Life’s path is littered with obstacles. They might small, easily navigated or huge barriers threatening to bar the way.

It would be a strange life without the odd obstacle or obstruction in the way. Given their inevitability how should you respond to them?

1. Obstacles can be opportunities.  Don’t just see the barrier as block to your progress. In order to get beyond the obstruction you may need to learn a new skill. You may need to seek help from others or collaborate with them in order to progress. A whole host of opportunities might well open up for you that wouldn’t be there if it were not for the obstacle.

2. Going the long way round might be the right way.  If you have ever watched the cross country part of three day eventing  you will have noticed that sometimes the horse and rider can take a direct route or an indirect route at a fence. The direct route is inevitably riskier. Each rider has to weigh up the risk against the potential reward. The riskier route might be quicker but only if the horse gets over cleanly. The alternative will get them to the same point on the course but take slightly longer. Sometimes in life going the long way round is the right thing to do. It will take longer but you’ll still reach your destination.

3. Learn how to meet obstacles and get over or around them. I think it’s about having the right kind of mindset. If you believe everything should be plain sailing and easy then you are going to be thrown completely off course when you do meet an obstacle.  If, on the other hand, you prepare to face whatever barrier is thrown in your way you are more likely to conquer whatever is in your path.
4. There are enough jumps to get over in life without building your own.
I really don’t think I need to elaborate on this, do I?

 5. An obstacle might be telling you you are on the wrong track. Perseverance and determination are admirable qualities. We all need to persevere, to soldier on, to grit our teeth and determine to succeed. But not at any cost. Sometimes we need stop and ask ourselves if we are indeed on the right path.  Are the constant obstacles there because I am following the wrong path?  Difficult question to answer I know but stopping and asking yourself if this is the right route is wise and ultimately rewarding.

Right I’m off to find a way over my latest obstacle.

Five Key Questions for Monday

The keys to a good story are Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

So what questions should you be asking of yourself this week.  It’s Monday morning and no doubt you will be either looking at a list you made last night or at a blank piece of paper trying to figure out what you want to achieve today and the week ahead.

Let me suggest fie things to ask that are a little beyond the to do list.

1. Who? This can be answered in so many ways from the prosaic I am Gordon O’Neill to the metaphysical I am a child of my time. Actually I am not sure I am but you get my drift. Spending a few moments thinking about who you are is not a bad thing. You are probably many different things and maybe not even the person you want to be. Getting to “who” you are means ditching a few misconceptions about who others think you. You probably won’t arrive at a definite answer but you might have a clearer idea.

2. What?  When someone asks you what you what you do they asking for your occupation or your trade. That’s OK except people often judge you on what you do. I am a film maker but it is not the only thing I do. What I do is more than my occupation but it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that is all you are. It’s not you do so much more.

3. Where? We all occupy a physical space and there is nothing wrong with asking if you are in the right space. That could be where you live or work or play. Sometimes we are where we are because of habit and sometimes we need to shake ourselves out of a habit or commit to a change of space.

4. Why? Why are you doing what you are currently doing?  A questioning nature is not a fault. To blindly go along without any questions is the real fault.

5. How?  I make lists, all kind of lists. I write down my daily, weekly and yearly goals. What I have learnt recently is that I need to write detailed steps of how I am going to achieve those goals. What’s more I review them every day and revise them often. If I want to achieve something I need a plan, a how, I am going to achieve it.

Have a good week and remember these same questions are equally as important to video production.