In Others’ Words: Goal or Obstacle

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” ~Henry Ford, American industrialist

I could make my point today talking about football.

But I won’t.

Even though I found a great photo of the goal line, I won’t talk about my favorite team (the Denver Broncos). I won’t talk about Tim Tebow … or about how no one in my family is allowed to talk to me when I’m watching football. No one.

Wait. Where was I?

I love the short, honest truth of Henry Ford’s quote: I can either focus on my goal or I can focus on the obstacles in the way of my goal.

And if I keep my eyes on my goal — what I’m aiming for — then I can’t concentrate on all those scary obstacles in my way. Yes, I have to deal with them. But the obstacles don’t became the all-encompassing focal point of my time and energy.

Stop and consider the difference there. It’s subtle, but it’s life changing. Select one goal. Just one. Now concentrate on getting to that goal. Determine to discover how you are going to accomplish that goal. Yes, there will be obstacles. But those hurdles, those impediments, they’re things you’ll conquer on the way to achieving your goal.

In Your Words: Is there a goal you’re working toward? Where’s your focus? On the goal you want to reach? Or on the obstacles between you and the goal?


photo by Morrhigan/
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  1. November 9, 2011, 7:15 am   /  Reply

    You are so right on with this. I find that often when I am closest to finishing the goal, the harder and faster the obstacles get thrown my way. I have to be so intentional.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      November 9, 2011, 10:40 am   /  Reply

      Great insight, Wendy.
      It’s like when my husband was deployed–the last month was actually the most challenging part of the entire 4 month deployment!

  2. November 9, 2011, 10:31 am   /  Reply

    Yes, I have goals, and yes, I have obstacles. But I actually just wrote a blog last week about how I love how God never loses sight of the end goal. All throughout the Bible, we see Him working toward His original vision of drawing His creation to its Creator. Despite a bazillion obstacles – from that first mega blip in the Garden to every fickle heart since then – every step of the way, His focus has been and is on drawing our hearts to His. He conquers every obstacle. Such an example to me of keeping my focus on the end and not letting the middle eat me up.

  3. November 9, 2011, 12:01 pm   /  Reply

    Your post reminds me of when Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus. He. Walked. On. Water. Amazing. Until he allowed his fears to pull his focus away from his goal–Jesus.

    My ultimate goal is to become a full-time author. If I focus on that, I quickly become overwhelmed. Instead I focus on one book at a time. Focusing on my current WIP helps me to lean into Jesus for His strength. Together, He and I will eventually achieve my ultimate goal.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 9, 2011, 12:19 pm   /  Reply

      Terrific scriptural tie in, Lisa! A foundational, not-to-be forgotten truth.

  4. November 9, 2011, 1:26 pm   /  Reply

    “I can either focus on my goal or I can focus on the obstacles in the way of my goal.” Wow, this is brilliant, Beth. Definitely needed the reminder today. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      November 9, 2011, 2:33 pm   /  Reply

      Glad I had a moment of brilliance that helped you today, Sarah! 😉

  5. November 9, 2011, 9:25 pm   /  Reply

    My newest goal is to get stronger. I could say my goal is to best osteoporosis, but to some extent that’s out of my control. I can, however, exercise and remember to take my supplements each day, which is a measurable goal I can accomplish.

    • Beth Vogt
      November 9, 2011, 10:14 pm   /  Reply

      Good job, Keli. Focus on the goal: Get stronger–not the obstacle: osteoporosis. Cheering you on! 🙂

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