When we were kids, I taught my brother how to ride a bike. We had a long gravel driveway that circled around to form the letter P so you could drive up to the house and also around to the garage.
We’d start at the foot of our driveway, and he’d try to keep his balance for as long as he could. It wasn’t too long before he was peddling on his own, wobbling and fiercely concentrating on maintaining his balance. At the other end of the straight part of the driveway was our aluminum fishing boat. Eventually, he got to where he’d make it pretty close to that boat. I’d shout to him, “don’t hit the boat, don’t hit the boat.”
Well, you know what would happen. At the last minute, in an effort to not hit the boat, he’d fall off the bike onto our gravel driveway and scrap up his knees and legs.
Our mom, upon learning what was happening, wisely advised me to stop telling him to not hit the boat because the boat then became his focus. It was the only thing he could see or think about. When I learned to tell him to steer towards the circle part of the drive, to “ride the circle,” he quit steering towards the boat. He could ride as long as he wanted, without falling.
What changed, what made my brother successful, was that he learned to focus not on the bad thing of hitting the boat but on the good thing of riding the circle. When he focused on riding the circle, he rode forever. (At least until he learned to race around the circle as fast as possible, lap after lap, until he’d hit some loose gravel and wipe out. I believe my personal best before a wipe-out was 89 laps.)
“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
~ George Lucas
Your Personal Appraisal
- What negative thing in your life is the focus of your attention?
- Why does it hold your gaze?
- Where would you rather focus your attention?
- How can you free yourself to get to that positive place?
Life Is Honest, Open and True: If you’re feeling a little off balance or frustrated by your inability to reach a particular personal goal, think about your focus. Are you focused on what you want, or are you focused on the obstacles that are keeping you from what you want? Make an honest assessment of whether you spend more time thinking about and working towards your goal, or more time thinking about the obstacles. Be open to discovering and adopting a new way of looking at your situation and of working towards your goal. As long as you remain true to realizing your goals, you will realize success. It might not be today, or even this year, but success will be yours.
What suggestions do you have for changing the horizon? How have you learned to ‘ride the circle’ of life? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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