The more the goal occupies your mind,
the less you notice the obstacles (if at all).
Many years ago when I was a new student
at Harvard, I’d moved into this
neat place on Mass Ave – where the landlady
greeted me that hot summer day with the first
fresh juicy Mango I’d ever seen (or tasted).
The location was half-way between Harvard and MIT (Mass Ave
connects the two schools).
When I was attending both, I walked (or ran if I was late)
to the one I had to attend that day. Both were about 10-12 blocks in
either direction from my place as I recall.
In the winter there was ALWAYS snow, slush and the
usual winter winds that are part of New England.
I never noticed it.
There were a few “bad” cross-streets I passed along the way.
I never noticed them.
It was COLD sometimes. And I dressed right. But other than that…
I never noticed.
Never thought to complain about it except to be social.
It. Never. Bothered. Me. I didn’t notice.
Today I know why. I was focused on getting to classes I could not
WAIT to be in. I couldn’t wait to be around people I adored, admired and
wanted to hang with and learn with, DO with, belong with and be like.
My heroes were waiting to teach me there…from Noam Chomsky to Morris Halle
and George Lakoff (who was still at Harvard at the time).
And I never realized or thought of anything else.
Nothing else mattered to me. I was consumed and
crazy in love with my focus and the little group who
Today when I think of that New England weather, I shudder. I can’t imagine
living in winters today and so I live in Northern California where
there is no snow or slush (70 today).
I was thinking back on my Cambridge days today, basking
in 70 degree weather here in NO CA.
I realized this – perhaps for the umpteenth time:
When you feel consumed by something you are passionately crazy about,
you don’t notice the obstacles others whine about. Because you’re in love with it.
There is just no better feeling I can imagine. Madly crazy in love with
what you’re doing and trying to make happen.
I am constantly on the lookout for things to fall in love with –
that I can learn, do and teach. It’s why I am a BIG consumer of
how-to programs by teachers who have learned something that
I want to master.
It’s a wonderful life indeed.
Bottom line: If you are constantly finding the brambles in what you’re doing,
reconsider doing it at all. Find something where you just cannot stand
NOT doing it, where you just WANT to learn it, futz with it, long for it,
never get tired of it, always wondering what you will create when you start it again.
And how you can help the next person feel that way too.
Total focus = Obstacles? What obstacles?
PS That doesn’t mean no obstacles exist. They do. But in the mind of the one in love
with the focus they are just part of the exciting challenge of your focus.
For the one NOT in love, obstacles are all they see and talk about. Find something to love.
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