A few years back I took a bad spill from my mountain bike. The crash left me with bruised and bloody knees. It hurt, but while it wasn’t a pleasant experience, it helped me realize something important: Where you look is where you’ll go.
I’ve never been very good at things on wheels. Skateboards, bicycles, skates. I tend to fall for some reason. I’ve had my share of memorable falls. I once fell off my bike when it wasn’t even moving.
So getting on a mountain bike presented a mental challenge for me because I had to let go of memories of skinned knees and painful falls. I had to expect to stay on the bike.
It was a beautiful day for a ride.
I started out fine. My husband and I were cycling on a smooth, easy trail (my favorite) in a scenic state park.
The easy trail turned into a gravel trail and then a little further along we wound up in an even more difficult trail in a rocky creek bed.
I was trying to stay positive and confident, but in the back of my mind I was thinking, “I don’t want to fall. It’ll hurt if I fall.”
Well, sure enough, my front tire hit the big rock and I went flying off my bike. I skidded on the rocks before coming to a stop.
Blood ran down my legs. My knees and hands burned. I screamed a few choice words and cried like a small child. I was right. It did hurt.
What happened? I was doing so well!
Where you look is where you’ll go.
I was so focused on the rock, I didn’t see anything but the rock. I was saying, “Don’t hit the rock.” Of course I hit the rock.
The mind is powerful. Where I focus my thoughts and attention is the direction I’ll go, even if it’s not where I want to go.
It’s a reminder to be aware of how your thoughts direct you. What you focus on is an indicator of where you’re going.
How many times does it happen that the one thing you decide you don’t want to do is what you end up doing? The one thing you don’t want to happen is what happens?
Avoid focusing on what you don’t want. Focus on where you want to go and on what you want to do, because where you look is where you’ll go.
Fun extra: Here’s another illustration of the principle that where you look is where you’ll go. It’s from Bob’s Burgers when Tina learns to drive a car.