Will Smith, the famous Hollywood actor, said in the 2006 American movie- The Pursuit of Happyness– “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” When you hear such powerful words said in that kind of straightforward and simple manner, they hit you the hardest. Somewhere down in your heart, you already know all this, but getting it to hear, or rather being shoved right in front of your face with this kind of openness and sincerity catches you by surprise. You are bound to feel the adrenaline rushing, the heartbeat quickening, and your mind reminding you of that goal- that one single goal- that one seemingly difficult goal- that you have had set for yourself..and yet to attain.
In that particular nano of a second, you realize that it does not ever really help if you just sit and wait for things to happen. You cannot wait for someone to make things happen for you. You want something, go out there on your own and fight for it. Go out there with such desperation as if your life depends on it. As if what you are asking for is the air for your lungs.
Gary Keller says in his book, “The One Thing” that everyone wants that one thing or the other very badly in one’s life. To attain that goal, the most important thing you need to do is to focus on it with 100% concentration. It’s like the great warrior Arjun and his target- the fish’s eye. You do not see anything else. The whole world becomes a blur, just your goal in front of you. Every step, every move you make should be for that one thing you really want. No iffs, no butts. It is only then that you see the magic of the Great Cosmic power unfold in front of you.
So much has already been said about how to concentrate, or how to increase your focusing skills. The useful tips are all just a click away. But there are times when the otherwise re-assuring “STOP and turn your thoughts around back” technique, in which you stop your mind the moment you realize that it has been day-dreaming or wandering away, or even meditation does not seem to be helping you. Sometimes, all the positivity in the world does not seem enough to motivate you. Sometimes, hearing relentless cheer of positive thinking tend to annoy you more than inspire you. That is when a little negativity helps. Sometimes, there is a need to balance the positive with the negative, optimism with the pessimism. Sometimes, keeping your eyes open for the “worst-case scenario” makes all the difference.
I have invented in my head my own technique. It requires you to trick your heart or emotions for a minute for your benefit. It is inspired by a popular theory of motivation, known as “Drive theory of motivation.” According to this theory, people are motivated to perform in order to reduce the internal dilemma or tension that is caused by unmet needs (Theories of Motivation by Kendra Cherry). Caution- Its not for the faint-hearted..
Remind yourself of the time when you felt WORST in your life. Yes, I am talking about the most humiliating, or the most heartrending moment of your life. It could be failing in exam, failing in job interview, breaking up with your lover, being stuck in some sort of financial crisis, the time when you saw disappointment in your parents’ faces, or the time when you helplessly witnessed suffering of a loved one. It could be anything. Now try and remember the fear, the pain, the anxiety, the impotent rage, the frustration you had felt then. Let yourself be enveloped by that horrible memory like a wet blanket- just for a minute. Your heart shivers. Anything is better than feeling like that again. Right? Tell yourself that attaining this goal would somehow nullify the pain you felt at that time. That there is no way you are failing in your efforts again and go through that terrible whirlpool of emotions all over again. That by achieving this goal, you would fill that empty void you have had in you all this time. That you would prove to yourself that you are worth going after your dreams. That you are worth the world.
Again, you are bound to feel the adrenaline rushing, the heartbeat quickening…but… your vision getting cleared of all obstructions and your goal visible again. Go get it. Period.