Where You Look is Where You Go

Where you look is where you go. I learned this maxim the hard way. I was riding behind Paul, my motorcycle guru, who was teaching me the basics of motorcycle riding before Jonny and I set off forAlaska.

I was heading around a sharp bend where there was gravel and a guard rail. I was so frightened that I’d crash that I couldn’t stop looking at the spot and….rode toward it. I panicked. I braked. The engine automatically shut off. The car behind me slammed on its brakes, almost ramming right into me. Paul made a U-turn and returned to find me in tears.

“What happened?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I stammered. “I was trying so hard not to go onto that gravel…” “You had target fixation,” Paul announced.

“That sounds like a psychoanalytical diagnosis,” I said. “What does it mean?”

“It means you were scared you’d hit that gravel and all you were thinking about was not hitting it,” he said. “ I bet you were staring at it, too, fixating on the gravel. Where you look when you ride is where the bike goes and you rode right to it.”

What I was looked at – what I zeroed in on – was the direction in which I’d go. And I realized that the same maxim applies to life! Where you look is where you go. Focus on fear, you stay stuck in fear. Focus on a problem, you stay stuck in the problem. Focus on the negative in your life, you stay stuck in the negative.

This applies to the running dialogue I have in my own head. It also applies to all my conversations. I’m making a commitment for today to be aware of what I’m saying, both to myself and others. I’m trying to focus on the good, the positive, the upbeat instead of complaining about what could be better.

How have you applied this idea in your own life? What can you do better today?

Look Where You WANT to go

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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