Mindstate Motivation Blog

To See New Opportunity You Have to be Blind to Old Failures

Ever hear the expression:  “She has eyes in the back of her head.”  Yes, he could have eyes in the back of his head, too.  The concept is not sexist in its application.  ☺

I find it interesting the idea of eyes in the back of one’s head alludes to a cautionary stance about one’s surroundings.

It has nothing to do with looking backwards in time or anything like that.  It’s all about being able to not be surprised by something from behind you.

If, for instance, eyes in the back of your head were meant to only see into the past, you could not focus on what is ahead of you.  The past would be in front of you because your eyes are in the back of you!

As a consequence, you could not be blind to past failures because your vision is only focused on your past.

Yikes!  What a terrible way to spend one’s life!

Vision in one sense is defined as a picture that you see in your mind.  If the only pictures you see in your mind are of your past failures, future success is impossible.

So, my premise is you can’t see successful pictures of your future if you only look toward your past. eyes-260571_1920

Or, to reiterate the title to this article:  To See New Opportunity You Have to be Blind to Old Failures.

The relevance of these observations is…every New Year brings an adventure toward a better life if change is seen as opportunity. It’s an opportunity to change the patterns of your past and make new patterns.

If you have the vision to see deep into your future, you can focus your actions today on realizing that vision.

As an aside here is an interesting article on the topic of why our eyes are in the front of our heads.

I bring that physical fact back up because of a consistent theme throughout the linked article.  The theme is our depth perception is enhanced by having both eyes facing forward.

Now, the extension of that theme is my above point about “seeing deep” (depth perception) into your future.

Our brains see in pictures.  If you want to have a clear and positive picture of your future, you have to look forward but only think backward.

By that I mean, your past experiences should be thought of as valuable learning opportunities for changing things in your future.  So, go ahead and think about them but don’t have eyes in the back of your head staring at them!

The summary of all this is:  Face forward; see and think forward; only think back in your past to learn how you can improve.

There are some specific steps you can take to put that summary into practice for this New Year and deep into your future.

Define What You Want not what You Have Been

Start by not even spending one second looking through those eyes in the back of your head.  Rather, look forward by using some writing medium…a piece of paper, white board, your computer, etc.

List everything you want to be, do or have in your future.

Sift and Winnow Out the Chaff and Get to the Kernelsharvester-409133_1920

Sorry…that heading takes me back to my youth on a wheat ranch in Montana.  Our survival required us to thrash the wheat plants using a combine to separate the junk (chaff) from the valuable kernels of wheat.

The chaff had minimal market value if bailed into straw that could be used as bedding for animals.  Most of the time we would plow the straw back into the soil to serve as mulch to improve the richness of the soil for the growth of our next crop.

The kernels of wheat, however, were worth several dollars a bushel at market.

So, it is with your ideas on the list you have created.

Some of them are extremely valuable kernels of opportunity for you.  Most of them are chaff to be plowed back into the soil to be used as mulch for your next crop of ideas.

Your kernels of opportunity on your list are those things that viscerally touch your soul with a great big feeling of why you must have them.

Nurture Your Kernels of Opportunity

sowing-1032664_1920The wheat plant requires three forms of nurturing:  watering, fertilizing, and protecting.

So does your future vision of all you want to be, do or have that you have created from the above list of kernels of opportunity.

Watering:  None of the latter forms of nurturing your future vision are needed if you don’t consistently provide the first one.

Back on the wheat ranch we were at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Ours was what is referred to as “dry land” wheat ranching…meaning the only way the crop received water was through the rain that fell.

Dry land wheat ranching is a huge gamble that timely and sufficient rain will fall to keep the wheat plants alive until they are ripe for harvesting.

Trust me!  You don’t want to take a “dry land” approach to nurturing you future vision.

You want to know achieving your vision is as certain as anything can be in this life.

You “water” your kernels of opportunity with a constant reminder of WHY they must grow.  The simplest way to do that is through creating what is called a Vision Board.  Here’s a link to one great way to do that.

Fertilizing:  In growing wheat all things are possible if you get sufficient rain.  However, the kernel of wheat needs nutrients just like your body does.

Remember that straw mulch we created by plowing the straw from a harvested crop of wheat back into the soil?  Well, that was a key way we enriched the soil to fertilize the next crop.

You have to do the same with your future vision.

Your “fertilizer” is new knowledge born from past experience and constant learning from current experiences.

Take 30 to 60 minutes each day to concentrate on developing additional knowledge you can apply to help in reaching your vision.

Protecting:  Wheat ranching is a crazy business!  Even if you get sufficient rain and provide the proper amount of fertilizer, there are all kinds of threats to completing a successful harvest of those valuable little kernels.food-4509_1920

Threats like vermin, insects, disease and the weather (hail storms, frost and a myriad of other conditions).

Your future vision needs protection from threats to it too.

The biggest threat is your own thinking.  If you let those eyes in the back of your head focus on your past failures, realizing your future vision is impossible.

To neutralize that threat start with focusing on your Vision Board.  From what you see as the opportunities for your future, develop “Positive Affirmations.”  These affirmations will kill the poisonous thinking about your past failures.

Here’s one idea on how to develop powerful affirmations.

There you have it…my “vision” of how you can see new opportunity and remain blind to old failures.  I assure you the vision is born from applying every one of the suggested practices in this article.

I sincerely hope it helps you develop a vision of clarity and a future full of opportunity.


What is the most important idea from this post you plan to put into practice immediately?

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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