When it comes to the more time consuming or less fun parts of our jobs, we all have things we would rather be doing.
As I get ready to head out for vacation, I’m reminded of many of those. My to-do list has shrunk considerably over the last few days, but there is a definite pattern to what’s left.
Those I would rather not do continually get pushed to the end, until my last few hours are filled with things like cleaning out my mailbox so it doesn’t overfill while I’m away.
What’s the harm in pushing off those items we’d rather not do? It can be significant.
Many years ago, I witnessed the power of positive thinking first hand.
A Marine friend of mine was struggling to qualify in the rifle. If you know anything about Marines, they are riflemen first. His inability to qualify was risking his future as a Marine.
At the time, my father was his senior officer and also an accomplished marksman in and out of work. He brought the Marine in, determined to help him so he would not shorten his career unnecessarily.
During the discussion, my father shared his method for successful days at the range.
Visualize the outcome you desire before sleep – your dreams will do the rest
The night before qualifying, think about your shot as you lay in your rack (bed). Visualize still winds and perfect line of site. Imagine an unobstructed bullseye and breathe out as you mentally squeeze the trigger.
My friend later shared his skepticism with my father’s advice. We were young and still thought we knew more than our parents, so it was easy to scoff.
At that point, nothing else had worked, so we agreed he might as well try the idea. Even if it seemed crazy.
I remember seeing him the next afternoon. It’s been twenty years and I’ll never forget the look of stunned pride on his face.
He did not just qualify. He excelled. That year, he went on to become one of the best competitive shooters in the Marine Corps. All from using the power of positive thinking.