Wisdom From a Cyclist: Focus on Where You Want To Go

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I have a couple of friends who are avid cyclists and ride their bikes almost every day. The first time they invited me to go mountain bike riding with them along the desert hills in sunny Arizona, my friend Ric was kind enough to give me some words of wisdom for the ride ahead. He said to me, “look at where you want the bike to go and not at what you want to avoid.” You see, these dirt trails were lined with sharp rocks, cactus, steep ledges and a number of other desert features that could become quite hazardous if crashed into at high speeds. Like any rational person, I wanted to avoid any serious bodily harm that could come from this ride and he must have noticed the slight nervousness in my face.

When riding a bike, it’s pretty easy to avoid the hazards if you maintain a slow speed, but there are times when things get pretty fast and the slightest movement of your body can mean the difference between successfully making it around a tight curve and crashing into the sides of the trail. It takes an intense focus to navigate those winding trails because your body will subconsciously steer the bike where your head and eyes are pointed. That is why Ric told me it was best to focus on the trail ahead and not on the pitfalls I wanted to avoid.

After the ride, I realized this wisdom could also be applied to many areas of life and is especially important for our goals and business success. You have to focus on what you want and where you want to go as opposed to what you don’t want. If you dwell on the pitfalls and constantly worry about everything that can go wrong, then like a self-fulfilling prophesy, you’ll find that a lot of things will wrong! It’s what the Law of Attraction teaches and unfortunately, too many people use this in reverse by engaging their minds in constant fear and worry. Then when things go wrong, they say “see, I knew that would happen!”

Just to be clear, I’m not telling you to stick your head in the sand to avoid addressing real threats to your goals or business, because any wise person will keep tabs on potential risks and look for ways to mitigate them. However, there is a huge difference between someone that understands the potential risks and someone that dwells on them fearfully. This is about avoiding the latter. It’s far to easy to let a small worry turn into constant fear of failure. Before you know it, your imagination runs wild with images of the worst case scenario playing out over and over. You have to be mindful of this kind of thinking and immediately break that train of thought by replacing the images of fear and disaster with those of success and desired outcomes. As Les Brown put it, “what you focus on the longest, becomes the strongest.” You can take control of your thoughts. While it may not always be easy, it’s absolutely necessary.

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