Have you ever watched a racehorse do his thing? It’s amazing to watch, in part because the horses run so close together. I have such respect for those horses – they are so beautiful to watch, stretching to their limit to do what they have been born and trained to do: run as fast as they can.
The reality is, those horses can only run as fast as they do, so close to one another in the middle of all the noise and dirt and chaos, because of those blinders their jockeys have given them – they have, in effect, been set up for success. Given every advantage.
Not only did their caretakers make sure they ate a great meal at the perfect time before the big race, they have done everything they can to give them maximum productivity in regards to a VERY SPECIFIC GOAL.
In truth, race horses can only run as fast as they do because they have an undistracted field of vision and a singular focus.
I am sooooo good at doing the exact opposite – in fact, if I were a bird perched on a roof overlooking my day, I’d be confused as to why this person keeps moving this way and that, floating here and there to take care of everything and everyone. And somehow I’m surprised that the tasks I really want to knock out that take FOCUS continue to stay on the to-do list?
I have come to see wisdom in having blinders on – in some ways, I’m very much a product of our technology-driven life. I skirt from email to social media to Slack and back to email – on and off, all day long. Like a sawed off shotgun. Instead, I see a different possibility: to put on my own blinders and breathe, create a meaningful space for my own thoughts and a new focus. Yes, for a chosen time, block out social media and texts and email and Netflix. Block out other people’s content entirely, in fact, so I can just hear my own thoughts and voice.
Is it possible that doing this I might be able to run even faster towards my goals – perhaps even win my day in a new way? And what if I treated myself like a precious racehorse, fueled up properly, gave myself plenty of rest, plenty of care? Could I perform at an even higher level? Well, I may not be Secretariat but I am committed to the race so it certainly can’t hurt.