Keep your eyes on your goal
The normal bedtime routine for the English house starts with the telling of a story. Most of the time, I contrive some sort of imaginative situation where a little boy or girl goes off and does something spectacular. The story ends after a grand adventure with the little one feeling so tired that they “go home, get in their bed and go to sleep.” The End.
We’ve been doing this for years now. But lately, my son has wanted to change things up a bit. He likes hearing true stories from our past. The other night, I told him about a time I had to overcome my fear of heights.
I was involved with the Boy Scouts as a kid, and on one particular camping trip, our senior patrol leader, Eric Hass, made a rope bridge over a creek bed. The bridge was made by lashing two trees into an X on either bank. Eric then took three ropes and suspended them on the X-frame. He fastened two at the top on the right and left sides of the X, and he out the third at the center. The right and left ropes made handrails, and the center one was for us to walk on.
At the deepest point of the creek bed, a traveler on the bridge would be suspended 10 feet or more off the ground. And for a group of middle school boys, going across was terrifyingly exciting. At least it was for me with my fear of heights.
When it was my turn to go out on the rope, I took a step forward, felt the drop of my weight on the rope, looked down and immediately froze.
The guys started cheering me on, but I was stuck. All I could see was how far down I could fall, and then I couldn’t move.
What felt like an eternity passed, although it was probably only a few minutes, and I was able to back myself off the rope. Other kids jumped on and kept going until someone yelled that it was lunch time.
I don’t like being afraid. I also don’t like missing an opportunity to grow. And I have to tell you, growth often happens when you are very uncomfortable.
I didn’t go to lunch. I stood at the bridge entrance and stared at the other side.
Then something happened. I heard someone yell over my shoulder, “Joey’s on the bridge!” I don’t know when I started, and I don’t how I got there, but all of a sudden I was in the very middle of the bridge at least 10 feet off the ground.
That yell from a fellow scout had jarred me into reality. Now I had a choice: freak out and fall or continue on and prevail.
I made it to the other side and immediately turned around and crossed again. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let this fear keep me from moving forward.
So how did I prevail? It’s simple; I stared at my goal. Reaching the other side meant I had to block out everything and everyone else and focus only on the other side. And before I knew it, I was well on my way. (Literally, when it happened, I didn’t remember taking any of the steps that landed me in the middle)
It’s once again the time of year to reflect and set next year’s goals. This is so important because you need something to focus on. Your goals should be uncomfortable and even scare you a little. But even if they feel insurmountable, if you stare directly at them while tuning everything else out, the fear will melt away. And when you come to, you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
May you dare to dream big and enjoy a prosperous 2019.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.