Do you focus on the outcome that you desire? Or do you focus on avoiding the outcome that you wish to avoid?
I was riding my bike along the path in the park yesterday. This is a mixed use trail, shared by those who are walking, running and biking. As I was riding along, there was a gentleman walking toward me. The path is plenty wide enough for both of us. And yet, my mind became focused on NOT running into this person. With this focus, I noticed that I felt I was being drawn toward his side of the path. The result was that I ended up over-compensating and running off the path on the right. No big deal. No crash. But, it got me thinking.
When I encountered the next person, I specifically focused my attention on the line I wished to ride. As much as I was able, I pushed thoughts of this person aside, thinking solely on my intended path. The result? A perfect glide-by.
At our local swimming pool, I noticed that they do things differently than the pool I went to as a kid. At my childhood pool, the words after the whistle were, “Don’t run!” At the pool here, the words are, “Slowly walk back.” Which of these do you think is better at achieving the desired result?
I remember being one of those smart-Alec kids who, upon hearing, “Don’t run”, would substitute some other form of movement such as skipping, or hopping on one foot, etc. Hey, it wasn’t running!
The point is, if we want a specific behavior, from others or ourselves, we need to be specific about what that desired behavior is. We need to fill our heads with thoughts of the desired outcome.
What is your intended path? What is your desired goal? Focus forward.