The Obstacle In My Way

Welcome to another installment of my Dumb Quotes series. I love finding new quotes that inspire or motivate but, once in a while, I have to shake my head and wonder who would say something so dumb. Dumb quotes can be said by very smart people, and can even sound profound until you take a second or two to think about them.

I have generated plenty of quotes of my own, mostly pulled from my book, What Next, and some might just be dumb. Someone will read a quote of mine and think it’s brilliant (I hope) and someone else will think it’s ridiculous. Of course the quotes I’ll be using come from other people because I’m confident that mine are just fine the way they are.

I’d like to start with a quote that you would probably think I like a lot because it references a topic I’m fond of, hiking. I talk a lot about the importance of creating your own paths and understanding that obstacles are not to be feared but are a natural part of every path.

This dumb quote is “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” by Frank A. Clark. First of all I have no idea who Frank A. Clark is and I have nothing against him personally but I have seen this quote a few times on Twitter so why not start here?

What’s wrong with this quote? Well if it’s a path then by definition it leads somewhere. I’ve hiked many a trail without any obstacles and I’ve gotten somewhere.

I get it though, I do. If the journey isn’t difficult the destination probably wasn’t really worth it. Struggle is a part of life and we need to recognize that those struggles make the goal so much sweeter. The other thing about this quote is that obstacles aren’t the only thing that build character. The trail itself could be wide, flat, and straight — in other words easy, or it can be narrow, steep, and full of switchbacks — a real struggle. There might not be any obstacles whatsoever but it can be the most difficult path you’ve ever been on.

Do you have some dumb quotes that you find more annoying than helpful? Post comments below to add yours or tweet me @askwhatnext and use hashtag #dumbquotes.