The Eyes Have It

September 23, 2013

Don't look down.
Since Tank’s lips were still too sore for a bit, when I rode him this weekend I used only my halter and lead rope. Since I had no reins with which to communicate, I had to use my eyes, seat and legs to tell Tank where to go and how fast. Notice I said “eyes”—with or without a bridle, one of the rules of riding is to look where you want to go. Sounds simple, right? It is, in theory, but it’s awfully easy to find yourself looking down at the horse, or at the ground, or even in another direction than the way you really want to go. The horse gets conflicting signals and probably doesn’t go anywhere at all.

Remarkably like life, wouldn’t you say? We need to focus our attention on the direction in which we want to travel. Don’t look at obstacles, but beyond them to our chosen destinations. Don’t look backwards, because that’s not where we’re going. Focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want, because according to Peter Jones in How to Do Everything and Be Happy, “It simply isn’t possible to not focus on something. The very act of NOT thinking about something requires your brain to conjure up images of the thing you don’t want to think about, so you can ignore it. The only way not to focus on the wrong thing is to switch your focus to something else.”

We have no control over many things that happen to us or are a part of our lives, but we can choose the direction we look, what we focus on. Are we looking forward to where we want to go? Focusing on the obstacles or the opportunities? Looking for the positive or the negative? 

What are some things you’d like to focus on?

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  1. very eloquently wonderful to ride a horse while focusing on where you are heading!

  2. Rita--Thanks, and yes it's quite thrilling (and a bit challenging!).

  3. What a great analogy to life - it certainly does help to look where you are going!

  4. Cheryl--Or you'll wind up someplace else!