As part of last week’s festivities in Lost Pines, TX, I witnessed a children’s pie-eating competition. Whipped cream flew in every direction as these budding Takeru Kobayashis showed their stuff, and I couldn’t help marveling at the fervor with which the kiddos scarfed down cream pie one minute and ran off to play soccer the next. The far-too-adult me wanted to scream at them, “Don’t run around with all that dairy in your belly or a shark will eat you!” but the children were too intent on scoring goals and nabbing pie-eating records to heed any warnings that day. Half pints are often defiant in this way, and, although some would tell you this is because of ignorance and stubbornness, I’m starting to think it’s because kids dare to believe the impossible is – uh – possible. For a child it is completely within reason to eat five pounds of whipped cream, win a potato-sack race and reenact the World Cup in one day, and I think we adults could learn something from this attitude.
We often call our aspirations pies in the sky, acknowledging their impossibility from the start, but if we were kids we’d probably view our dreams more like pies on the table – a hearty row of confections there for the taking. When adults walk around with this level of entitlement they usually get punched or become millionaires, but, assuming you don’t fall into one of these categories, why not try looking at your next goal as though it’s a pie on the table? Sure, it’s a pie you inquire about, work your tush off for and then purchase, but it’s right there on the table…Can’t you see it?
I don’t know about you, but as I’ve grown older I’ve fallen into the horrible habit of telling myself all the reasons why I can’t do every darn thing under the sun. This is a useful defense mechanism that often saves me from speeding tickets and hangovers on Tuesday mornings, but it does not come in handy when dreaming big and setting career goals. For this reason, I’m going to make a concentrated effort to silence my voice of reason for a while and set out on an expedition to find that childish frame of mind in which anything is possible. I invite you to join me on this journey and I encourage you to apply this kind of thinking to myriad areas of your life. Whether you want to make dinner from scratch two nights a week or start your own business, do it with the passionate knowledge that you can succeed. The worst that can happen is you’ll end up with pie on your face, but that’s worlds better than leaving the whole tasty thing up in the sky.
Psst: Are you setting any new goals for yourself right now? Do you have any tricks for keeping a positive outlook as you work to attain them? Do tell.