This week, while Katherine joins fellow speakers and consultants at SCN’s annual meeting, we are recycling a favorite MMS from a few years ago. Our new subscribers will enjoy Katherine’s story and the lessons she took from the experience. And to all of our MMS readers who have been loyal subscribers from the beginning… you’ll remember why we love seeing the world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.
A few years ago, my youngest son, Austin, was a semi-pro motocross racer. Like many aspiring athletes, he had a racing coach who met with him once a week to improve his performance on the track. In one such session, he was working on the important technique of cornering which he had been struggling to master. Austin could pick up great speed on the straight-a-ways and had no problem (much to his mother’s dismay) jumping the longest, highest jumps, but when he would approach the corners, for some reason, he would slow way down. Other racers would often steal the lead he was enjoying in a race by passing him in those corners. The more this happened, the more frustrated he became, and you guessed it… the worse it got.
I happened to be there observing during this particular coaching session. I stood beside his coach as he watched Austin practice and tried to analyze what the issue was for him. All of a sudden, a smile spread across the coach’s rugged face and he said, “I know what it is.”
He called Austin off the track and said, “I want you to circle around and do that corner over and over until I tell you to stop. But this time, the moment you enter the corner, I don’t want you to look at where you are. I want you looking at where you’re going. I want you seeing the exit the minute you enter. Remember this, Austin: The bike follows your eyes. If you look at the wall of the corner, you’re bike goes there. If you look at the exit, your bike goes there. It’s a natural human process. Train your eyes to look at where you want to be, not where you are. The bike will always follow.”
Years later, a hygienist in one of my client offices recommended the novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. It’s the story of a racecar driver and his dog, Enzo, told from the dog’s perspective. I loved the book and found myself smiling with recognition as I read this quote: “In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control, will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free, will regain control of his vehicle.”
Last week, I wrote about spending less time planning to walk down a particular path and more time actually walking. But once you’re out there, moving down your loosely-constructed path, mixing it up with all the diversity that life throws before you, deciding which alternative paths you are inspired to explore… how do you not lose your way completely? By keeping your eyes on where you’re going… not where you are. Look ahead each day this week at where you want to be and then walk, keeping your eyes up and ahead not down at your feet. If you veer off the track, keep your eyes looking down the track, not at the wall in front of you, and you’ll regain control again.
Success follows where the vision goes.
“Such a simple concept, yet so true: that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance,
our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”
~~ Enzo in The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein