Every time I spot a bike in a public setting, it makes me smile. It reminds me of what has continued to move me forward in what could have been a broken down life back in 2002. My dusty old Huffy, propped up by its rusty old kickstand in my garage for eight years, doing nothing more than taking up space, called out to me when I needed it most. A devine calling is what I refer to it as, my lifesaver. When I had to replace that old thing with a Trek, it was still a bike that brought me to where I am today--a successful and spirited entrepreneur who helps others move their lives forward as well. Therefore, how could the image of a bike NOT put a smile on my face?!
I was thinking about that when I met a woman this afternoon at a networking event. Before we sat down and the meeting began, she cornered me in back of the room and asked if I knew about The Secret.
"Yes, I know about that. I'm not a subscriber, though."
"But don't you believe in the power of positive thinking?" she asked.
"Well, of course," I responded, "But I don't believe you can just think your way to success."
For the next several minutes, while I fidgeted, looking for my escape from this woman who was pushing personal boundaries to the limit, she tried to convince me why she was right. I've explored The Secret. I read parts of the book when it first came out a few years ago. I've discussed it with friends. I've seen the reviews. I'm just not a fan. No big deal, right?
For the rest of the meeting, she made sure to extoll the virtues of her beliefs on the rest of the group, proclaiming, "I teach that," every single time she had the chance.
Now, hey, I'm not one to avoid or chastise self-promotion. It's how we attract people to our products and services. Marketing is necessary and who better to sell what you're selling than you. That's true, provided you don't have to force feed your audience. Any time you feel you must do that, no matter how passionate you may be, it seems inauthentic to me, and I don't trust it. If, while you're talking to me, I'm backing away, it's a good clue I'm not interested. It's not personal; it's just that I draw the line at open-mindedness when I've already explored an idea and rejected it. No use covering the same material all over again.
Besides, it's not that I don't believe in the Law of Attraction. I do. I do think that like attracts like. In fact, I met a man once in a bar where I was having an early dinner. The guy sat right next to me, so I engaged him in conversation. We wound up talking about our divorces. He from his spouse. Me from mine. Then, all of a sudden, he invited me to a singles outing and followed that up with this line: "Like attracts like, you know." Oh, geez. "Check, please," I called out to the waiter, ending the conversation. This couldn't possibly go anywhere good, I thought.
So certainly your thoughts affect your actions, and that's my point. They should be well-thought out thoughts, and they should be followed by well-thought out actions. The Secret, in my opinion, leads one to believe that all you have to do is think you'll have success and there it will be. For as long as it's been around (She claimed, "6,000 years."), I'm just not a believer.
I don't think you can think your way to success or riches or whatever drives your passion. You must do what another speaker I know teaches and take steps to move forward. Thoughts are barely the beginning.
That's why the image of a bike is so moving for me. It reminds me that there is action left to do, that there is movement yet to occur, that what I want is there for me if only I reach out and do something to make it happen. Thus, my thoughts can lead me to success, but only the planning part. The real success comes with that forward movement, taken one turn of the wheel at a time. It's how I've gotten through a difficult childhood, the death of a spouse, a complicated divorce from another. It's how I deal with whatever challenges me now.
If you're looking for a tool or a mechanism to help you map out your success today, I hope you'll consider adopting my special brand of BIKE and make it your own. Yes, there's work to do. But stick with me, and I'll keep leading you onward. You can ask me questions. You can hire me to coach you through it. You can come riding with me, if you like. I'll lead the way. That's what my 8th grade teacher told me to do when she autographed my yearbook with this inscription, "Keep leading them on!" I didn't quite understand what she meant back then. But if I could see her now, I'd let her know I'm finally following her advice.
What do you think?
(Photo above taken by Jackie Dishner, Jerome, Ariz., 2009.)