We have a huge S curve in the the road right at the front of our property. I mean really huge. Motorcyclists love it. In the summer on a weekend it would not be unusual to have 100′s of motorbikes ride past our home. They love going into the first bend and then coming out and then immediately going into the second. Cars also enjoy this bend, although we have seen more than our share end up in a ditch or most recently wedged between two mammoth pines at the front of our property.
Last year a young motorcyclist was rounding the first bend. We just happened to be out throwing the football around on the front lawn. We watched him take the first curve but as he rounded the second he lost control of his bike; he lost some degree of equilibrium. He came across the ditch, just missed the hydro pole, grazed a pine tree and then slid across the driveway and across our lawn, and ended up close to where we were throwing the football.
Thankfully he was alright, (not so much his bike). I was ready to call an ambulance but he declined. I let him know that he could put the bike in the back of my old pick-up and I would drive him home, but he was too shaken up to make any decisions. So we invited him to stick around while we prepared for a big family barbecue at our home.
I don’t remember the young man’s name but I do remember he was Polish. Well, he stuck around for about 6 hours and enjoyed the day getting to know my immediate extended family. You wouldn’t have known that he was a stranger. Finally at around 6 pm, as my family was leaving, he decided he should be heading home. We put the bike in the back of the pick-up and headed to Brampton. What I loved about this young man is that he made the best of a really bad situation; he found his equilibrium in this unfortunate predicament. I mean his beautiful new ninja bike was a bit of a wreck and he still kept a positive outlook on the situation! What an amazing attitude!
Last Friday, I heard from a potential sponsor for our bike ride. They declined to become a partner with us. It had looked really promising, and for four months we (I) really believed something was going to happen. For me, like my Polish friend, this was like missing the S curve in the road. For him, he lost his bike, for me I lost my perspective.
I sort of crashed! It wasn’t just this one sponsor that put me off my but a number of smaller issues. Plans were just not coming together like I had hoped or envisioned. I had become discouraged. The problem was that my focus began to change. Instead of attempting to recalibrate my equilibrium, (find a new balance) I choose to capitulate to my immediate misfortune.
Equilibrium is a state in which opposing forces are balanced. Words that are analogous with equilibrium are parity, symmetry and stability. I had lost equilibrium and could not regain it because I momentarily failed to look at the bigger picture and take into account the many good things that were happening. In essence, I had hit a wall, and for a short time became trapped in the S curve with the residual effect being 1)self pity, 2)ingratitude and 3) a loss of focus.
The first first step to restoring equilibrium to the situation was to recognize the choice I had made, and to take responsibility for my thought process. (Ownership)
Secondly, I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. (Reflection)
Thirdly, I chose to focus on the many things that have been going really well.(Gratitude)
What have I learned about this experience?, One moment of negativity can keep you in a state of perpetual imbalance.
Be vigilant about your thoughts, because your thoughts impact your habits, your habits impact your actions and your actions impact your character.