Believe to achieveWhen you first start out riding bucking horses in rodeo, the veterans tell you that during the ride, if you ever look at the ground that’s exactly where you’ll land. In other words, focus on the task at hand and never think about failure, because if you do, it’ll come.
By: Kevin Holten, The Dickinson Press
When you first start out riding bucking horses in rodeo, the veterans tell you that during the ride, if you ever look at the ground that’s exactly where you’ll land. In other words, focus on the task at hand and never think about failure, because if you do, it’ll come.
Have you ever missed a wide open layup, dropped a sure touchdown pass, tripped while being the best man or maid of honor in a wedding, spilled wine or spaghetti sauce on someone’s new tablecloth or forgotten to zip up?
Have you ever failed to turn on your headlights, ran a stoplight, carried something out of a store without paying for it, slammed into someone in a hallway, forgotten your anniversary, ran out of gas or proposed marriage after one too many beverages? I bet you have. Of course I haven’t.
Then again I once drove from Los Angeles to Minot for my nieces’ wedding and when I got there, opened the back door of my vehicle to get my sport coat out and realized that it was still hanging in my closet in California.
When I was in college in Grand Forks and went to a concert in Fargo, I discovered when I got there that my concert tickets were still in Grand Forks. Fortunately, there was enough time to retrieve them.
I once went to a business meeting in Richmond, Calif., with a small piece of tissue covering a shaving knick on my chin and no one said anything.
I was once late to a rodeo in California and rode my bronc without changing into my riding boots and spurs. You might as well be naked if you’re riding a bronc without spurs.
Plus, I’ve often gone to the grocery store and not carried everything out that I’ve purchased. That’s frustrating. But then I’ve had nine concussions so maybe it’s normal, for me.
For my birthday gift this year my sister gave me a big sign that says “Luck is believing you are lucky.” The truth is I have been very lucky. In fact, I have been so lucky that I’ve learned to rely on luck as if it was a guaranteed entity.
I once read a quote that said, “Faith reverses the natural order of things.” In other words, there is such a thing as miracles and faith makes miracles possible. I believe in miracles, simply because my life, your life and the lives of all of those around us are miracles.
My dad is a miracle. He was in an explosion and the doctors said that his chances of surviving were slim and maybe none, but that was decades ago and he’s still here. I don’t know if he thought he could make it but my mom did and that’s why he survived.
My son’s friend is a miracle. He was in a car accident in Anaheim, Calif. and suffered what they called an internal decapitation, which means his neck was completely broken. They gave him less than a 5 percent chance of surviving, but he did. I know he thought he could make it because he was a competitive athlete that thought he could do just about anything, and he was right.
So, do you ever channel surf? When I watch television I not only channel surf, but do two other things at the same time. Recently, when I was zipping through channels, I stumbled upon the Trinity Broadcast Network and heard this preacher say “God is already in your future.” Wow, I liked that idea. I need someone walking ahead of me in this jungle and clearing away some roughage. I’d call that really good luck.
Author Ernest Hemingway once said, “For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.” I don’t think that anyone thought that quality of writing in “The Grapes of Wrath,” “The Garden of Eden” or “For Whom the Bell Tolls” had anything to do with luck.
Missing a layup, spilling wine, forgetting to zip up or walking around all day with a piece of tissue on your chin has little to do with luck and everything to do with concentration. In fact, I believe that the formula for luck is concentration plus faith.
Because, you see, even luck doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it takes days, weeks, months, years and decades and as film director George Lucas said, “Even good luck has its storms.”
That’s why faith is so important. Which is a close cousin to patience, but that’s another story for another time.
Holten is a freelance columnist and cartoonist from Dickinson.