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November 20, 2018 6 Comments
If you're a horse owner you've probably heard this comment before: "It's not about if you fall, it's about when." But... that's all just a bit too depressing to me and naive. Naive because it's obvious and over simplified. It's like saying, if you drink water, it's not if you swallow down the wrong tube, it's when. Or if you drive a car, it's not if you get in a wreck, but when. All these oversimplified statements can create a pessimistic view of the nature of progress. Of course there is risk. Does that mean, it's not worth the risk? Should we not drive our cars? Should we not drink water? Should we not enjoy the wonderful parts of life because we're inventively thinking of all the things that will go wrong?
True story: I just bought another rental house. Should I focus on the possibility of having bad renters or should I focus on the determination to find fantastic renters? We all know what bad renters can do to your property, and nobody wants that. So here's what it all comes down to... FOCUS! What am I going to focus on, and how am I going to prioritize that focus?
There are two types of focus and we're doing them all the time. They're called primary focus, what we put our full attention and intention toward, and peripheral focus, or what we see in the sidelines as important enough to prepare for. When I rent my new house, I will focus primarily on getting the perfect client. I will imagine, day and night, what a fantastic, honest, wonderful person this person is. I'll write it all down, so I'll know when I see it. And quietly, in the sidelines, I will prepare and guard against potential hazards. I will quiz any client for possible holes in his or her integrity, values, and personality. I'll also quiz myself for worst case options, "What if it isn't as I hoped for, then what will I do? I know... I'll fix it!," and then I dream of ways to fix potential problems, all the while remembering to focus primarily on the visualization of the perfect outcome. Because I know, that without that vision, I will never be truly free to dream. I'll never be optimistic enough to bring my fullest self to the table. I'll be reserved in a sea of fears, that should exist in my peripheral, not in my dreams.
So what does all that have to do with horses? I bet you can guess, but it case you haven't yet, when your primary focus is being overrun by your fears, you've fallen prey to one of natures biggest challenges. You've allowed yourself to mismanage your emotions and therefore, your own destiny. Don't worry, you're not alone. We all do this from time to time. But thankfully, we also, all have a choice to stop doing letting the sideline focuses take over. We can reinvent our focus, and force fears to the sidelines. That is where we begin to prepare for contingencies and put safe guards in our daily practice. It's what all successful people do, that is... long term successful people.
What I'm saying is this... if you're afraid of falling, it's natural, our bodies change as we age and we don't bounce as well, but that shouldn't stop you from discovering ways to avoid the fear and possible hazards, and instead, keep the dream alive. Don't let fear kill your dream! Write down your dreams and visions of heaven on earth, and keep them in front of you. Then go to work making sure they happen. Let the fear exist in your peripheral vision, and build in the safeguards there. Prepare your horse and your own body for potential hazards. Exercise your horse, and yourself daily. Put in the time it takes to make your dream come to life. And trust, that because you're vision is front and center again, you'll have the energy to do it.
You have what it takes! And I believe in you!
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