Just over a week ago, I watched a wonderful video from Laura Goodrich titled Seeing Red Cars. Without giving too much away, Laura asserts that we get more of what we focus on. She calls it "seeing red cars." Interestingly enough, she finds that when you ask most people what they want, they're often very clear about what they DON'T want, but not always able to say what they DO want. A terrific observation.
Laura illustrates the point with a golfer getting ready to hit a tee shot to an island green on a 140-yard Par 3 - the signature hole on the course. The golfer takes a pitching wedge, lines up the shot and thinks to himself, "Whatever you do, don't hit it in the water." Of course what happens? He hits it in the water. Because he was focused on what he DID NOT want, he failed to achieve what he DID want. A fitting metaphor.
At this moment during the video, I turned to a colleague and said, "The guy also didn't have enough club; he couldn't get it there with a pitching wedge in a hundred tries!" I then thought to myself, "Maybe there's another lesson to be gleaned." Most people I know, myself included, would need at least 8-iron to get on the green unless assisted by a very stiff wind. So what does that mean?
Realizing our life dreams is first about understanding what we want and second about coming to grips with what it will take to get there - or bringing enough club. For example, once you know what you want, you need to identify and commit yourself to what it will take to make it happen. What relationships do you need to foster? What formal or informal education will you require? How will you prepare yourself physically and mentally, so when you're standing on the tee and it's time to perform, that you have enough club to be successful - regardless of the challenge.
Here's the good news, most successful people haven't achieved that success because they're more powerful than a locomotive or can leap tall buildings in a single bound. They do the things anyone can do; it's just that most of us choose not to. (Sound familiar? Just check the subhead on this blog.)
So whether you want to offer the world's best client service or embark on a new career, it starts with knowing what you want. It sounds easier than it is, that's why the lessons in Seeing Red Cars can help you down this road. Once you know what you want, commit yourself to what it will take to get there and you'll likely realize your dreams; fail to do so and your vision will have all the teeth of the typical new year's resolution.
Shoot for a hole-in-one, bring enough club, and with lots of practice, you'll land it on the green every time...Well, most of the time ;-)
*Image from Houston's Clear Thinkers - Par 3, 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass