Whenever we struggle with an important decision or event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the many different possible outcomes. Peter and I have a rule we try to live by: keep your thoughts focused on the 200 feet right in front of you. Don’t get too far out ahead imagining different outcomes from where you are today. When you do that, it muddies the waters and zaps your confidence.
‘200 Feet, Baby’
Keep your focus and attention on what’s right in front of you. Looking too far ahead to anticipate decisions is a waste of time. There are so many variables that can change. Instead, spend your valuable thinking time directed at what you want.
Our reference to ‘200 feet’ helps to remind us to keep our thoughts in the short term, immediate circumstances.
This tighter focus enables us to limit distractions around what we want and the feelings of impossibility or that our desire is unattainable. Those negative feelings can go down a rabbit hole quickly if you don’t actively manage them.
I’ve always prided myself on being prepared for different circumstances and thinking of all the possibilities. Since I have been so good at being prepared, I am very nervous when I let go and trust things will work out. Having said that, I had enough experiences throughout my lifetime to look back and reflect on my thinking when everything worked well and when it was a struggle.
There tends to be a strong correlation of trust and letting go with the situations that worked out amazingly well.
There was a situation I found myself in when I was very sick and had little options for getting better. It was at a time in my life when I was getting ready to take on new opportunities and expand my horizons. The benefit of being so sick ironically set me up to achieve even more. Because I couldn’t get out, I had to spend time with myself. In doing so, I would daydream about one day getting out on my bicycle. Slowly I was able to get back on my feet. I could only take one day at a time which forced me to keep my focus on the short term. Recovering from the illness saved me from the distractions I may have otherwise indulged. The net result was wonderful. I accomplished more than I thought I could and found myself taking on larger projects.
For the other circumstances that didn’t have such a good outcome, there is a pretty strong correlation with not letting go or taking longer to do so.
Like the time several years ago I remember I tried many different options to resolve a very challenging situation. One night I went to bed angry and exhausted because I felt I tried everything to address the problem. Nothing worked. I remember raising my arms in frustration and yelled ‘you take care of it!’ before I went to bed. Amazingly I slept well and woke up the next morning and headed to work. A couple of days later I remember looking back at the frustration I had earlier in the week and realized by finally letting go I opened a small door for changes to occur that allowed me to begin to address the situation.
It takes ongoing effort to trust yourself and to let go, but it is amazing when you do because wonderful things happen.