So many lessons I’ve learned in riding can be neatly applied to the rest of my life. Take this deceptively simple instruction: Look where you want to go.
In riding, and even when leading a horse, if you’re unsure about where you want to go, or even just not paying attention, the horse can take over. You may or may not want to go where he does, so you’d better stay focused! Don’t look at the ground (unless you want to meet it, abruptly) or at the horse himself. Look where you want to go. The act of turning your eyes in the direction you want to travel causes tiny changes in body position sending information to your horse, and making it much easier to steer him. (I’ve also heard race car drivers are told never to look at the wall—unless they want to crash into it!)
You can waste a lot of time looking in directions that don’t propel you forward into your desired happy life. Maybe you spend too much time looking back, regretting things you’ve done or opportunities missed. Maybe you stare at the blemishes in your life—the daily irritants, the painful experiences, all the stuff you wish was different. You might even be mesmerized by the things that scare you—afraid to take your eyes from them long enough to move head. I know I’ve turned my eyes in these less-than-helpful directions plenty of times.
So where should you look?
Look for opportunities. Look for someone who has already gone where you want to go—what path did they take? No two paths are identical, but you can often get some hints about where to go next from someone who has walked the path before you.
Look for inspiration, look for humor, look for happy.
Yes, you’ve got to back up your looking with action, but the first step is always—you guessed it—look where you want to go.
Where do you want to go? Are you looking in that direction?