Options, Opportunities, and Occurrences

Posted by & filed under Personal Growth.


I am shocked at certain times of day by the amount of traffic I see on the interstates and in town—obviously, early in the morning and late in the afternoon. But sometimes it’s all day long. I can often never even pinpoint a reason for it. No holidays, no wrecks, no bad weather. It just simply happens.

If you’re like me, you’ve also experienced this feeling in another area—your life.

In life you can come to a complete stop and not even know why. It can be a helpless feeling sometimes.

If you are truly creative, if you are truly unusual, if you truly have a talent that is not obvious to anyone but you—then you may be totally frustrated with the lack of awareness of those around you.

Only you see what no one else can see. Initially you will not be comfortable with this. It is unsettling. It is odd. And you begin to wonder if it is you who is the odd one.

This is known as the audacity of the obvious

It does not have to stay that way. You can take action. Stop and think! Consider your options. You do have them. Write them down and think them out. Look at possibilities. Brainstorm. List as many different ways to get something done as possible.

Right now, take 15 minutes towards your number one ambition in life. Just 15 minutes. Do something towards it now. This will usually involve writing. On the computer. On a notepad. In a journal. Bottom line is you must have a visual of these different things. Write them down. This always helps me.

(Yes, I still need to go through this process. You would not believe how often.)

There are limitations with your thoughts. Despite what people say, you can really only think one thought at a time. Therefore, it helps to see 10 thoughts at once. When you write out possibilities, do not think of why something will not work. All things are possible on this list. We will go back and fine-tune the list later.

This is called a thought strategy. And you must have one if you are going to proceed full out in the most outstanding way.

A quick reminder: this is about your life. It is limited. There is an end. Just a reminder.

Once you have a list of 10, go back and write the pros and cons of each. Some are absolutely not feasible at this time. Some cost too much money. For others, you may not have all the resources you need at the moment.

Document what you are thinking. It is imperative to have these thoughts available for review at a later date.

It is the accumulation of these thoughts that will someday prove your brilliance.

Is this post resonating with you? Click here to tweet this: “Document what you are thinking. The accumulation of thoughts will one day prove your brilliance.”

These thoughts will either confirm your direction or alter, even in a small way, how you will arrive at your destination.

Notice I did not say “final” destination. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination. The journey is the reward. Some could even consider this time on this planet a rest stop along the eternal highway of life.

We are looking for what can be done today. You may not solve it today. But you will move forward one step at a time. And that is what must be done to accomplish anything. Just one step at a time.

Rarely is one afraid of one step. It’s the long run, the long jump, jumping the tall building…that people are afraid of. You do not eat the entire buffet. You eat a small plate of food, one bite at a time.

This is exactly the way it is in life. It’s always been about baby steps. People sometimes get confused and act like a baby instead of taking baby steps. Strength comes in baby steps. Little successes along the way will be a huge encouragement.

This is what will set you apart. You are not afraid. Not anymore. You can do this. Take 15 minutes right now and lay out the steps. I do not want you waiting in traffic any longer.

A roadblock is a temporary installation set up to control or block traffic along a road. A pothole is a type of disruption in the surface of a roadway where a portion of the road material has broken away, leaving a hole. 

Let me know what you are doing to not be hindered, delayed, or held back by either one. Feel like you’re in a situation that can’t be overcome? Let’s talk about it.

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  • http://SixMonthJump.com/ Alan Jackson

    It’s much easier when you put it that way. Thanks Robert!

  • Greg Hill

    I have an accountability partner that keeps me on track. Have certain mantras I read every morning. And I visualize the lives I will touch by moving forward which makes it difficult to give up or stop because they are counting on me!

    Thanks for the post. Continue adding value to the world!

    -Greg E. Hill

    • http://therobertd.com/ Robert D. Smith

      Those are both great strategies to use, Greg. Keep em up!

  • http://www.mattham.com/ Matt Ham

    Robert -
    As a new guy to the industry I was stuck on self-publishing, e – publishing or traditional. I did something similar to the exercise above – particularly – sought advice from PUBLISHED authors. There’s always a next step; write them down and carry on! Question: to whom do I give permission to give their opinion, rather whose opinion to trust when they differ?


  • http://www.karyoberbrunner.com/ Kary Oberbrunner

    Thanks for the value you give. Loved your interview with Michael Hyatt in Platform University. WOW. Amazing ideas and energy. Already implemented one of them with my publisher. Thanks Robert.

