7 Ways Obstacles and Challenges Improve Your Life

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I love obstacles. Sometimes we think of obstacles as bad and challenges as good. I tend to think they’re one and the same. What makes one good or bad isn’t in the details, but how we choose to respond.

The idea of a daily routine is laughable, few of my days are carbon copies of another. I’ve often wondered if I suffer from ADHD. I don’t think so. Maybe I’m not disciplined enough? Why does change seem to be the norm around here?

Challenge and Change Are Facts of Life

School children and horses in training experience constant change. Every lesson and pop quiz presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Unless you’re stuck in a rut of your own choosing, challenge and change is a fact of life.

A lot of changes are coming to the Word Press universe which affects my website and primary methods of communication. Over the past two months I redesigned my websites, trying to stay ahead of the curve – or more precisely, hoping to avoid falling into the abyss. Horses and relationships are my sweet spots, not intimate conversations with unresponsive, impersonal, sneaky-tweaky technology.

I am a horse geek, not a technology buff. To put it into perspective, I had to learn Key Punch in college! Some of you are old enough to know what that means. 🙂

Recently I began to appreciate how the obstacles and challenges (and a few frustrations) of learning new technology enhance my life. Why am I still surprised when a valuable gift arrives with an odd wrapping? I hope a few sound familiar to you or offer inspiration.

7 Benefits of Obstacles and Challenges

  1. Unleash creativity
  2. Reveal unknown possibilities
  3. Force redirection
  4. Provide entertainment
  5. Build strength and confidence
  6. Build relationships or shared experience
  7. Teach mastery of inevitable change

None of us know what we don’t know, and new truths often enhance the ones you already know. My dive into the dark side of websites opened worlds of possibilities I didn’t know existed until I was up to my shoulders in digital mud.

Creativity and Possibilities

Learning new options, pathways, and possibilities unleashes creativity, whether you’re writing, composing, baking, teaching soccer, starting two-year old horses, or designing websites. Creativity feeds on itself, like the mythical perpetual motion machine. Every new thought generates another, which triggers another.

If necessity is the mother of invention, creativity is the child of challenge.

When you master one obstacle you not only survive, but create new skills to consider and conquer the next. People love puzzles! Your perspective determines whether a circumstance is a puzzle (opportunity) or road block.

The more I succeed in website challenges the more creative I become as a writer and horse trainer. Obstacles and challenges drag us kicking and screaming to this question, “How do I ……?”

Figure out the method and formula of solving problems and you can confidently face whatever comes. Once you master the method you can competently address any challenge or find answers to most questions. Whether it’s calming a storm or creating what doesn’t exist, the path to realized potential is over, around, or through obstacles.


Obstacles may appear to force or lead you to change course. Redirection is an important benefit of challenge. Distractions often tempt us onto paths we’re not meant to walk. Sometimes God sets an obstacle in your path to change your focus, direction, or goal.


Challenges can be fun! Many horses love puzzles. They appreciate the attention that comes with them as well as the physical and mental exercise. Horses are smart. They benefit from obstacles every bit as much as we do. obstacles and challenges

Our twelve-month old chocolate dachshund, Diva, also loves challenges. At the moment she’s a fetch fanatic. I’m not sure which entertains her most, the chase or our undivided attention.


The more I encounter and master website issues, the more I’m willing to take on. I’m neither intuitive nor a techno-puppy, but figuring out how to bend themes, widgets, plugins, and confusing coding to my will is exhilarating. I’m gradually moving from tech-intimidated to tech-“You don’t own me!”

Note to self: Excessive bravado is a short cut to humility. Keep confidence at a realistic and reasonable level.

My confession to you: I’m grateful for online chat support! Without the voiceless technicians on the other end of typed conversations, I’d still be trying to figure out to set up a development site.

Share the Love

Everything that matters rests on relationship. Offering obstacles to my horses, then guiding them to mastery, are shared experiences that strengthen our relationship. Working with horses offers the same blessings and advantages as any other obstacle or challenge.

Master Change

Change happens. I didn’t expect the Word Press announcement. After months of ignored warning emails, it was time to dig my head out of the sand and face the monster.

Obstacles come with change which happens with or without our approval. Our bodies and brains will age. Societal and cultural devolution will continue. Proactively seek challenges and learn to overcome or change course. Purpose to be both aware and take advantage of inevitable change.

Welcome challenge. Instead of being its victim, become its master.

My October 2018 website revamps mark the end of the old and gateway to the new. I’ve discovered that creativity is contagious. New writing projects aren’t carbon copies of past ones. I’m excited, with new ideas and plans for the horses. Inspiration is a powerful thing.

Thank you, Holy Spirit!

Are you facing a challenge or obstacle? How can you turn it to your advantage?

Can I help?

Related post: 10 Benefits of Using Walk Poles With Horses

Related post: Bjorn Borg Proves the Blessings of Trials and Obstacles

Originally published as the October 2018 Newsletter.

Interested in using obstacles and challenges with horses? Check out Discipleship with Horses – Practical Guide to Using Obstacles, Exercises, and Simple Cues to Get the Results You Want.

 obstacles and challenges with horses

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn is a best-selling Christian author encouraging and equipping the people of Christ to live in peace, power, and purpose using simple gospel principles.

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn is a best-selling Christian author encouraging and equipping the people of Christ to live in peace, power, and purpose using simple gospel principles.

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