A new way forward.
Sometimes, the work we need to focus on is the obstacle in front of whatever it is we think we need to be doing. Which can be both the most frustrating and liberating realization to have.
In The Obstacle is the Way, author Ryan Holiday writes, “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
While I don’t identify as a Stoic, I do appreciate its practice-based philosophies that instruct people to face their challenges with the same gusto that they would their passions. Even after my introduction to Stoicism, however, I resisted taking a closer look at the obstacles in my path.
Instead, in the five years leading up to this time last year, I did whatever I could to bypass what wasn’t working for me. I always applied myself but there were certain facets of my life that I ignored in the hopes they would sort themselves out on their own.
This was the case for my finances. Despite money being a sizable and ongoing stress in my life, I treated my debt and variable access to money as an inconvenient barrier on the way to creative and professional fulfillment.
It was only after I had fully exhausted all my options for bypassing the financial pain I was in that I was forced to take a good look at what was really in the way of me doing the creative work I feel called to do.
Upon further inspection—and much to my surprise—I discovered that the work I wanted to be doing wasn’t being inconvenienced by my lack of financial stability. The work I wanted to be doing needed me to prioritize financial stability in order to have a shot at being created in the first place.
I think I avoided acknowledging this for a long time because I was afraid that prioritizing financial stability would mean I’d have to go out and get a “real job.” As it turns out, this isn’t the case and I have options for creating financial stability while continuing my work as a freelance writer and coach.
What’s more, I have enough resources and applied experience at my disposal to share what I’ve learned with other creatives. While I initially thought that I needed to have paid off my debt and achieved financial success to in order to teach financial wellness, I have some relevant learnings that I can share now.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve started creating an online course that helps students rewrite their money story so they can start to shift their financial reality. In the service of their health and wellbeing and the creative work they feel called to do.
While I get to work on this new creative and professional trajectory, I’d love to know:
What changes when the obstacle in your way becomes the way?