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Missed Fortune – Every Obstacle is an Opportunity

Posted on | December 2, 2013

Just a Rock in the Road

We’ve all pondered whether we’re the type of person who sees the glass as half empty or half full. Sometimes we question whether we are optimistic or pessimistic. But what if there was more to this than simply positive or negative attitude?

What if the answer had to do with the ability to see what others don’t see? Those who recognize opportunities where others see only obstacles are the ones that ultimately succeed.

These are the people who can create meaningful change for themselves and for the world around them.trans Missed Fortune   Every Obstacle is an Opportunity

The story of the Malibu boulder offers a perfect object lesson.

In the late 1970s, an artist named Brett Livingston Strong came to America from Australia. While living in Southern California, he watched a story unfold on the news over the course of several weeks.

It was about a homeowner who had built a beautiful home near the Malibu Beach but had concerns about a large boulder sticking out from the cliffs above his home. He and his neighbors joined together to file a lawsuit asking the state of California to remove the boulder before it came loose causing serious damage.

They succeeded in convincing the state to remove the boulder.

Strong was there to watch the festivities as the boulder was removed. But when the work crew finally broke it loose, it rolled away from them and ended up right in the middle of Pacific Coast Highway 1.

The state crew now had a 116-ton boulder that was blocking traffic in both directions.

Brett Livingston Strong stunned the crowd when he stepped forward and offered to purchase the boulder for $100. At that moment he only had about a dollar in his pocket.

The state crew told him that he could have it if he could figure out a way to move it. So Strong contacted the manager of a local shopping mall and convinced him to hire a helicopter and crane and move the boulder to the mall’s center court.

Then Strong leased the boulder to the mall for 6 months while he took his hammer and a chisel to it. At the unveiling of his project six months later, Strong brought a man in a wheelchair from an Orange County hospital to the event.

When the sculpture was unveiled to the audience, it was a likeness of the world’s greatest movie star cowboy John Wayne. The man in the wheelchair spoke up saying, “I like it!” He was the one and only John Wayne–just a few weeks before he passed away.

The sculpture eventually sold for $1.1 million and Brett Livingston Strong’s career took off like a rocket. Strong saw the opportunity in a rock in the road that others missed.

Obstacles Are Really Our Friends

Richard Rossi advises us that where there is anxiety in the world there is also opportunity. Our challenge is to develop the ability to carve paths through or create masterpieces from the obstacles blocking our paths. Any time we create an incredible career or life, we can likewise help others do the same by showing them the way.

The astronomical national debt is merely the tip of an iceberg of not-so-good news. The federal government incurs nearly $3.6 billion in debt every single day. As a result, the federal government has been looking at ways to increase the revenues it takes in through taxation. One possibility that has been discussed is the government takeover of millions of 401(k)s and IRAs which represent nearly half of the roughly $18.5 trillion in private sector retirement assets.

Politicians want to tax those assets in order to increase government revenues and that means anyone counting on being in a lower tax bracket upon reaching retirement is likely to be in for a rude surprise. Not only will taxes be going up, but most taxpayers will have lost the deductions they once counted on and they’ll still be paying taxes on up to 85% of their Social Security income.

Instead of focusing exclusively on the threat, consider getting out of those IRAs and 401(k) and into one of the far better ways to enjoy tax-free income at retirement. A properly set up tax-free savings vehicle will provide real peace of mind at a time when others are feeling real anxiety.

Visit with a wealth architect today and learn how.

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*Life insurance policies are not investments and, accordingly, should not be purchased as an investment

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