It’s not Supposed to be Easy

How to Overcome Obstacles and Get what you Want out of Life

Celebrating an achievement
Overcoming obstacles becomes easier with each one.

If someone promised your life would be fair or easy, they not only lied, they did you a disservice. That kind of complacency can lead to you becoming a victim of a natural or manmade disaster, as we talked about yesterday. It’s also a recipe for being taken advantage of or victimized.

In the real world, snow piles up and traps you in your home for days without power, ATMs shut down and stores close, hurricanes rip the roofs of homes and rivers flood and lift them from their foundations. People who seem friendly will steal your credit cards and clean out your bank account when you aren’t looking. Criminals are likely to steal your phone, push you in front of the subway, or follow you home when you leave the nightclub to rob, beat, stab or rape you. Gunmen will open fire at random, because of terrorism or gang warfare.

Grow up and Toughen Up

If you are over 23 and think it’s your parents’ job to pick you up when you fall down, dust you off, pat your butt, transfer money into your Venmo account, and promise that everything will be alright, then you are spoiled and need to grow up.

Here’s a news flash for young adults: You may still be young, but you are also an adult, so act like it. Get a job. Find somewhere to live that your parents don’t pay for. Get off their cell phone plan. Make your own way in the big scary world. Fail until you tire of failing and change your ways so you can overcome the obstacles instead of letting them stop you.

If you are already out on your own but your life seems to be going nowhere, the obstacle you face is the rut in which you are wallowing. Change it. Think differently. Try a new approach. Strive to go beyond the hole in which you are buried. It’s never too late to grow up.

I think it was Mario Andretti who said, “If you are coasting, you are going downhill.” Stop coasting and press the accelerator on your life. Set a goal, break it down into small steps, and start taking them one by one.

Life is a struggle. It is a never-ending battle to defer death and preserve and improve your life. At first, your parent helped you, just like the bitch helps her pups. But at some point, you need to leave the protection of the pack and lone wolf it. Suddenly, the easy life you had sheltered by those with more experienced and resources is gone and you face your first serious obstacle. This is the test. Will you pass or will you fail?

Either way, it won’t be your last test. They keep coming.

To Struggle is to Grow

Maybe it’s trying to balance schoolwork and the party life at college. It could be the drill sergeant in basic training. Maybe it’s a terrible boss. Perhaps it’s having to pay your own bills on time, every month. Whatever it is in your case, when you face your first obstacle, it can defeat you and send you running home with tears down your face, or you can fight through it and overcome adversity.

What does it take to overcome an obstacle? Perseverance. Determination. Grit. Resilience. Flexibility. The ability to think differently. Hard work. Things that are also important to survive after the SHTF.

The great thing about overcoming obstacles is that when you have overcome the first one, the next one gets easier. As you gain experience and confidence, and the next obstacle doesn’t seem so imposing. That’s a good thing, because life is a never-ending series of obstacles and to succeed, you need to keep overcoming them. That’s the only way you can grow and develop as a human being. I’d go so far as to say it’s a requirement to be a contributing member of society.

Don’t Give Up

In my life, I have been fired and laid off, divorced and had to fight for custody of my kids, sued and physically threatened. I’ve had creditors harass me and used one credit card to pay off another. I’ve been in car crashes and had broken bones. Friends and family members have died. There have been personal setbacks and professional ones.

There have also been survival situations. For example, I’ve lived through hurricanes and blizzards, had my basement flood, and my pipes freeze. I’ve never had to shoot someone, but there were times when my gun cleared the holster that it was a distinct possibility. But I’ve also had successes, realized many of my dreams and achieved a lifelong ambition of living full time on my prepper property. Although I once swore to never get married again, I was flexible enough to change my mind and now have a wonderful wife two whom I have been married for more than a decade. Most of the good in my life is because I didn’t let the bad stop me.

We all face obstacles. We all get punched in the face from time to time. The trick is to be like the running back on your favorite NFL team who loses yardage on first down but gets back up and is ready for the next play. Maybe he’ll find a hole and run for 28 yards on the next down. Maybe you’ll score a touchdown. If so, it won’t be because of luck; it will be because you were prepared, because you trained, and because you didn’t let an obstacle stop you.

One thing I’ve learned is not to dwell on the inevitable setbacks. Look ahead. Tomorrow is a new day. Make the best of it, regardless of the circumstances.

Let me reiterate what the title says: Life is not supposed to be easy. Like steel, you have to be tempered in a high heat environment. Either you succeed and become tougher or you fail and shatter under pressure. Don’t succumb to the pressure.

Prepping and Overcoming Obstacles

When you think about it, prepping is a systematic way to lay the groundwork for overcoming future obstacles. When you prepare, you look ahead, identify potential obstacles, and make plans on how to overcome them. This may require supplies. It may require training. It may require the right attitude, or some combination of the three. Prepping helps make sure you are ready to face known obstacles, and it gives you the right mindset to face unexpected ones.

This applies to obstacles like forest fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, hurricanes, criminals, terrorism, shortages, pandemics, war, and EMP strikes. It also applies to obstacles like unemployment, illness, a financial setback, losing a loved one, and the collapse of carefully laid plans.

If you are good at overcoming obstacles, prepping can make you even better. That’s a win-win.