Successophobia

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Successophobia

 My eyes blinked open this morning ending a critical moment in an amazing dream.  Evidently I had invented some important product that would revolutionize the planet.  The only thing was, it had to be proven out in space, but once that easy test was done I was a hero and wealthy beyond my dreams.  I would want for nothing ever again!

 The space craft people were really nice and helpful as I put my space suit on and made my way up the massive rocket to the cabin.  They chatted all the time during my preparation in the cockpit about how whatever it was that I invented was really going to make a difference in their lives and they were looking forward to it.  As I was being strapped in all I could think about were the things that could go wrong.

 The captain of the voyage gave me the responsibility of flipping the switch that would ignite the rocket engines sending us skyward to the stratosphere where I could do the rudimentary testing.  After a fair amount of time while he was going over a bunch of checklist stuff that I could not comprehend, he finally turns to me with a thumbs up and a smile and says, “OK, Professor!  Light ‘em up!”

 My gloved hand slowly moved over to the switch, I lifted the clear, plastic cover and just stared at the single red toggle.  So many negative thoughts were going through my head as I hesitated.  The captain waited patiently, but eventually, he leaned over and asked, “What are you waiting for?  Are you afraid of success?”

 And I woke up.  I peered into the waxing light of the morning and pondered the ephemeral moment I’d just escaped from.  Am I afraid of success?  The question echoed.

 I think most of us are all afraid of real success because it brings change.  We are creatures that have evolved to avoid change because it involves risk.  Yet, compared to all the other creatures on this planet, we have a comparatively startling capacity to adapt to change.  While deep down in our guts we may abhor change of any kind, success is available to anyone with the courage to grab hold of change and wield it to their advantage.

I thought about this as it relates to my pool game.  (It is “remarkable” only in that it seems like I might have thought about how this applies to other parts of my life!)  I’ve struggled to improve my pool game for several years now, and the road has been interminably long and slow.  Sure, the hours I’ve spent leaned over the pool table have improved my abilities a modest amount, but I would still be classified as an intermediate shooter garnering little to no respect in the pool room I regularly play in. 

Part of it is lack of ability, some of it missing knowledge or experience, but most of my problem is between my ears.  Negative thoughts and lack of commitment to a course of action undermine whatever pool ability I might hold.  If anybody was ever privy to what went on in my head they’d recommend a lobotomy just to quiet the cacophony of thoughts bouncing around in there.  At the very least a daily session with a shrink would be highly encouraged.

Someone said somewhere, “If you keep doing the same things, don’t expect different results.”  If my pool game is going to improve, it requires a change beyond banging balls around a table for an extra 15 minutes.  It requires a change in my attitude.   Pool requires discipline and commitment.  It requires attention to all the things that go into developing a consistent stroke, a sharp eye and a keen sense of my abilities and limitations.  It requires me to develop mental habits that keep me focused and a belief in myself.  To change my pool prowess requires me to change who I am.  With that change will come success.  I can keep playing in the Behind The Rock Tour tournaments with my old skills and tools and mental habits, but I won’t be successful.  I’m sure I have the guts and perserverance necessary, but it comes down to one simple question, am I afraid of success?

Are you?

 

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