Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Goal Achievement: 11 ways to overcome obstacles

By Virginia Mburu

Something that blocks you so that movement, going forward or action are prevented or made more difficult…

Who would want something that makes progress more difficult? However though obstacles make target achievement challenging, the process becomes more thrilling and motivating. We will now look into how we can manage obstacles by taking some lessons from one short, wealthy, chief tax collector Zacchaeus found in Luke 19: 1-10.

Step 1….Your target must be crystal clear and the why obvious
Zacchaeus’ goal was outlined in - Luke 18:3; ‘He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd.”  

To ‘see someone’ and to “see who they are” have different meanings and demand totally different approaches.

Jesus’ popularity must have preceded his visit to this town of Jericho—His radical preaching, the innumerable miracles, the frequent run-ins with the Chief Priests, Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. More so for Zacchaeus- that he could accommodate the tax collectors and sinners.

He had even recruited a tax collector (Matthew) to be one of his 12 disciples! So, is your target clearly as spelt out as that one of Zacchaeus?

Please note that the goal statement included the obstacles he faced. "I Zacchaeus- the shorty- get to see who Jesus is Today, No Matter What!”
Step 2….Adjust priorities
This is especially so if this happens to be one of those impromptu targets arising from an impromptu visit by Jesus in Jericho (see another one here).

Take time to adjust priorities. Zacchaeus must have moved some of his tax collection appointments from the day’s schedule and it must have come at a cost!

Step 3…..Get a tight grasp on your emotions
Stop seeing the obstacle from the eyes of a vertically challenged, wealthy, chief tax collector who was resented by fellow Jews. Analyse the obstacle from a logical perspective. No blame game, No search for sympathy votes… Be Zacchaeus -focus on end result rather than perceptions!  

Step 4.….Map your way to the target but be flexible to allow for changes from lessons learned on the way

What solution exists? Adopt the attitude that every problem has a solution. We usually talk about going round an obstacle. What about going over or under it or even climbing it like Zacchaeus?

Thoroughly assess the obstacle, have a mindset that every obstacle is surmountable and your good brains will furnish you with unexpected alternatives. Be creative and persistent in your solution search. Think differently, question assumptions, norms, generalizations etc. How would other people view the obstacle?  How would your mentor view it? How would an assistant view it?

It would not be surprising if Zacchaeus borrowed the ‘climbing’ tip from some young boys  who were already atop some of the trees!  What about seeking help from mentors, coaches or experts to assist you craft the solution? 

While at it, desist from blame game or search for sympathy votes which make us operate from a point of weakness and unable to control our fate and destiny. Imagine Zacchaeus going like “Woiyee you guys, can’t you  allow the bilikimos (short people) to take the front row?”

Let’s take full responsibility over the obstacle even as we invite assistance.
Zacchaeus crafted a solution that was sure to attract Jesus’s attention. He defined where (he must have enquired to know the route Jesus was to take), which tree to climb to improve his height (Sycamore fig tree which was high above the crowd but low enough for him to be seen).

He must also have picked on the right time to run ahead of the crowd and climb the tree. What if you had a brainstorming session and wrote out all possible solutions until you have a winning formula?

Step 5..…Expect and identify obstacles in your journey
 If you averse to obstacles, then you better take note of this quote from Frank A. Clark- “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”. And as mentioned above, you may decide to mention them in the goal statement.

      A.  Personal Obstacles
Physical attributes, thought patters, habits, behaviours, career, knowledge, skills etc. For Zacchaeus, his height and being an agent of the oppressor (Roman Authorities) were major obstacles. He must have been viewed as a sellout and ostracized.

It was an open secret that the tax collectors enriched themselves by collecting more taxes than demanded by the Roman Authorities. No wonder when Jesus decided to visit the home of Zacchaeus, the people “began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner’” (Luke  19:7)

B. Financial obstacles—Lack of or too much thereof
Whereas most people face the former, Zacchaeus fell victim to the latter -the wealth that was acquired through dubious means. 

