Advertising
Advertising

How To Walk On Water

How To Walk On Water

If you’re familiar with the stories of Christendom, you probably know the one about St. Peter walking on water. As a kid I heard the story many times and always with the same lesson: Peter was a failure because he grew afraid of the wind and waves.

I knew I’d be very uncomfortable about walking on a constantly heaving wet floor, let alone actual water. But that never came up. None of the pastors I heard recount the story every praised Peter for having the nerve to get out of the boat to start with. They just warbled on and on about how everybody needed to be less like Peter and have more faith.

Advertising

Therein lies the reason for the dredging of my childhood and slapping a gasping memory on a page before you.

Advertising

    Peter continues to be degraded for failing to take more than a few steps across a churning sea but I’ve yet to hear somebody mock the dudes who stayed in the boat. Many of the good folks around would have you believe that life is all either hot or cold. Success or failure. Laudable bravery or deplorable cowardice.

    Good for them.

    Advertising

    Let’s take a break from that mindset and think about the times you’ve gotten out of a boat in your life. Don’t focus on how you didn’t make it more than a few steps away from the boat before you needed to be rescued. Don’t focus on your failure to walk across the ocean. Think instead of all the steps you DID take. Think about how you believed in something enough to do what others said you couldn’t.

    You got out of the boat. That’s amazing. You can do it again, too. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Advertising

    1. Show kindness without an end game — Few are capable of such a thing. When presented with an opportunity to be kind, take it if you’ve got the resources. You’re out of the boat.
    2. Complete a cost-free step to achieving a dream — Too often we let money get in the way of progress. Pick a task or group of tasks you need to make a dream happen and complete them. You’re out of the boat.
    3. Take a worldwide problem and solve it for somebody in your neighborhood — Changing the world is an impossible task but you can make a difference on your doorstep. In changing the world of another, you’ve changed the world for us all. That’s definitely a getting-out-of-the-boat sort of approach.

    What do you think? Should we continue celebrating failure like the gurus tell us to or should we focus on those first successful steps and figure out how to repeat them, learn from them, and add to them?

    I’m glad for your thoughts.

    Image: Kevin Dooley

    More by this author

    21 First Date Ideas 11 Sinfully Easy Sangria Recipes Sleep Hack: A Simple Strategy For Better Rest In Less Time Lifehack 5-Day Early Riser Challenge Final What Advice Would You Give To Your 18 Year Old Self?

    Trending in Featured

    1 Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny 2 How to Become an Expert (And Spot out One Nearby) 3 How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life 4 How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Goals 5 5 Key Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

    Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

    Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you? Do you wonder:

    Why do I have bad luck?

    Let me let you into a secret:

    Your luck is no worse—and no better—than anyone else’s. It just feels that way. Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky.

    1. Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside your self.

    Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism, where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

    Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

    Advertising

    Most successful people take the opposite view. They have “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

    This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like.

    They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

    Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

    Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

    What’s different is their response. When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can.

    Advertising

    No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

    When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just . . . random. Yet those who feel that they are less lucky, typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

    Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

    2. Remember that whatever you pay attention to grows in your mind.

    If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

    In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more and more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

    Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything; sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

    Advertising

    They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

    Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

    To improve your fortune, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to you; then try focusing on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

    Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

    Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

    “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

    “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”

    Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

    Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

    Read Next