Brick walls are there for a reason – Dealing with life’s challenges and problems

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

These lines were spoken by Professor Dr. Randy Pausch. Suffering from pancreatic cancer, Dr. Randy Pausch delivered his final lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, called “The Last Lecture”. The above lines are from that inspiring one hour talk. The talk was later published as a book by the same name after his death. I have read, and re-read the book countless times, always finding something new in it.

The discussion for today is about “brick walls” or the problems that we face in our life. How do we deal with them? How do we get past them? Do we surrender or do we hold our head high. There are some techniques and values that I have learnt which help me deal with the challenges and problems in my life. I hope probably you will find some of them useful

Everything originates in the mind – Including our problems

Everything originates in the mind. Your desire to have an ice-cream, or fancy a dress, or to read a book. So why will be problem originate on the outside. Consider a challenge of life just as another thought. Don’t let it create a mental blockade. Learn to mentally accept the challenges of life that you can’t control from happening. It is the first step to not letting the challenge affect you psychologically. Now you have all your physical and mental resource available to fight the problem.

Problem is in the perspective, not in the experience.

Our problem is in how we react to the situation, not the situation itself. Consider this:

  • Getting willingly hit in boxing is part of the game, but otherwise is considered an insult.
  • Feeling hungry is considered painful, but fasting is not so!
  • We feel bored to climb few stairs, but find some thrill in mountaineering.

Similar activities, but completely different perspectives. In one case it a challenge we like, in another case it is a problem!

gray bridge and trees
Question of Perspective – Separating real from reflection; Photo by Martin Damboldt on

See the problem or challenge from a ‘mental’ distance.

Just like you can’t read a book if you keep it very close to the eyes, holding problems close to your mind clouds your judgement. Analyse the problem and take physical action.

man standing infront of white board
Analyse problems from a distance – Photo by Christina Morillo on

Pray to God for Courage to face the challenge

The Hindu God, Bajrangbali Hanuman Ji, among the most powerful of gods said “Jai Shree Ram!” before doing anything. A god himself chanting the name of another god!

Each of us are Hanumans in our own right. I respect all of us, we go through different life struggles with courage.

Why not get a little more of courage by praying to god. Pray for getting the courage to fight the problem, not escaping the problem!

grayscale photography of man sitting on grass field
Pray for strength – Photo by Flickr on


I hope you will find these points useful in your question to deal with life’s challenges and problems. Remember, brick walls are there for a reason.

The video of Dr. Randy Pausch which is referred here is shared below:

Randy Pausch Last Lecture – Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. The story of Brick walls and head fakes.

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