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How to use Obstacles to Move Closer to Success

In the bestselling inspirational book, ‘A New Earth’, Eckhart Tolle shares an ancient Sufi story with his readers. It is the story of a king who was tired of finding himself in extreme states of happiness or sadness and was looking to find a way to bring balance, serenity and wisdom into his life.

He sought the counsel of a wise man who was reputed to be enlightened and asked for his help, offering any price the wise man wished.

The wise man answered by stating that he could help but the price would be so great that his entire kingdom would not be sufficient payment, therefore it would be a gift as long as he honored it.

A few weeks later the wise man returned to the king and presented him with a beautiful box decorated with jade. The king opened it and found a simple gold ring with the inscription, ‘This, too, will pass.’

The king asked, ‘What is the meaning of this?’ to which the wise man replied,

‘Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way, you will always be at peace.’

‘This, too, will pass’, is a reminder that in any situation we are able to find a lesson if we accept that a situation will not last forever. It allows us to consider a situation as being an opportunity for growth and success.

There is so much angst and stress that can arise when we encounter a situation, label it as bad and instantly begin to feel like it will never end.

It is an opportunity to create space between you and the situation and become aware of why the situation has been presented to you. What can you learn from the situation? Has it inadvertently protected you from another situation? Is it an opportunity to face a fear, or an opportunity to adjust your plans?

Conflicts are always presented to you as a way to move closer to success. Some people like to think that if you have no problems you are not on the right path, as you are not learning and figuring out what works and what does not.

Life is an exercise in growth and learning and if you can learn to read between the lines you will always see that there is something beneficial there for you.

Make the decision to change your perspective and consider ‘bad’ situations as a sign that you are moving closer and more in alignment with your chosen goals. And when you are working in alignment with your true desires, success with the world around you is guaranteed no matter what the situation.

Next time you feel that rising stress in your chest, take a moment to remember that ‘This, too, will pass’ and watch your perception instantly shift!


‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle 

ISBN: 0-7862-8131-6