You’ve heard the stories of horses saved from burning barns to turn right around and run back into the flaming structures. Why do they do that?
Wouldn’t it make more “horse sense” for them to continue moving far away from the inferno? Maybe, there’s no logic involved. Maybe, we’re creatures of habit. If you’ve enjoyed time around horses, you know each of them has their favorite stall and are quite insistent on it.
Speaking of which, do we use “common sense” when escaping from the Hell of our mistakes? Or do we have a burning desire to go back?
Fools and Folly
There’s an old Proverb that captures the essence of these situations. Although, somewhat gross in expression, it is spot on (pardon the pun) in education and experience.
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.Good Book
As a ranch-hand in his younger days, my Dad would quite often emphasize to me, “When you leave a Job, never go back.” He went on to say, “If you go back, whatever reason you had for leaving will still be waiting for you.”
I wish I could say that I always followed his exhortation. Yet, the truth is the darkest times in my life were a result of going back into situations from whence I had either escaped or been delivered.
And, in working with the public, as a CPA for 35+ years, I’ve listened to many individuals share stories similar to mine. How about you? Have YOU ever gone back seeking the comfortable and familiar?
The secret to moving forward is to simply let go. Oh, let me count the ways, the things, and concepts tethering us to misfortune. Let go:
- of the notion there can be a better or different yesterday.
- of opinions rooted in prejudice and bias.
- of bad beliefs manifesting in stubbornness.
- of wanting control for anything beyond our fingertips.
- of rigidity in thoughts and actions.
- of the trash that toxic people toss into our lives.
- of caring so much about what other people think of us.
And the list can go on to infinity. Yet, that’s enough for us to use as a catalyst to move forward. Think about it — to take the next step, we must let go of where we are. Otherwise, we’re similar to a toddler with both feet stuck to the floor and uncertain in choice of one good direction.
Yet, if we pay attention to the little ones, they have NO fear. They boldly take the next step — even if they crash and burn. No worries! They hop back up and wobble forward into new adventures.
So, what have we older kids lost in our infinite wisdom? Peace of mind for one thing and, maybe even relationships, success, and happiness. What’s the solution to this problem? Answer: a mind-shift.
Yes, be careful to include the “f” when saying Mind-Shift. Otherwise, we’re reinforcing what caused the mental turmoil in the first place. 🙂
Rather than clinching our fists and wrapping our minds around the “logic” that brought us to tumultuous moments, how about we simply open our hands, let go of the problem, and swing forward to a solution.
Surely, you’ve heard the story about how to catch a monkey.
Use a cage containing a banana with a hole large enough for a monkey’s hand to fit in, but not large enough for a monkey’s fist (clutching a banana) to come out; anecdotally used to catch monkeys that lack the intellect to let go of the banana and run away.Wiktionary
In other words, keep doing what you’ve always done and keep getting what you’ve always got. That’s the purest definition of insanity — doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.
Wouldn’t it be more FUN to do something different to achieve new results?
Choice Is Ours
Abraham Lincoln is generally credited with this observation, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Each (and every) morning we have a choice. We can fearfully tiptoe into the day with Resignation and Despair — or we can boldly stride into it with Fascination and Curiosity. For me, simply saying the latter phrase offers a gentle reminder to the choice of one good direction for the day.
In our Digital Universe, daily we have occasion to experience every facet of what this article pontificates. We’ve developed our habits, routines, and favorite responses. Yet, with Technology (as in life itself) the only constant is change.
So, upon experiencing some new twist to our otherwise comfortable world, what do we do? Yep — one more time, we do what worked previously and now doesn’t. We probably even click or tap a few more times just for good measure. Same action; same result: No Go.
Opportunity in Disguise
Yet, if we will calm ourselves and take a breath — breathe in; breathe out. And then, practice a Mind-Shift from resignation and despair to fascination and curiosity, we’re ready to learn something new.
Imagine that! Through the pain of stretching our minds to embrace a new adventure, we’re going to grow into something bigger and better. By doing something different, we will get something different.
The more we grow, the more we know;
The more we know, the more we sow;
The more we sow, the more we grow.
By looking for Seeds of Opportunity in the situation, our focus shifts from what WAS to what can BE. In other words, the Curse of Knowledge is lifted and probabilities of failure morph into possibilities for Success.
By letting go of the old way, a new path is discovered. By opening a clinched fist, a relaxed hand is ready to create goodness. By turning our back to the past, we can clearly focus on the future.
The mystery of Success is quite elementary, as Sherlock Holmes might say. My dear Watson, there is only one good direction and that is Forward!