I was watching the televised “End of the Road” KISS concert recently. During the pre-concert interviews, Paul Stanley commented, “Obstacles are what you see when you lose sight of your goals.” It seems this quote is originally attributed to Henry Ford. During the interview with Gene Simmons, he spoke of often being told that he was delusional in his belief in himself.

All three men came from unremarkable beginnings.

  • Stanley, during the interview, spoke of having been an NYC taxi driver who, while dropping off a fare to see an Elvis Presley concert at Madison Square Garden, exclaimed that one day people would come to Madison Square Garden to see him perform.
  • Ford reportedly walked from his family’s farm to Detroit to work in a machine shop.
  • Simmons was raised by his mother (a holocaust survivor) and both migrated to the US when he was 8 years old.

Each had defined what success meant to them. And, in each case, their vision was a bold departure from more traditional views of what might be expected of them — what others thought was possible or reasonable. Setting such ambitious goals brings challenges as you work to break new ground.

As expected, each of them suffered a myriad of setbacks on the way to realizing their vision. At any point, they could have succumbed to the constraints of reality. Instead, they remained laser-focused on their goals and continued, step-by-step toward that goal. As each of these individuals demonstrates, when your vision is clear and compelling, rather than being derailed by obstacles, you can use them as fuel to propel you forward.

Do you have a clear and compelling vision of what success means for you? Is that vision multi-dimensional (taking into account all of the roles you play)? Are you viewing the current obstacles you face as roadblocks or opportunities to get creative in making progress toward your goals?