C.    Social Obstacles
Are too many of you reaching for the same target necessitating that you run ahead of the crowd like Zacchaeus? How do people perceive you? Do they resent you like they did Zacchaeus? Are people discouraging you?

You may find out that like Zacchaeus, people around you or the culture you operate in is not conducive, is out-rightly sabotaging you, or the people are simply not capable of assisting you get over the obstacle. 

You may need to build better or new relationships. Correctly diagnose the scenario and effectively communicate what you want, how you want it done and expected result while ensuring they also achieve the other party’s desires in the process.

D.    Environmental Obstacles
Along the way, you may come across unexpected conditions, occurrences and circumstances that are beyond your control. For Zacchaeus, the crowds were huge. Do some scenario planning in advance and set up action plans which can be adjusted as you move along.

Step 6…..Set and stick to deadlines
Zacchaeus could have opted to wait for next time but then would he have seen Jesus again? Not on earth as Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem  where he was soon crucified.  This would have resulted in another unrealised personal target…

And by the way, why would you be missing your own deadlines unless you are busy assisting other people achieve theirs? Mind you, you might end up with a dangerous procrastination habit in your success journey. Not good, right?

Step 7…..Marshal the necessary support or resources 
What do you have and what’s missing? Zacchaeus could not rely on the support of the crowd. They detested him anyway but having criss-crossed this town many times, he knew a certain tree that  would do the trick.

So- Passionate Entrepreneur, what are the necessary tools, strategies, knowledge and the support we need to help us overcome obstacle successfully?  Keep an open mind…..even to a an often ignored sycamore-fig tree…….

Step 8…..Execute your plan-Fast…
Watch out for Henry Ford’s quote that "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." Wealthy Zacchaeus took this to heart and quickly gathered his robes and raced down the street ahead of the crowds and climbed the sycamore fig tree. Remember Jesus was “passing through” on his way to Jerusalem and time was of essence.

Step 9…..When one obstacle is resolved, another one comes knocking
Zacchaeus got more than he bargained for…. Not only did he attract Jesus’s attention but Jesus invited himself to Zacchaeus home!  Luke tells us in Luke 19:5  “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” 

Next was a spiritual obstacle –his sin LUKE 19:7 says that 
“All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.'"
He was known to be unjust in his tax collection and now was time to change his modus operandi which he quickly did in Luke 19:8  “Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Step 10…..It pays to assist others achieve their goals and gain a double victory
Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree because he was seeking Jesus whereas   Jesus was seeking to save the lost. Both Jesus and Zacchaeus reached their goals. Can your solution assist the other person achieve their objectives as well?

Step 11…..Don’t Quit
When the going gets really tough, you may want to take the advice of this unknown author who says that “Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer”. What would have seemed impossible did  happen to Sinner  Zacchaeus and other Jews  for in Verse 9, “Jesus Said to him “Today Salvation has come to this house….”

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur;
Which obstacles have you faced in your progress journey
How have you overcome these obstacles?

Share your experiences, suggestions or questions in the comments section below. Who knows- We might as well  share a joint victory……..

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.


 Virginia Mburu
The Work Less, Make More Money Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach

Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.    Download some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons on www.biasharacoach.blogspot.co.ke

Virginia can support you  achieve business goals and  move your  business to the next level through the Biashara Coach programs under;

1.Improve your business performance  through "My Productivity Optimization Formula"

2. Achieve your business and personal goals through "My Goal Setting and Achievement System"

3.  Set up  formidable business structures through "My Business Foundations Model

4. Keep a customer for life through my "My Customer Lifetime Value  Optimizer"

5.Increase your customer numbers through "My Customer Multiplier Blueprint"

6.  Set up  a selling machine through "My World Class Sales System"

7.Design the lifestyle you  always envied through "My Inside Out Lifestyle Design"

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