Don’t Look at the Wall
Indycar Racing is one of the most intense sports out there. Flying around an oval at 200+ Miles Per Hour in a car that weighs about 1600lbs and an engine that turns 650+ horsepower. Hit a wall going at those speeds in a car that light and you’re sure to have limited memory capacity the rest of your life.
It is interesting, then, when Mario Andretti, 4 time Indycar champ, was asked what advice he would give to someone just starting out in the sport, he said…
“Don’t look at the wall”…….Really!?!
4 Indycar Championships and the best you can come up with is “Don’t look at the wall”?!? Okay, he said a little more than that. He went on to finish his statement saying “your car goes where your eyes go”. Ultimately, if you can keep your eyes on the road and stay off the wall, you have a chance of winning the race.
Really, there’s more to this statement than simple racing advice. As straight forward as this is for racing, it is equally as straight forward for life! Let me explain myself a little better.
Many of us struggle with watching others succeed. When we hear about an old class mate or see a young entrepreneur on TV that’s made millions of dollars, we come up with reasons why “they” made it and “we” didn’t (or haven’t). These excuses can range from…
“They got lucky” to “I’m busy trying to feed my family”
And, guess what? You’re probably right, on both accounts. Most of success is luck and many of us are busy trying to feed our families. However, those excuses, the ones you find when you’re trying to justify your action or inaction, are THE WALL!
You see, we get pulled between our growth mindset and our fixed mindset. Our fixed mindset tells us that things are what they are and there’s not much we can do about it, so you might as well accept it and move on. The growth mindset, on the other hand, tells us that we can always improve, that things can always be better and we have no limit to what we can accomplish. We all have both of these in us, fixed mindset and growth mindset. The mixture and the determining factor of which one dominates your thoughts is the one you focus on the most.
The fixed mindset is THE WALL! You have no future, your job stinks and there’s nothing you can do about it and you’ll never find a soul mate. That’s a fixed mindset.
The growth mindset is THE ROAD! I can start my own business and work hard, my family will continue to grow and prosper and I can improve my health and wellness on a daily basis. That’s a growth mindset.
Focus on the wall and you’ll crash right into it. Keep your eyes on the road and you’ll move forward with every daring move you make.
The good news, when you crash and burn (notice I said “when”), you can ALWAYS get back on the road. Every one of us has peaks and valleys in our lives. And it’s what you learn and how you deal with valleys that determines how high you can climb in your peaks.