The Art of Overcoming Obstacles

“The path of the least resistance is the path of least discomfort”

– Abraham Hicks

Dorit Aharonov is a professor in Computer Science and Engineering. Immediately, after her Ph.D., she went to a numb period in which nothing was actually worked, even though she put a lot of effort into it.

One day her friend came and said, “Dorit, you painted a beautiful picture on your Ph.D., but you are putting too much effort. Maybe it is time to let go and move on to the next picture.”

That made her realized that she was clinging to it with all her might and applying a lot of force.

When things are getting hard, it is very natural for us to use more force to deal with them. Imagine yourself opening a door. You try to open it; it doesn’t open. It’s stuck. What would you do? You try harder. If it doesn’t work, you try even harder.

What you may not realize, you lose a lot from this forceful approach. You lose your sensitivity and creativity. It is like something has taken over you to do the job. It doesn’t care about you anymore. It only cares about the end goal. It makes you feel stuck and unmotivated.

In her TED talk, Dorit Aharonov spoke about the other way of thinking and learning which is much more connected, attentive, creative, and sensitive. She showed an example of an unforced thinking process.

After turning a half-full glass around with her hand without spilling it, she asked the audience how many times did the glass rotate around itself? She repeated the movement giving the audience a chance to count one more time.

Her point was, your curiosity on her rotating the glass would trigger a spontaneous thinking process inside you that was unforced. And enable you to trace the number of rotation she made quickly.

The unforced, mindful, attentive solution will help you maintain kind of quality, sensitivity, creativity, and the connection within yourselves. Not only in front of a simple exercise but also the hardest obstacle that you want to overcome.

Find Solutions without Straining Yourself

Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Harvard University, said it in another way; "Mindfulness is nothing more than awareness of context. As well as awareness of variability or alteration in that context."

If you are mindless than you don’t notice nuance; you won’t have the ability to see your problem from a different perspective. You tend to assume everything is black and white and focus more on the hardship of your problem rather than the alternative way out.

By being mindful, attentive, unforceful, you might find yourself in a different place. Unstuck. You will be able to find solutions without straining yourself.


  • Which area in your life is affected the most by stress?
  • What are fear and beliefs around the situation (or the relationship)?
  • How can you give yourself space and see it from a different perspective?
  • What would you do instead if you believe it was easy?

Other Posts

How to Stop Taking Life Too Seriously
The Big ‘F’ word in the workplace is not ‘F*CK’
Mindfulness as Witnessing Capacity

Do you want to sign up, but the schedule doesn't work for you?

Join the wait list for the next cohort.