I’m a curious and analytical person, and it definitely started manifesting when I was very young.
I remember laying in bed, thinking about different concepts and ideas, sometimes for hours at a time. One of my favorite activities was walking through the Christmas tree farm in our backyard, listening to the radio (on my walkman, ha!) just thinking about stuff.
I was always asking “why”, challenging the rules, and experimenting (probably drove my parents nuts).
No wonder I’m a dropout and entrepreneur right?
One day I remember riding my bike on a trail in the woods, and I came to a point where the trail went between two knee-high rocks. The space between the rocks was just big enough for my bike to fit through, with the pedals only missing by an inch or so.
Being a fairly “experienced” trail rider at this point (at 10 years old), I remember calculating quickly as I approached how careful I would have to be if I were to ride between the two obstacles. I was traveling fast, and although I could see there was enough space to pass through, I knew if I steered an inch too far left or right I would go flying. I probably wasn’t wearing a helmet either (haha…I mean…shame on me).
I decided to just go for it, and I remember consciously focusing my eyes on the small space between those rocks; the space I had to fit through in order to keep flying down the trail.
…Wait, first, let me quickly explain why I very consciously thought to keep my eyes on the trail:
I had been at some sort of church or bible camp the week before…it was so long ago I don’t remember which exactly now. But one thing at that camp had stuck with me. It was a guest speaker that had talked about the importance of positive thinking and keeping your sight on where you want to go, instead of the potential obstacles that could be in your way.
Ok, back to the story:
Suddenly…………I flew between both rocks, no problem.
So dramatic I know.
But I did, and I was surprised how easy it was to speed through such a tight squeeze.
For some reason, that guest speaker’s words popped into my head at that very moment, and it made me come to a stop. I had an idea, and I was going to try an experiment.
I turned around and went back, going around the rocks this time. Then I rode for a second pass through the narrow gap, except this time, I kept my eye on the boulder to the right of me instead of the path.
Ouch. Sure enough, my pedal had barely nicked the rock and it had jolted me enough to throw me off the seat into a standing position over my bike at a complete stop (I obviously was riding a bit slower that time around).
I tried this a couple more times, each time getting the same result.
The last time I made sure to keep my eyes on the path between the two rocks again, and for the second time I passed through just fine.
Then I think I went and had some afternoon S,more’s…because I’m pretty sure we were camping.
I think you get the idea of my story though.
There will be many obstacles in life that will appear as you are pursuing your goals, passions, and dreams.
Especially if you are in your late teens or early twenties, you are having to make some pretty serious decisions that will affect your life’s trajectory.
If you are reading this perhaps you are thinking of dropping out of school, starting a business, creating your own path. Maybe you are trying to grow your business and explore new opportunities, or maybe you’ve decided you want to pursue a degree in medicine.
These are decisions and pursuits that will be scary and challenging at times.
It goes almost without saying that the path to success is riddled with obstacles…if it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
You have to be able to keep your eyes on the destination. To keep your focus on the space between those two rocks; the ONE way it WILL work. If you are always thinking about potential barriers or focusing on “what’s going wrong”, you will just encounter more of the same and get bogged down in a “why you can’t” mindset.
And if you think you can’t, you won’t.
Call this The Law of Attraction, or “as you think, so you become” or “positive thinking” – it’s really all of those.
If you focus on the rock on the path, nine times out of ten you will hit it.
Now, you will still have to deal with these obstacles and come up with solutions to problems. But keeping a clear and unwavering focus on your vision while you’re doing this is the key to not losing heart.
Successful people are aware of their thoughts and words. They make conscious decisions about what they think and say because they know how powerful it is. They take action to pursue their dreams and goals, expecting obstacles, but always keeping their focus on the destination. Even when things are especially bleak, they know how to stay focused on the ONE way it will work. They know that the more attention you give to an obstacle, the more likely is to defeat you.
I preach pursuing your ideal life; your dream in the face of status quo, fear, challenges, and ridicule. This is an incredibly brave thing to do, but you will never meet anyone who has done this who also insists of thinking about all the ways it won’t work.
So, to succeed you must train yourself to keep unwavering focus on where you want to go.