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

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

anunnaki_cover_full_colorRay’s 2015 speculative fiction novel, Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, is turning heads. Where did humanity really come from and where is it going? This is Book 1 of a trilogy. The Awakening has begun!

Learn more about the trilogy and order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com.

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Quitting is the Answer – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday December 13, 2007



Today’s affirmation:

“Today I am ready to convert my perseverance into success.”

Quitting is the answer to your dilemma. You know you want to give up. So, do it. You have a dream, but it is just pie-in-the-sky nonsense. What are you thinking? Are you crazy?

Do you really believe you could be the next great childrens author. Are you really visualizing yourself sitting on Oprah’s couch discussing your latest best seller? YOU??? Come on! Get real. You’ve sent 20 manuscripts out and how many rejection letters? That’s right. 20.

And you, thinking you are the next great country music star. You’ve made five demo records and not one call back. You’ve been at this for three years now. When are you going to face reality?

Oh, and Mr. basketball, you have dreams of a major college scholarship and then the NBA? Yeah right! You play three minutes a game on your high school team. The coach barely knows your name. And you think you’re the next Michael Jordan? Face it, my friend, basketball is a dead end for you.

Do you ever have thoughts like these? Do you ever hear those around you say things like this because they “care about you”? There’s always someone around to shoot down your dreams, if you are not already doing it. In some cases, it’s even an expert – an editor, a coach, or record producer. I mean they know what they are talking about, right?

The next time you have these kinds of thoughts I want you remember the following.

His sophomore year in high school, Michael Jordan didn’t even know he was the next Michael Jordan.

Michael JordanHe was cut from his high school basketball team. I don’t know if that high school basketball team was unbelievably talented or the coach just wasn’t a very good judge of ability. Can you imagine arguably the greatest basketball player ever cut from his basketball team? The coach was presumedly an expert.

Michael could have taken the expert’s word and given up. He could have taken up the vilolin or given up on school activities all together. Instead, he worked harder; became more determined. Three years later he was starting for one of the top college programs in the country and on his way to a Hall of Fame NBA career and six NBA championships.

What if Michael Jordan had accepted the judgment of an expert and quit? The man revitalized a sport, gave a city with a reputation for losing the opportunity to be champions, inspired millions of young athletes, and gave every fan a highlight film that will run in their minds forever.

Back in the 1920s there was an unknown cartoonist from the midwest shopping his idea for an animated cartoon featuring a mouse. Walt Disney made two cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse that were rejected by distributors. Then timing and adaptability intervened.

disney.jpgDisney latched on to the new sound technology in Hollywood and created a third Mickey Mouse film with sound called Steamboat Willie which debuted in New York on November 18, 1928.

The mouse and Walt went on to do quite well for themselves. A major media empire and the world’s number one tourist destination bear the name Disney because he believed in his idea and he did not stop at “no”.

Had Disney quit generations would have been deprived of the eternal childhood represented by Disney message.

A retired motel and restaurant owner in his 70s spent two years driving the country pitching his secret recipe for fried chicken to restaurant owners. The story goes that Harland Sanders heard no over 1000 times before someone finally said, “yes”.

Today Kentucky Fried Chicken is served in more than 80 countries around the world. Everyone knows about “The Colonel’s secret recipe.”

What is the common element here? Belief? Yes. Commitment. Sure. The real common element here is perserverence converted into success. These people pushed through their own doubts and the opinions of others to achieve their goals.

They also didn’t listen to the experts who said it couldn’t be done. The experts thought the train, the automobile, the airplane, radio, television, and the Internet would never succeed. Experts are always learned people about “what is”. They are entrenched in “what is”. Experts are weak at seeing what “can be.”

That takes a visionary. Find a visionary who believes in you and what you are trying to accomplish. That restaurant owner who finally said yes to Colonel Sanders was a visionary.

The world would have been worse off if any of these men had given up. What will the world be missing out on if you quit on your dream?

So how about it? Are you up for that 21st manuscript submission? Are you ready to make another demo and make this cut the one that gets noticed? Are you ready to give a little extra at practice today and let the coach really see what you can do?

If you are inspired to keep going, continue visualizing Oprah. If you are motivated to take Nashville by storm, keep seeing yourself accepting your award as newcomer of the year in country music. If you are ready to take the court with a new purpose and determination, then keep dreaming of the NBA.

Others are going to call you crazy. “They” called Jordan, Disney, and Sanders crazy too. “They” called the Wright Brothers and Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci crazy.

You might have another bout of you calling yourself crazy. That’s normal. Just don’t give up on your talent, don’t give up on your passion, don’t give up on the promise of your dreams.

Start right now by restating your dream to the universe and your commitment to achieving it. I’d be honored if you began by leaving a comment on this blog.

Quitting is an answer. It is just not the right answer when it comes to your dreams.

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

The Affirmation Spot

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