Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Mentally Prepare for a Challenge

Something big is on your calendar.  Maybe it's a deadline for your first book.  Or you decided to enter your first 10k race or marathon.  I believe the key to a successful outcome is in the mental preparation stage.  I've heard others say you need to think about the worst thing that can happen in order to be better prepared.  The problem with this approach is that you may become so focused and what might go wrong that you clam up and decide it's not worth it to pursue your dreams.  Why not ask yourself, what's the best that could happen?  Imagine all the possibilities that are associated with living your dreams.

Something happened at my day job yesterday that caught me off guard.  A sweet lady from Canada asked me to show her my hands.  I had no idea what she was doing.  "You use these hands for something," she said.  "What do you do?"

"I'm a writer," I answered.  She kept probing.  "Do you write by hand?"

"That's how I started.  My wife and I wrote a combined 5,000 love letters to each other," I answered.  My co-workers and my manager drew closer to the conversation, most of them unaware I'm a writer.

"Take out your cell phone and show me a picture of your wife," she requested.

"Cell phones are not allowed during work hours," I said.  "I can't show you any pictures unless my boss approves."  My boss looked at me and smiled.  "Show her a picture of your wife," she said.

I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and showed some family pictures.  After she looked at the pictures, more questions followed.  "What else do you write about?"

We talked for a few more minutes before our meeting came to a close.  I was shocked that this woman was able to find my passion so quickly when I go out of my way to keep my writing life a secret at my day job.  My biggest challenge ahead of me is publishing two books in 2015.  I've been mentally preparing myself for a long time.  I often dream about what's the best that can happen.  I believe the best that can happen is I will get to connect with others and inspire them to do the same – dream big and act on those dreams.  I picture you reading my labor of love.  Nothing is going to stop me.  In my own mind, I've already won the race.  Now it's your turn.  Please share how you mentally prepare for a challenge.  Show me your hands.  Tell me what you do with them or plan to do with them.  And share what's the best that can happen.  Thank you.

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