You are on a tightrope. Your life is stretched out in front of you on a thin strand of wire.
What do you think about?
Speaking for myself, I might be thinking something like, “whose idea WAS this,” or “where’s the pigeon repellent when you need it”. But I can assure you, none of those thoughts crossed the mind of Nik Wallenda when he made his recent world record breaking walk on a highwire across Niagara Falls.
As one of the legendary Wallendas, Nik is highwire royalty and he proved it with his recent accomplishment. As I watched I could not help hold my breath with the rest of the world and pray “please don’t let him fall.” But what was Nik thinking? What was he praying?
Listen to the pre-interview with Nik on YouTube and you will get a glimpse into the mind of a man who thinks differently. His thoughts and prayers never went to the negative. He never expressed or even allowed doubt to enter his mind. Instead, his was a prayer of gratitude BEFORE he finished the walk. His focus was on success!
Just as important, Nik instilled a meaning into his walk that motivated his optimism. He was walking in memory of his grandfather, Karl Wallenda who fell to his death at the age of 73 in a similar stunt in Puerto Rico in 1978. So in answer to the waiting customs agent who questioned him at the finish of his walk on his purpose for entering Canada Nik replied, “to inspire people around the world.”
The life lesson here is not hard to see!
Sometimes we feel like we are walking on a tightrope. Our tightrope could be going on an important sales call, looking for a job, asking for a raise or even having a challenging conversation with a client or colleague. What is the radio noise playing or the script we are reading in our head? Are we focusing on success or failure? Do we give meaning to this situation? Is the meaning strong enough that it motivates desire? Is the desire strong enough that it motivates positive action?
Success as it is normally defined will not always be the outcome. But if we think differently and redefine the word we never lose. Success can mean simply taking the risk and facing our challenge. If Nik had not made it across the falls his family would have seen it that way. His walk was a success before he took it, because he accepted the challenge. Lucky for us there are the Nik Wallenda’s who do take the challenge, show us the way and dare to “inspire people around the world.”
With the right focus and meaning we can accomplish anything.