Reaching Your Goals: 4 Ways to Beat a Brick Wall

Does it feel like there is a brick wall between you and your goals?

Sometimes, there is.

What obstacles are separating you from your dreams?

The approach taken against these obstacles is what separates those who achieve great things and those who do not.

Walls Keep People Out

Years ago at the University of Virginia, I was fortunate enough to study under Professor Randy Pausch. (In fact, his User Interface class was my all-time favorite and I still keep the course notes on my bookshelf. True!)

Sadly, Randy Pausch is no longer with us. However, he passed on many life lessons and today I want to highlight one of his more famous quotes.

In reference to reaching your goals, he spoke of the “brick walls” that life places in our way. These walls were metaphors for the obstacles that keep us from reaching our dreams.

He said,

“Brick walls are there for a reason.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out.

The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something.

Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough.

They are there to keep out the other people.”

- Randy Pausch

Are you letting the walls prevent you from reaching your goals?

How to Beat a Brick Wall

Don’t be one of the other people.

The ones that look at the wall and walk away or give up.

Will you be stopped or will you do whatever it takes?

How do you beat a brick wall?

Here are 4 Ways to Beat That Brick Wall:

  1. Go Over – This is what everyone else is trying to do. It is not easy, but it is the safest. Other people may root for you. However, this can be the hardest course and require the most effort. The walls are tall for a reason.
  2. Go Through – With enough brute force, you can go right through some walls. Some may be old rules that no longer apply. Some may not be as strong as they look. But, you have to be careful. You need to ensure that you will win and not the wall. Be prepared, there can be political fallout. The wall’s destruction or your own can be devastating.
  3. Go Around – Sometimes the best way to beat a wall is to outsmart it. Most walls are stationary obstacles, and with the right strategy you can outflank them. Sometimes the easiest path is around the wall. What others consider “out-of-bounds,” may be the shortest path to your goal.
  4. Wait and Come Back – Sitting and waiting for a wall to go away is not what I am advocating. However, sometimes timing is everything. That new idea may not fly now, but it could down-the-road under new circumstances or leadership. Sometimes an obstacle is temporary. Even a bad boss, can sometimes be outlasted.

Walking Through Walls

What wall is in the way of your dreams? Are you letting obstacles prevent your success?

As Randy Pausch said, the walls are there to keep the other people out.

Reaching your goals takes time, hard work, and much sacrifice.

It truly is about how badly you want them.

Enough to best a brick wall?

That may be what it takes.

What brick walls are stopping your from reaching your goals? What are you doing about it?

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