When I got home from work the other day, my four year-old daughter, Madison, came running up to me. She was very excited and proudly exclaimed, “I did the monkey bars, I did the monkey bars!”
After a proud fatherly cuddle, I asked her if she was scared when she did it because the monkey bars are so high off the ground.
She thought for a moment and responded, “No, I just looked up, not down.”
What a wonderfully profound statement from a four year-old.
When confronted with a challenge, instead of focusing on what could possibly go wrong, she focused on what she needed to do to achieve her goal.
Instead of looking at the potential problem (falling), she looked at the solution (using her hands to get across).
Instead of letting her ambition be limited by fear, she was driven by the excitement of doing something that was important to her.
Look up, not down.
Look to the possibilities, not the pitfalls.
Look at the outcomes, not the obstacles.
Focus on what your hands are doing, not on where your feet might fall.
And so what if you do fall?
The consequences are rarely as catastrophic as we imagine.
Richard Branson says, “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all!”
I suspect that they’re words that Madison lives by.
Finally, one other lesson is that when you’ve reached your goal, find someone you can celebrate your achievement with like my daughter did with me.
You may just inspire them to look up and not down too.
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