Last year February, during my son’s birthday, I made sure that I spent the afternoon home playing games with him on the computer. One game made me write today— it was ‘bow and arrow.’ It is a simple game where you have balloons coming on one end and you have to shoot them down with the arrows. Meanwhile, you lose an arrow if you miss. It goes in stages where different balloon colors come but yet you need only shoot the red balloons.
I used to play the game long time back when I was in college and was very good at it. This time, my son was beating me at it until I really got angry with myself— I need not though, it was only a game. I remember my wife then walking into the room where we were playing the game and she could tell from my face that I was irritated. She did not take long to figure it out because soon it was my turn and I failed miserably. She added more salt to injury because she went laughing uncontrollably. I had to excuse myself and went outside to play with my maid’s son.
While playing with my maid’s son, I still was thinking about the bow and arrow game. Why was I losing when I used to be very good at it? Was it that I was good at computer skills when I was in college and not now? Not at all. There was something more than the computer skills. It had to be mental. Basically, my attitude towards winning. I needed to be composed, have a positive attitude and assure myself that I can do it even if I missed on the first occasions.
When I was in college, I did not see myself as lacking skills in computer. I was playing the game without focusing on how much skills I had on using the computer. I used to tell myself that I can do it and was doing it. Every time I played, I told myself, I like the game and I was going to win the game.
With these positive thoughts fresh in my mind, I went back into the house and joined my son on the computer, smiling. And all of a sudden my shots started hitting the balloons. I cannot tell you that I made every shot afterwards (otherwise I would be lying), but I can tell you that I was making most of them.
I learned an important lesson that day. If my attitude and mindset could help me achieve a simple goal like shooting an arrow for a ‘bow and arrow’ game, what else could it help me achieve? A goal is a goal no matter how big or small it is. Whether it is about having a successful business, getting a promotion, or shooting an arrow at a balloon, we should approach each and every one of our goals with positive attitude—that we will eventually succeed no matter how many times we fail at first. Tell yourself that you can do it and you will be surprised at how much you can achieve.
Let me caution though that when you continue to fail, then it is time to reflect. Perhaps that is not an area for you – find another viable alternative. Life is too short to waste too much effort trying when the end does not seem practically achievable.
Blessed weekend to you and yours. n