little bit of time to research some people that have already succeeded in your venture and allow them to be digital mentors.

If you have a credible professional closer to you then great, learn in person. Unfortunately most people won’t have that luxury.

You can find hundreds of YouTube videos, blogs, magazines and podcasts on any topic.

This will save you a lot of time spent learning things the hard way. These people have already learned things the hard way, use them as a resource.

Get a digital mentor, or ten, and get cracking.

3) Start Small (*ere ere* Break it down now)
My impression of DJ scratching.

I can not stress how important this one is. Learn the absolute basics first, master them, and then move on to the next stages.

When I was teaching people how to do door to door sales I would focus on one thing at a time. Usually I would start with body language or voice projection.

I wouldn’t even worry about the pitch, closing a sale, or any fine details for a while.

Before any of that, they had to learn the basics.

When you learn an instrument you don’t start off playing Mozart. You don’t even learn a song right away.

First, you start by learning how to hold it, how to play scales and how to take care of it.

Learn what the basics are and then master them.

4) Fall Into A Phase

If you want to learn something effectively you have to immerse yourself in it. Willingly accept that this is something you love and for a time it will take up a lot of your attention.

People might become annoyed when they notice that you talk about this venture a lot and you relate everything back to it, but this will help integrate it into your very being.

I learn everything by going into phases. Right now I am in a positive thinking and willpower phase. I watch YouTube videos about it, listen to audio books, meditate, do positive affirmations and a whole list of other things.

When you go into a phase you may partially neglect other parts of your life and that’s fine because right now you are focusing on something important to you.

You also have to realize that this venture won’t be your main focus for your whole life, but after it is over the lessons you learned will be integrated into you and will help you in any other endeavors.

Allow yourself to fall into a phase and you will learn ten times faster.

5) Dedicate An Allotted Daily Time to Practice

So you have allowed yourself to fall down the rabbit hole and you are deep in a phase.

You spend time learning about your venture, and immersing yourself in your venture, but you must ensure you practice it.

All the theory in the world isn’t worth anything if you never practice and you need to set aside a daily time slot to do so.
It has to be everyday, non-negotiable.

It can be an hour, or ten minutes. If you think you don’t have enough time to practice, then make the time.

Wake up a half hour earlier and do it then, before the birds are chirping and the world is breathing down your neck.

This goes hand in hand with being in a phase because you might not be able to do this for your whole life.

But right now, you need to do it. Get it done everyday, no excuses.

6) Connect With Others On The Same Path

I am a firm believer that you can’t do everything on your own.

You will run into other people while you are venturing down your path. Use their help.

Ask them for advice, get them to practice with you, have discussions with them, and allow them to be a part of your immersion process.

You can find these people on forums, in YouTube comments, or in everyday life.

If you surround yourself with people that have the same interest you will always have a second perspective and a motivator.

7) Allow Yourself To Fail

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Anything you have ever done, you have failed at. From speaking, to walking, to brushing your teeth, and everything in between.

The first thirty times you tried walking you literally fell flat on your ass.

So why do we associate failure with embarrassment when we are older?

I guarantee that if you fail at anything one hundred times, you will be better at it than ninety percent of people.

You will learn a bit about yourself, and your craft, every time you fail.

The difference between the master and the beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried.

8) Teach Another Person

This is the part of the puzzle that most people never fit in. In order to truly internalize a skill you need to teach it.

This will force you to look at the learning experience from every angle and examine your craft down to the smallest details so that you can answer any question.

When you teach someone else something that you have learned, they will experience obstacles that you may not have experienced. You will learn from their failures just as you learned from yours.

Not to mention that you will be helping someone and making the world better.
Each one teach one.

9) Keep It In Your Thoughts

Before you go to bed and night and when you wake up in the morning make sure your venture is on your mind.

Imagine yourself at the end of your journey, a master of new skills, a more resilient version of yourself.

Remind yourself why you started, and why you will persevere through any obstacles.

I like to do this by having daily affirmations. Before I lay in bed at night and before I get up in the morning I repeat a chosen phrase to myself. I close my eyes and visualize my goal as if I am already there.

The mind is a powerful thing and whatever you focus on the most is what will come to fruition in your life.
Make sure it is your goal.

10) Be Humble

Never assume that you know more than anyone else. Take criticism gracefully.

Take the positive out of everything that you can and leave the negative behind.

You must always view yourself as a student, learning as much as you can from all sources.

It is essential that you remain humble and open, otherwise you will not be in the state required for optimal learning. If you are closed minded and arrogant you won’t grow.

These are my ten commandments for learning.

I live by them every day. They will give you the foundation to build your dreams on.

Learning something new is always scary, but if you remember that the commandments are always the same you will feel as though you are walking a familiar path.
It’s a beautiful stroll, isn’t it?

still learning