Failure holds you back. If the status quo is not where you want to be in life, then it holds you back. I’ve written about it here on this blog before. Everything pulls you back to where you are when you’re trying to get ahead in life, when you’re trying to improve yourself. Your situation, your friends, your family, your debt, everything… maybe not intentionally, but everything holds you back.
Success isn’t that way. If success was sticky you wouldn’t have scandals and sad situations like Tiger Woods, John Edwards, Brittany Spears… well the list is pretty long so I’ll stop. If success was sticky, celebrities, sports stars, and politicians would actually still be role models that we could feel good about our kids looking up to. Instead, failure is pulling at them to, in spite of their successes.
The reasons are different though. When you’re in failure mode, your mind is overwhelmed with the situation of failure. Every step can be a struggle. Work two jobs and you’re too tired to do your best job at either one, and if you have children, you’ll miss spending time with them and that makes you frustrated and angry too. Get behind in your bills and the phone calls and letters will drive you crazy. Constantly trying to figure out how to pay this or keep this on and woops, that check bounced, takes it toll and soon you’re yelling at the ones you love the most. It takes incredible dedication and focus to claw and inch your way out of that situation. It can be done. Most don’t make it out though.
A successful person does not have these same worries. You’d think they would be able to reach new heights of creativity and productivity with the clarity of mind that not worrying about all those failure things can bring. Some do. Some keep it. A lot fail. The human mind is a very sophisticated instrument. You can walk into a smelly bathroom and after a few minutes you no longer notice how bad it smells because your brain adjusts a few things and re-centers what “normal” smells like. Or after changing a dozen diapers, you no longer gag… and before long you can keep eating while making record fast changes. The brain works against you too. Success can lead to thinking you’re bullet proof, to thinking that you can get away with things that are wrong, or with sub-par performance. Success also brings followers, people who may or may not have your best interest at heart, people who want to pull themselves up to you but end up pulling you down.
The key is focus. This weekend is Super Bowl Sunday. If you watch the game you’ll see some excellent examples of focus.
Quarterback who can keep their cool and look around for an open receiver downfield, and throw the ball accurately, all the while a bunch of 250 to 300 pound (or more) massive, angry, incredibly strong and fast guys are trying to kill him. You’ll see receivers look only at the ball as it makes its way to their outstretched hands… all the while knowing that another player is running at them as hard as they can and will try everything they can to obliterate them and make them fumble the ball. All the while thousands of fans scream as loud as they can. You’ll see coaches execute their plans, evaluate, compensate, and adjust trying to out-coach the other coach.
If anyone of the starting lineup gets hurts or starts slacking off, there are several ready, willing, and able players on the bench to take their place. If the quarterback throws too many bad balls or interceptions, there’s someone to take his place.
The effect of focus and the fact that success is not sticky is easy to see with sports. It’s easy to watch a great dancer, an exceptional gymnast, any Olympic athlete and know the years of training and focus it took to reach the top. It’s just as easy to understand that if they stop working out, if they stop practicing, if they start eating junk food and smoking, they will quickly loose their position at the top.
What’s hard is having this same understanding in others areas.
I’ve heard someone say that they didn’t like the book or movie “The Secret” because it said just think about it and it will happen. No work involved, just think about it and sit down and the world will come to you. That’s not what it says. Back to our sports examples: athletes go through very detailed mental pictures of winning before a competition… and no one doubts the effectiveness of those exercises. The Law of Attraction is basically the same thing – get it in your head and then work for it.
Get the image in your head of what you want to do, where you want to go in life, and then work for it. Focus. Focus. Focus. Keep your eye on the ball… you can catch it… don’t worry about how much it’s going to hurt when you hit the ground… don’t worry about the footsteps you hear running to tackle you… catch the ball… don’t drop it… when the play is over and the dust settles and you’re in the End Zone holding the ball, it will be worth it!
Until next time,