"Some act till they meet obstacles, others act inspite of obstacles, and conquer them; but some act not, fearing the possibility of some obstacles that might arise en route."
The very word OBSTACLE indicates to us the attitude required to overcome obstacles. Invoking these attitudes is to invoke the 'Ganesha' within us.
O - Objective Knowledge - Knowledge is Power. Gain functional knowledge and skills in your chosen field. Lack of knowhow poses many obstacles. Lord Ganesha's big head represents Knowledge and objectivity. When we take things objectively and not personally, we can understand the root cause of the problem and cure it. Taking things personally, we feel hurt and pained.
B - Broadmindedness - "Life, when properly tuned, can round the sharp edges in our character." In a broader vision of Life in its entirety, obstacles are stepping stones to cultivate an inner perfection and an outer excellence. Lord Ganesha's 2 eyes represent focus on a higher vision and broad-mindedness.
S - Sensitivity - "Be like a flower. Give happiness and fragrance to all." A flower produces fragrance from mud, dirty water, manure, etc. When we are sensitive and caring we can understand the difficulties of others and operate out of empathy. We are able to listen to them and are not caught up in our own ideas and thoughts. 2 large ears of Lord Ganesha help us to listen better and express our love and sensitivity. Many problems get solved just by listening.
T - Toughness - "The Suffering depends not on the factual happening but on the texture of one's mind." Cultivate a 'tough' mind through study of the scriptures, faith in a Higher Reality, value - based life etc. The trunk of Lord Ganesha represents the strength to uproot huge trees or lift heavy weights. A strong mind can achieve success inspite of the circumstances and does not victimise oneself.
A - Alertness and Acceptance - "Alert and vigilant living is a sadhana by itself." Alertness helps one to foresee the 'obstacle' and nip it in the bud. The Noose and the Axe that the Lord holds in his hands represents Alertness. Whenever we get distracted, the Lord pulls us and goads us back to track. The Big belly of Lord Ganesha represents acceptance of whatever life brings. The ability to handle life's ups and downs with equanimity, without any resistance or insistence.
C - Concentration - "Never complain, about the number of hours you have put in to do a job. How much of you was put into each hour of your daily work ?" The sun's rays (mind) when unified through a convex lens (concentration), burns away a piece of paper (problems & negativites) below it. Lord Ganesha's half tusk is the symbol of focus and tireless efforts. He was writing the Mahabharata when his pen broke and without getting disturbed, he just broke his tusk and continued to write. He dint complain about number of hours of work he had to do. In fact he had laid down a condition that if the dictation of Sri Veda Vyasa stops, he would disappear. Unwavering focus inspite of circumstances is the quality of great achievers. Tusk is also very dear to an elephant. Breaking the tusk represents sacrifice for the Goal. Without sacrifice, we cannot achieve focus and success.
L - Love of God - "Don't tell God how big your problem is. Tell your problem how big God is."
The mouse near Lord Ganesha truly loves HIM and remains focussed on the Lord. Modaks, sweets, fruits etc. do not disturb the mouse. When we love the Lord truly, we have the strength within to face all challenges and are safe and secure within. We don't depend on anyone else and no one can trouble us. Prahlad never felt victimised even when each day his father tried a new way to kill him.
E - Enthusiasm and Efficiency - "Real men of achievement are people who have the heroism to fuel more and more enthusiasm in their work when they face more and more difficulties. Be Agressively good." Efficiency is the ability to apply the knowledge into action and achieve great results. When enthusiasm or efficiency gets compromised, then we feel pessimistic and overwhelmed by challenges. The two feet Lord Ganesha represent Enthusiasm and Efficiency. One foot is down representing efficiency in action and the other foot is folded, supporting the foot that is down. The foot that is folded represents Enthusiasm. Efficiency backed by enthusiasm to meet life and its challenges will ensure that we continue to be proactive and overcome all obstacles.
When we have the above qualities, we do not need to pray to the Lord to remove our obstacles. Through these qualities the Lord empowers us to face the obstacles. His right hand called as Abhaya-Hasta or Varada-hasta assures us that HE is with us always and grants us fearlessness so that we face obstacles without getting disturbed, overcome them and achieve success, happiness and fulfilment represented by the Modak in his hands