Brian Johnson has read and distilled the key learnings from over 500 books as part of his Philosopher’s Notes.

His rule #1?

Expect obstacles and challenges.

It’s a new year. One thing we know for sure? There will be challenges.

Rather than be surprised when obstacles present themselves (and they always do!), Brian encourages us to embrace the challenges we face as opportunities to hone our skills.

Because dealing with challenges is how we get better. The small obstacles are opportunities to practice and get ready for the really big ones. We can think of the big, bad obstacles as a “training partner,” something pushing us to improve.

The opposite approach is to live life feeling entitled. Expecting it to be easy.

That’s dead-end thinking.

A better strategy is to cultivate gratitude. For the good things in our lives – of course. But also for the obstacles and challenges. Because doing battle with these makes us better.


Reflection: Think about a current challenging situation. What is one thing I am grateful for in it?

Action: Journal about it. Today!

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