A number of years ago I attended the Motorcycle Safety Foundation basic rider’s course to obtain my motorcycle license (highly recommend). One of the key takeaways from the classroom sessions was a concept known as target fixation. A 2016 article from Cycle World describes target fixation as such:
“When confronted with a dangerous situation or something unusual suddenly appearing in our field of vision, our natural instinct is to look directly at the object posing the threat and exclude everything else. Unable to look away and even consider an escape route, we tend to go where our eyes take us, often directly into the object. “Andrew Trevitt from Cycle World
And it’s totally true. If I’ve entered a right-hand corner too hot on the motorcycle, my instinct is to focus on that tree over there to the left that awaits my face. If I indulge in this worry, guess what happens? The motorcycle continues to move in exactly the direction I’m trying to avoid like a magnet. It’s in these split second moments that I remember my training and force myself to instead focus on the apex of the corner I’m trying to navigate. Magically, I then manage to lean the motorcycle harder and unlock the additional cornering capability the machine had all along.
Since taking that course I’ve found numerous opportunities to apply this wisdom to all of life itself. Think about it.. it’s our instinctual nature to mentally focus and narrow in on all the problems we have. Perhaps it’s hardwired into our innate survival mechanism, or maybe it’s just our programmed bias towards negative thinking. In any case, what do you think this does to our ability to overcome adversity? If you have money problems for example, do you think it helps to constantly obsess, stress and fixate on your lack as you go about your day?
Law of attraction
Of course there needs to be some level of awareness surrounding the problem, otherwise you wouldn’t be motivated to solve it. But I argue there is a much better way of attracting what you want in your life than compulsively worrying about that which you don’t. Instead try putting your energy, effort and attention towards what you do want. At the highest level, this is why it’s so important to define a vision for your life, because if you don’t know your target, how can you expect to move towards anything other than ambiguity and uncertainty?
Many would argue things like, “Well that’s easy for you to say.. you don’t have 100k in student loan debt and a dead-end job that leaves you so energetically drained you have no time to work towards anything else at the end of the day.” To this I would like to say, I acknowledge and honor the difficult circumstance you find yourself in. But success is in life is not as much about the circumstances as it is your reaction to them. Yes some people have it easier than others circumstantially, no doubt. But I also know there are countless number of those with a far worse set of circumstances that somehow manage to triumph and attract a better life for themselves.
The power of spirit
How is that possible? Are they just lucky? Do they have some talent or brain chemistry that you don’t? No. They’ve found a way to tap into a force that’s greater than themselves, a force that is available to all of us because it is the source from which we all originate. It’s your spirit. Your spirit is your soul which contains the magic of the entirety of the universe that is you. It’s these people who find a way to focus on the positive despite the worst of circumstances. And guess what? In their little world, they don’t experience the same hell you do.. even with worse circumstances.
When you live from this state of mind, you possess a blind faith that despite how bad things are, you will always be taken care of. Whatever your worst case scenario is, it will never happen.. and even if it did, that would be okay too. From this place, you are freed up to focus your energy on all the positive outcomes you desire. When you do this consistently, your circumstances have a much higher chance of aligning with what you want. You automatically start to do the things necessary to improve your situation because you’ve cleaned up the noise of negative thinking in your head. So for next time, if you don’t want to hit that tree over there to the left, focus instead on the apex of the corner ahead on the right.