Blind but now I see!!!
Blind But Now I See…
When we lived in Tempe, AZ, one of our favorite ways to pass the evenings was to hang out at our neighborhood park. Many of the parents there would enjoy the down time and friendship of neighbors while the kids laughed and played with each other.
One of my neighbors was a firefighter for the City of Tempe. One day, we started reminiscing about our respective training experiences; my Marshal Service days, his firefighter training. One of the training exercises they conducted was to place a dark gray cover on the inside of their air mask to simulate being blinded by smoke and then practice moving in buddy teams to clear a home, conduct a rescue, or practice putting out a fire. They had to rely on something outside of what they could immediately see, in order to succeed.
I guess that is true in many professions, take airline pilots for example. Have you ever really noticed how small the windows are in the front of the plane? How to they really see out of them? When it is raining, dark, or they are in the clouds, how functional are the windows in helping them to stay on course? Many times they have to fly blind.
Invariably, these same challenges happen in the pursuit of dreams and goals. Our vision can become blocked or clouded by obstacles and we can not see where we are going. What is there to rely upon in these times of need?
Staying focused on several things will allow forward movement towards our dreams. First, stay focused on the end goal, NOT what is blocking the line of sight. Expect and anticipate the moment when you will lose sight of where you are but don’t lose sight of the end goal. Anticipate the challenges.
Second, focus on core training principles, habits and behaviors that have allowed you to succeed in the past.. This helps to control the fear, anxiety, nervousness, or other emotional states that may be experienced when the obstacle blocks your view. Remember your support team, your co-pilot or buddy you are entering the burning house with.
Third, rely on the fundamental instruments of your profession. Revert back to using the basic tools of your trade to stay on track and measure success. The firefighter relies on his boots, jacket, helmet, and breathing apparatus. The pilot relies on the compass, altimeter, fuel gauges, wind gauges and communication equipment. What are the instruments of faith you can rely upon in times of need?
When you are lost suddenly and can not see where you are going in pursuit of your goals. STOP, take a moment and reflect on what you can rely on. Who can you turn to in your buddy team for mental, emotional and spiritual support? No one ever achieves a goal without the help from someone who believes in them. What are the tools of your trade that you can always rely on without hesitation? Is it your brilliant mind, your technical aptitude, your emotional intelligence? What are your unique abilities that you take for granted everyday?
And, lastly, as you move through the inferno of obstacles or are blinded by the rain, clouds, and storm, keep faith and focus on your end destination. No fire can rage on forever and every storm eventually brings sunny days.
Remember, there are so many more resources available in the world to achieve your goals than are in your direct line of sight. It would even be exciting to put the screen in your visor and move into your obstacles once in a while. There is newfound confidence and freedom when the exercise is over, a job well done.