A Mind at Idle Is a Dangerous Mind
Several years ago a couple friends and I were out on the lake wakeboarding and skiing and started to head back into shore for lunch. On the way in, one of them spotted a cliff he wanted to jump off of into the water, so we made a detour to the rocks.
We checked the depth of the water to make sure it was deep enough and make sure nothing was sticking out he could get injured on. It was about 4 stories high from where he jumped to the surface of the water — not something I was about to sign up for.
He hopped off tucked to do 2 back flips and in the water he went.
I was amazed at how easy he made it seem. He took a quick glance over the edge to double check nothing was obstructing his path, then a short run up to the edge and a jump — zero hesitation.
I asked how he was able to do something like that so easily without being scared or having any hesitation. Whenever I would try something like, it seems like I always end up overthinking things too much. He then gave me a secret that would change every aspect of my life.
He said, “I was definitely nervous as that’s a new record for me! However, you need to remember, the jump is the easiest part. Gravity will always help you get down, but the ground [up there] was so slippery and uneven, it took a lot of focus to just make it to the edge. Don’t waste time thinking about the jump when you first need to make it to the edge! I only think about things when they need to be thought about.”
I was amazed at how simple this was, and how easy it was to apply to everything! If you mind is not busy leading up to something that scares you, it leaves the opportunity for self-doubt and/or hesitation to creep in, and then you’ll talk yourself out of it. By keeping your mind busy on the task-at-hand you won’t have the opportunity for your mind to wander to the negatives.
Many people are paralyzed by fear and anxiety, and because of this, they often do not pursue their dreams and instead start to shrink their goals. I’ve had goals before that were huge, then when the time came I got nervous and started to second guess things. If this started to happen, I would stop myself and remember what he said, ‘don’t worry about the jump until you get there, because at that point it will be easy.’
Having an idle mind, at times, can be a good thing. After all, how a lot of people relax is by doing something mindless. Unfortunately, sometimes for an entrepreneur it can be detrimental because it leaves the opportunity for self-doubt to sneak in; however, if you’re focused on what you need to do right now and not thinking too far down the road, it won’t be nearly as scary.
This is something that I’ve been able to apply in all aspects of life, business, relationships, racing — you name it! Remember, whenever something seems too big to conquer, break it down into smaller pieces and focus on taking the first step, and then the next, then the next, and so on. Don’t focus on the jump when you’re not even ready for it yet.