I was out star gazing last night. You know, that beautiful time of night when everything is still and the sky is crystal clear. I’d say quiet too. Except for the hundred of frogs making their incredible racket that you can really only hear at night. And as I enjoyed the night air I found myself contemplating those millions of stars sending their light from millions of light years away. Incredible to think that the star may no longer even exist and yet it still shines its light.
And then I saw the plane. Well more specifically the flashing lights that told me it wasn’t a shooting star. And it got me to thinking how the concept of flight was once just an idea in someone’s head. A possibility that challenged all known beliefs. A dream of something incredible. And where other people believed it impossible, someone held firm to the belief that it could be done. Not letting go. Believing in themselves. Ignoring the naysayers. Persisting until they found a way to achieve what they knew deep within themselves was possible.
And now it is us who get the benefits of their faith in themselves and the possibilities. I often wonder what brilliant ideas are yet to come.
So what do you believe in?
And what do you have to do to make it a reality?
Sometimes it’s the splash that gets in our eyes. And we just can’t see clearly. Can’t see what’s happening right in front of us. Or why things are happening the way they are. Not just our beliefs blinding us, but life’s unfolding. And I find it always helps to get another perspective. To distance ourselves so we can see things more clearly from different angle.
I learned this lesson years ago when I was coaching a kids water polo team. And I just couldn’t understand why the kids couldn’t understand what I was saying. Couldn’t see what I was seeing. It went a bit like this. There I was in the stands watching the game unfold below. But the kids had a different perspective. They were so highly involved down in the game. Going through the motions. Surrounded by waves of water. Trying not to drown in the process of scoring goals. Sounds a bit like life, doesn’t it.
And then one day it dawned on me that I had to show them the game as I was seeing it. So I got them all out of the pool and up in the stand. All save one kid. I left him in the water with instructions to do his thing. And in that moment everyone could see what I had been seeing. ‘So that’s what Steve’s doing!’ And it all became suddenly very clear to them.
Would it surprise you to know those kids went on to be runner’s up in the School Boys State Knockout? How’s that for performance. Second out of every high school in the entire state just by getting a different perspective.
Where do you need to shift your focus?
I was looking for a book one day. So sure it was on the shelf. So sure it had a particular colour cover. So sure it was a particular size. But I couldn’t find it. I scanned the shelf three times. And then gave up. Convinced it wasn’t there. That’s when another member of the family came in with a different memory of the book. A memory of it being another colour. And another style. Smart arse found it in one minute.
And it was there all the time. I just couldn’t see it. Blinded by my own beliefs about what it was like. How it should have appeared. And I find this often happens with people. So sure things have to be a certain way that we can miss the very thing we want that’s right in front of our noses.
Beliefs. Some we’d even die for. How incredible is that? After all, beliefs are just thoughts. Thoughts we just keep thinking. Just thoughts we are so sure are true. And that’s what they become for us. Because we keep on thinking them. But I often wonder how many were ever really our beliefs to begin with. Or have we just picked them up along the way? Somebody else’s ideas we’ve taken on as our own. Some we’re ready to die for and they’re not even ours in the first place.
So what beliefs are blinding you? And what beliefs are you better to leave behind…