5 Short Stories: Overcoming Obstacles

Last Updated on December 20, 2022

In this article, we’ll go over short stories about overcoming different obstacles in life.

It’s nice to read stories about overcoming life’s obstacles. They can carry powerful truths that will make you feel that nothing is too challenging to overcome.

They can also assure you you’re not alone. There are people out there who have gone through difficulties in their lives, too.

So if you’re facing challenging times, here’s a reminder:

You can get through tough times.

1. Complaining won’t fix your problems


Feeling dull and exhausted from meeting difficulties and the negative aspects of life, a peasant approached a wise man. The wise man gave him a warm smile.

The peasant began to complain about his life. He told the wise man he doesn’t see sunlight at all — metaphorically and figuratively speaking. And it’s like one problem after another falls on his lap. When the wise man couldn’t bear the peasant’s endless complaints anymore, the wise man lead the peasant into the pool, advised him to use his energy wisely, and said: 

“Look. Life is like the sea. And like the sea, it’s full of fish, right? So if you’re not happy with the fish you have, use your energy to throw it back to the sea and find a different one.”

The peasant commended the wise man by saying that the advice made sense.

“Don’t use your energy complaining. Complaining won’t fix your problems. It also won’t do you any good,” the wise man added.

2. The frog who succeeded


A group of frogs was in the forest when two of them plunged into an enormous pit. When the other frogs came to the pit and looked for them, they told these two frogs there was no hope of getting out of their situation.

One frog listened to the other frogs. Because the others thought getting out of the pit was hopeless, he thought his situation was hopeless, too. And he didn’t bother to come up with a solution. He just sat there and accepted his fate — that he was stuck there for the rest of his life.

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The second frog played his cards differently. Despite what the other frogs said, he didn’t think his situation was hopeless. He jumped so hard until he got out.

When he was out of the pit, one of the frogs in the group approached him and commended him for his bravery. Then he asked him how he did it, in spite of what the group was saying. Because the second frog looked confused by the other frog’s statements, he explained.

“I’m nearly deaf. I can tell the other frogs were saying things. But I couldn’t hear the words. I actually thought they were cheering me on,” he said and left his conversation partner speechless.

3. A pound of butter

This short story is about a farmer who sold a pound of butter to a baker and in exchange, asked for $10 — an amount other bakeries found acceptable. When the baker decided to weigh the butter, he deceivingly told the farmer that the butter measured less than a pound and was worth less than $10.

The baker insisted the butter was worth less than what the farmer was asking for. Upon hearing this, the farmer got frustrated. He tried to reason with the baker, saying the price he was asking for in exchange for butter was only reasonable. The farmer also told the baker that he’ll sell the butter to a different bakery instead.

But the baker felt he could outsmart the farmer because the farmer seemed poor, had a weak body and mind, and didn’t have any resources to protect himself. The baker even took the issue to the next level by bringing matters to court.

When the judge ordered the farmer to defend himself, the farmer responded: 

“Your honor, I know I’m primitive, frail, and less fortunate. I can’t compete with wealthy people like the baker who have the proper equipment to take measurements. But what I’m not is an idiot.”

The farmer strengthened his case by telling the story of how he almost sold the same pound of butter for the same amount earlier that day. He told the judge that if the owner of the other bakery didn’t have a sudden emergency that time, the farmer would’ve already sold the pound of butter for $10 there.

“Your honor, the baker is making a fool out of me.”

After hearing the farmer’s plea, the judge ordered his people to measure the pound of butter to see if it really weighs a pound. Once they did, they discovered the baker was wrong and the farmer was right.

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So the judge ruled in the farmer’s favor. Then he authorized the baker to accept the pound of butter in exchange for the price set by the farmer.

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4. Control your temper


A young man with a very bad temper received about a thousand nails from his father. The father told his son that every time he felt rage, he should take a deep breath and hammer a nail into the fence.

On the first day, the boy pushed 39 nails into the fence. In the following days, he pushed about 30 nails each time. And as the days went by, he realized punching through the fence took time and effort. 

Because he didn’t want to keep doing this anymore, the young man strategized. He decided to do his best to control his temper. So day after day, the number of nails he had to hammer slowly decreased.

Not long after, the day came when he didn’t get an urge to use any nails. At that moment, it dawned on him that he can already control his temper. With this exciting news, he rushed to his father. His father was proud of him. 

Then the father took the young man to see the fence where the nails were hammered. And he left him with an important lesson:

“It’s important to control your temper and find a solution to make it go away. Like the nails you hammered into the fence, your anger will always be there. And the more frequently you get angry, the more scars you leave.”

5. The sad girl and lost puppy

Story about sad girl and lost puppyPin

A sad girl was enjoying the refreshing breeze outdoors. And as she was walking quietly on a smooth road, her eyes widened when she saw a puppy. The puppy was barely moving and had a tag attached to her collar (with the name Joy). She looked for the owner. But there was nobody around who seemed to care about the puppy.

So she took Joy home. After feeding her, she bathed and groomed her. Then with her mom’s help, she emptied a room in their house and placed the puppy there.

The next day, the girl returned to the road where she found Joy. She planned on giving her back to her owner. So she asked around if somebody knew to whom the puppy belonged.

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Because nobody had an answer for her, she gave up. She decided to take ownership of Joy and give her a place to stay until she was big enough to wander the streets on her own. That was the plan.

After some time, though, she realized she wanted Joy in her life. After all, she became less sad since Joy came into the picture.

For the first time in a long time, she’s not sad anymore. She’s happy to be alive. A while back, she thought she was the one who was helping Joy. But it dawned on her it was the other way around — the puppy brought joy into her life.

BONUS: More Stories About Overcoming Obstacles

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So what do you think of these inspiring stories and short inspirational stories about overcoming life’s obstacles?

Of the short stories above, which story is your favorite?

Overcoming life’s obstacles is never easy. It’s as if life forces you into dealing with difficult situations. You may even reach the point of wanting to give up and let life throw whatever it wants in your direction.

But don’t let any obstacle or challenge have power over you. Don’t let them win over you. Instead, do your best to be strong enough to overcome them.

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