Turning Obstacles into Triumphs

personal development Mar 14, 2013


           Friday is a great day to reflect on my week. Hmmm...usually I think about the constant challenges and obstacles to getting things done. I fret and hand-wringer sometimes drop a few F-Bombs about all the obstacles I encountered.

           I bet you’ve had this experience. You know those crazy people who didn’t do what you wanted, the personal or professional situations that didn’t go well, or the plans that fell flat after you thought all would go well.

           Obstacles are a wonderful, instructive part of our shared human experience. Imagine if you didn't have your obstacles. Who would you be? How do we turn our obstacles into triumphs? Seem impossible? Consider the story of Juan Sandoval, a talented pitcher, making his run for a spot in Major League Baseball. In an instant, his entire life dream was halted.

           Sandoval and his fiancé were enjoying a quiet dinner in the Dominican Republic a few years ago. When an angry man, who was booted from the restaurant for poor behavior, returned with a shotgun and pulled the trigger. Three pellets lodged in Sandoval’s right eye permanently blinding him.

           I was fascinated by his story when I heard it recently. As a pitcher having sight in both eyes is critical to see line drive balls, see runners stealing bases, and judging depth perception. What fascinated me was his deep belief and faith. He chose to turn a career-ending obstacle into a blessing and a triumph.

           You have to listen to his story on NPR Juan Sandoval. Imagine losing something that would directly impact your dreams. Imagine replacing your dreams with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Would you be able to rise, find the beauty and opportunity in your loss? Juan Sandoval turned his obstacle into a triumph. He is currently at Spring training competing for a spot on the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.

            I believe his purposeful desire to turn his obstacle into a triumph inspired those around him to take a chance. (Read about how he got to Spring training). He is humble, thankful, and grateful. He can name his blessings and see how his obstacle has enriched his life and strengthened him as a human being.

            How we choose to see an obstacle makes all the difference between triumph and defeat. What obstacles can you transform into triumphs? 

Jenny DuFresne is the CEO, Leaders Transform. Our mission is to develop leaders who grow, inspire, and evolve people, culture, and impact. Our team supports executive and mid-level leaders with executive coaching, leader, team, and culture development in mid-market companies. Learn more at www.LeadersTransform.com

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