Focus on What You Can Do

Today’s thought is:

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
~ John Wooden

I often encounter people who look at the world in horror and say, in desperation, “I want a different world, but what can one person do?” Similarly, there are people who feel powerless to change their own lives for the better. They allow what they cannot do to stop them from doing what they could do.

The problems that face us individually and collectivley can be overwhelming at times. Their enormity depresses some, makes others apathetic, and still others angry.

The amazing thing is that these same conditions inspire others to strive for something better, more complete, more empowering. The key is to focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

 John Wooden’s accomplishments, while not world-changing, are staggering in sports terms. He led the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA national championships in 12 years between 1964 and 1975. In that span his teams, went undefeated four times. Only one team in men’s college basketball has completed an undefeated in the 33 years since.

As a revered coach, Wooden’s words have become legendary. Today he is 97 years old. Someone who has achieved that level of success in any field and that scale of longevity bears listening to.

Coach Wooden tells us not to let what we cannot do interfere with what we can.

  • Maybe you can’t end world hunger today, but you can donate time or money to those helping to feed the hungry.
  • Maybe you can’t create a more just political system overnight, but you can collaborate with others and take steps that will get us there one day.
  • Maybe you can’t attain your financial goals today, but you can begin making the changes and taking the chances that will lead you to that goal one day.
  • Maybe your life is too filled with stress and pain to achieve complete happiness today, but you can at least beging releasing the stress and the pain so that one day you can know that happiness.
  • Maybe your dream of being a world-class dancer has to wait another year, but you can still work on perfecting the dance in preparation for that day.
  • Maybe world peace is not in the cards for humanity today, but you can create a more peaceful world through every encounter you have today.
“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took me twenty years.”
~ Monty Hall

The fact is that you may not reach the mountain top today. That does not mean you stop climbing. For these days when you worried, stressed, and strove over your goal, will be “the stuff” the dream is made of when you do achieve it.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Stay Inspired!


Ray Davis is founder of The Affirmation Spot, a website offering downloadable mp3 motivation tools.

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Stay Focused, Keep Trying – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday August 20, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Roadblocks in my life are simply shortcuts to something better than I had planned.” (hear it)

 Back in the 1970s there was an American game show called Split Second. It was a fast-paced trivia show hosted by veteran game show host Tom Kennedy.

Each week the show began with five cars. Only one of the five cars would start. Each day the champion picked one key and tried to start the car associated with that key. If the champion kept winning, he or she would choose from one fewer car each day until the right car was selected or the champion lost.

Each day the drama built as the champion tried to start a car. Sometimes the champion would win the car early in the week. When the car didn’t start it meant that the champion had to win another game to have another chance.

That’s how it is when you are pursuing your goals. You are looking for the right combination. You try an idea and then you tweak it until it comes clearly into focus. You might have to try many ideas before you find the one that works for you, but it is out there.

A couple of quotes from Thomas Edison seem to fit here.

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

“If I find 10,000 ways that won’t work, I have not failed. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

You have to keep sticking your key in “the ignition” every day until you find your “car”. It takes determination and creativity, but something better than you thought is on its way to you when you stay focused and keep trying.

Never give up on the key that starts the engine of your dreams. It is out there!

Stay inspired!

Ray offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.