Thursday, November 26, 2009

The secret to your success is deceptively simple

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial page

If you read last week's column, you may remember my lamenting that nothing momentous happened in the previous seven days, leaving me little choice but to whine and complain that everything was going relatively well. The result: nothing much to write about, except for the fact that I had nothing much to write about!

Karma's a funny thing, because whenever you challenge the universe to do something for you, it does. My message to the universe last week, then, was for something big to happen... something that would make a good column.

My column came out on Wednesday morning. Evidently, officials from the International Association of Karma Revenge Seekers (IAKRS) were reading the newspaper that day, because an urgent alert went out to the field to make sure that some momentous event would occur that would make it into this week's column. Secret agents were dispersed to cause mayhem where none previously existed. Shadowy figures lurked in hallways. Gremlins climbed through trees looking for some trouble to cause.

By Wednesday evening, the IAKRS had hatched their plan. Indeed, I would have something to write about this week. The thing about these pests, though, is that they don't care for whom they cause trouble. It doesn't have to be me, personally. Indeed, it can be someone close to me -- be they family, friends or work colleagues. Suffice it to say, the next time that I write a column complaining about a dearth of subject matter, everyone who's ever met me should pretty much hide in a cave somewhere or lock themselves in a bunker for the next week, preferably a bunker full of pillows to cushion whatever havoc comes their way.

Within about 12 hours of last week's column being published, my poor uncle, aunt and cousin -- who unbeknownst to me or them had been chosen by the IAKRS as the sorry targets for karmic revenge -- were driving through the city on the way home from an evening out when they were in a major three-vehicle accident resulting in two vehicles being written off, including theirs. Luckily, there were no serious injuries, justt some very shaken up people and lots of bruises.

After the ambulances, fire trucks, police and tow trucks had left the scene, there was not much evidence left behind that something bad had happened. Bruises eventually heal. Achy bodies eventually heal, too. The loss of confidence for driving can definitely take a hit, however. Already a nervous driver at the best of times, I urged my aunt to take the wheel again as soon as possible so that she didn't let the fear of another accident get the best of her. Like they say, once you fall off a horse, it's better to get right back on or risk never riding again.

Of course, that's easy for me to say. However, after a bad car accident years ago, I was back into a rental car within just a few hours. I had no choice. Quite simply, I needed to get around. Like my relatives, I was not in the wrong and was just an innocent bystander in a three-car pileup that left written-off cars and badly shaken drivers, but luckily no permanent physical injuries. Not having anyone else to drive me around, I was forced to get right back in the saddle as a matter of practicality.

Many people believe being afraid or nervous of something is something that 'happens' to us... something over which we have little or no control. Actually, being fearful is a decision. If one decides not to be fearful, you simply will not be. If you psyche yourself up to the point where just looking at a car is terrifying -- in the case of your reaction after a bad accident -- then the chances of ever driving again are slim.

You'd be surprised at how our own minds can limit our behaviour. Don't give this negative emotion more power than it deserves.

It's not just fear over which we have control, it's many other things -- in fact, most other things. Ever wonder why some people get rich while others remain poor? It's not luck. There's no magic formula. There's no secret potion conjured up by a witch over a steaming cauldron of lizard gizzards. Quite simply, the person who got rich decided to get rich. As simple as that is, it's also profound.

Whether it's hopping back in the saddle, getting behind the wheel of the car, or deciding to become rich, it's all up to you. The decision is yours.

We sometimes can't avoid adversity or accidents. They're part of life. Well, I take that back. We can indeed avoid these by staying home tied to a chair so that we never leave the house.

Pretty hard to get into trouble then, eh? Well, except if the house starts to burn down.

I wish more people realized how simply making decisions not to be scared, not to be nervous, or to get financially comfortable were things in our control.

I wish someone who's very successful would give a speech like this to a graduating class:

"Ladies and gentlemen, and members of the graduating class of the Brian Cormier Memorial Donkey Grooming School, I was invited here today to share with you my secret for success. How did I become so financially comfortable? How did I achieve my dreams? How did I get such a great life?"

"Well, my friends, I'll tell you how I became so successful. Here's the secret... the incredibly fascinating technique I used. Drum roll, please. Here it is: I decided to."

Whether it's a car, a horse, or life itself... just decide and you'll get back on track.

1 comment:

LESLIE said...

Brian,

Love the column; it rings so true!!

I think we all need to revisit the value of positive thinking. We tend to overlook how much happiness and opportunity we miss by being negative and dismissive.

Leslie