    • http://therobertd.com/ Robert D. Smith

      Thanks, Kary! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

  • http://changeyouremotions.com/ Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Hi Robert,
    What timing! I have been working so hard to do all the right things to get my voice heard out there on the Information Super Hwy. I have been in such a deep learning mode for so long, buying this program or this other service and trying to learn everything at once. Today I thought it over and cancelled a couple of my subscription services. I jumped in too early and instead of helping me reach my goals (which are written down), they are actually stressing me out. I need to enjoy this journey and not think of it as a destination…and yes…life is limited. God has given me a couple of chances to stay here for awhile longer and I need to follow His lead. I have always thought of myself as “walking to the beat of a different drummer.” I like that about myself, but there’s loneliness that can go along with it. I’m thankful for you and my online entrepreneur friends. We can have discussions like this, and we all understand each other!

    • http://therobertd.com/ Robert D. Smith

      I know what you mean, Linda! There’s sooooo much information out there it’s easy to jump in too deep and get lost in all of it. Stepping back, trimming down can be essential sometimes.

      • http://changeyouremotions.com/ Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        Yes…it felt good. I didn’t feel defeated. I felt wise. ;o)

  • Timbo Fowler

    I’m stuck right now with fundraising and partnership. It’s for the startup for a new church (not a building, I mean a new congregation). I’ve done three of these and it’s similarly principled to any entrepreneurial project (except the stakes are higher because it’s life change we’re talking about). The economy has hit donors and especially established churches’ budgets. It hasn’t hit them as much as their perception of it has, but funding this type of thing is the first to go. Add church politics to the equation of who gets the cash too-it’s real I’m afraid. Right now, I’m short on an idea or maybe a few that will turn the tide. How to take this need and present it in a compelling way that opens hearts and pocketbooks. Anyway, I’m going to prayerfully do the activity you mentioned here with this in mind. If you would say one for me, I’d be honored by that.

  • Lino

    I cant imagine you would be discouraged by anything Robert! You are like an encouragement dynamo! In any regard, it is refreshing to see your honesty.

    I am at a crossroads. I totally relate to many of the people commenting. I’ve tried for 5 years to get working capital for my business and haven’t been able to. This is with great credit, collateral, 40% growth every year for 5 years, and veteran status. None of it has mattered. Now I have been asked to either be incorporated under a much larger firm or become their employee! Is this a roadblock, a pothole, or a fork in the road?!

    I will use this technique immediately. Thank you for it! you are amazing!

  • Terry Gassett

    Loved this Robert! Very timely for me. I have been “detoured” for a while due to an unexpected surgery and complications following – so the idea of writing down my number one ambition in life and then doing something towards it today – helps me to plow through all of the overwhelm I have been feeling about the time lost pursuing my business and life goals – and FOCUS on what is most important now! Thank you!

  • David Mike

    To get my book written, I started a blog. I can only write one night a week due to schedule constraints. I do carry around a little Moleskin notebook to jot ideas and memories down on the spot. Later, I put them into Evernote, which then becomes my draft for the blog. Eventually all of the blog posts will be chapters in the book. Baby steps, infant not toddler! I just have to keep plugging along and look for additional writing opportunities. Thanks Robert.

  • http://www.michaelfokken.com/ MICHAEL FōKKEN

    Thanks Robert for the encouragement. You always have a great way of putting things.

    I got something done just this morning that I’ve wanted to for the past week! It always feels great to get something accomplished.

    The one thing that I’m having a hard time starting is a mastermind group. My goal is to get started with one in January. I will get it going. It’s just getting people educated on the idea and then converted to it.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    Thank you for this post, Robert. I am going to do this right now.

    • Kathleen Thompson

      Hi Robert. Thought I would let you know that I DID do it, with amazing results. It was difficult to start, and kept at it. Ended up on a roll and broke past the logjam. Thanks to you for writing this!

  • ChrisperezBmore

    Great stuff Robert D.. I have felt most of my life I was “different” and lately the closer I get to God, through prayer and contemplation, I realize how different I think and I guess I feel “weird”. I teach various age groups and abilities, including college and have a good rapport with students so … I believe I’m not “weird” to my students. But I have many creative ideas but never make them happen. I get stuck by roadblocks all the time and it takes some time for me to motivate myself to get “back on the horse”. As a teacher, we know to learn or do a task it must usually be completed in “small chunks”. Thanks so much for your book and blog. It helps provide wisdom to those of us who do not have a “Jones”!

  • Patricia Raybon

    Great post, Robert. My new tactic is to meet every Tuesday with my husband to update him on plans and goals. Keeping him in the loop–and seeking his advice and practical help–has turned him into my greatest advocate and asset. Finally, we’re a team in my work life. Makes all the difference. I have a lot of ground to make up. But our weekly sit-downs are helping me focus, gain traction and grow confidence. Kind thanks for your great inspiration, too. Onward!