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Eddy Smith.
Eddy Smith.
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By Eddy Smith

Normalising the belief in one’s ability to achieve goals is a powerful and transformative mindset. This idea elevates beyond mere wishful thinking and taps into the profound truth that what we set our minds to is within our grasp. The practice of writing down goals, whether as short-term objectives or long-term aspirations, serves as a tangible reminder of our paths and ambitions. It’s not just about having these goals; it’s about actively engaging with them. 

Many people, myself included, find that jotting goals down, especially in a handwritten format, creates a deeper connection and commitment to these aims. Similarly, the repetition of affirmations is not merely a practice of hopeful thinking but a method of reprogramming the mind to recognise and work towards these goals. The power of affirmations lies in its ability to reshape our thought patterns, aligning our subconscious with our conscious objectives, thereby mobilising all aspects of our being towards the achievement of our aims.

I remember watching a documentary on Formula One racing that offered a compelling insight into the power of direction and focus. In the high-stakes, high-speed world of racing, a driver’s ability to stay on course and avoid collisions isn’t just about skill, but also hinges significantly on mental focus. A striking point made in the documentary was that if a driver, when facing difficulty in the race, focuses on the wall, he is almost certain to crash. This further strengthens the notion that “you drive in the direction you are facing,” a simple yet profound truth that resonates as much in life as it does in racing. Life, much like a race, often proceeds at a pace that can seem overwhelming, seemingly dictated by the relentless march of time. 

However, this documentary led me to understand that we are in fact in control of our life’s trajectory. The direction in which we focus our attention, and the dedication with which we maintain that focus, are crucial in determining our path. This isn’t about oversimplifying the complexities of life, but rather about emphasising the crucial role of our focus. Just as a Formula One driver must navigate the racetrack with care, avoiding the walls that could spell disaster, we too must steer our lives, directing our gaze, our goals, and our deepest aspirations away from potential pitfalls and towards our desired outcomes.

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As the year progresses, time seems to accelerate, and before we know it, November will have passed, ushering us into the season of reflection and resolution. This period often inspires us to set New Year’s resolutions, yet these resolutions can sometimes feel daunting or burdensome as the new year approaches. The question then arises: why wait for a specific date to initiate change? As Eckhart Tolle wisely points out in his book, The Power of Now, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” This perspective is a powerful call to action, emphasising the importance of the present moment over an elusive future. By recognizing the power of ‘now’, we move from merely observing life to engaging with it, taking charge of our actions and decisions. It is in this present moment that we possess the greatest ability to effect change, rather than in a distant, uncertain future.

Waiting for the ‘right time’ to make changes or pursue goals is like sitting idly in the passenger seat of life, expecting the autopilot of fate to steer us towards our desired destinations. This mindset can lead to a sense of helplessness or a belief that we are not in control of our destinies. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Just as we are the drivers in the vehicle of our life, we are also the architects of our future. By choosing to act now, to make changes and pursue our goals immediately, we actively engage with our lives. We break free from the illusion that we are merely passengers, subject to the whims of fate, and instead take control, steering our lives in the direction of our choosing. This approach involves more than just setting goals; it’s about taking consistent, deliberate actions towards achieving them, understanding that every moment presents an opportunity to move closer to our aspirations.

This message holds special significance for our youth, who are at a pivotal point in shaping their futures. The mantra “do it today” is especially relevant to them, encouraging a mindset of seizing the present and acting on their dreams and aspirations. The tendency to delay actions, waiting for a ‘better’ time or the ‘right’ circumstances, is a common trap. Yet, this habit frequently leads to a cycle of inaction and regret. The key lies in disciplining oneself, taking charge, and converting thoughts into actions. We all have experienced the sting of missed opportunities and the dissatisfaction of inaction. By recognising our control over our choices and actions, we empower ourselves to move forward. The act of stepping into the driver’s seat of our lives is not just about taking control; it’s about imbuing our journey with purpose and direction.

While this mindset might seem modern and secular, it actually resonates across various cultures and religions. In acknowledging that many of my readers likely identify as Christian, it’s pertinent to note how the Bible mirrors this concept. Proverbs 27:1, in the New King James Version, encapsulates this idea: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” This verse highlights the unpredictability of the future and the importance of focusing on the present. Hence, waiting for the perfect conditions or for the stars to align becomes an unproductive endeavour. The message is unequivocal: act now, embrace discipline, and overcome challenges. The rewards of this approach are substantial, including personal growth, success, deep fulfilment, and self-actualisation. Truly, exerting control through discipline and perseverance is not merely a route to success; it is arguably the most effective strategy one can employ in life.

Transitioning from this perspective, it becomes clear that the path of self-improvement and achieving goals is akin to a personal journey, demanding a defined destination and a steadfast commitment to navigate towards it. Echoing this sentiment is Seneca’s timeless wisdom: “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favourable.” This metaphor serves as a crucial reminder that without a specific goal or purpose, neither opportunity nor external circumstances can be truly advantageous. It is vital to pinpoint our goals, chart our path, and then seize every opportunity, gentle or fierce, to advance towards our chosen destination. With a clear aim, disciplined action, and the courage to take the helm, we can direct the course of our lives, not as mere drifters subject to the whims of fate, but decisively shaping our journey, making the most of the present, and forging our legacy for the future. Do it today!

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].