“Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”Marcus Aurelius
As innovators, the world is constantly testing us. We set out to do something and it’s more trying than we expect. We face resistance. We get criticized. We run out of options. We experience technical difficulties. What will we do?
Marcus would say that the Stoic finds a way to turn every negative into a positive. In this famous line, what he’s suggesting is that—no matter how bad or seemingly undesirable a situation becomes—we always have the opportunity to practice virtue, to use the situation as an opportunity to be our best selves. We don’t control when things get hard, but we always control how we respond. We can show patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, reason, justice, and creativity. The things that test us make us who we are.
The Stoic grows stronger and better with every obstacle they face (Anti-fragile). They rally to every challenge and thrive as a result. So can you.
The obstacle in your path is the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.
Be an innovator, be anti-fragile.