The mind is indeed a powerful tool.
I know full well, from my own experiences, what is possible when you truly set your mind to it - and how quickly things can unravel when you go into them with the wrong attitude.
The toughest thing I find, as we grow up in this world full of possibility, is knuckling down to one thing.
There are so many things on my current ‘would love to-do’ list, that I seem to spend more time considering my different options than I do actually pursuing any of them.
In the last five years, I’ve attempted to write a book, learn French, learn to play the piano, and complete a distance learning course in video editing. In this same time frame I’ve also taken up Kung Fu, planned a wedding and had a baby. I’m one of those people who, when they do something, really throws themselves into it - for a while at least. But it’s the sticking with one thing and not getting distracted by life’s craziness that I’m not very good at.
My laptop, phrase books and the keyboard I bought on Ebay are all visual reminders of each task that is still, as yet, incomplete.
It’s so easy to make the excuse that I’ll pick them up again ‘once my daughter is a little older,’ or - the most dangerous of all - ‘when I have more time.’ It’s the aspirational equivalent of starting your diet tomorrow.
I think back to all the times over the years I’ve spent planning the things I’d like to do rather than just doing them. It irritates me knowing if I’d just focused on one thing and seen it through, that thing would be ticked off my list now.
While chatting to Sharron Lowe, author of The Mind Makeover, I realised that this is something I’ve come to expect of myself now and that I may well be guilty of holding myself prisoner in my own vicious circle.
Yes, as a child I dreamed of seeing my name on the bookshelves in Waterstone, and as a result I spent most of my teenage years with stories and poems pouring out of my fingertips. Maybe what I need is a bit of this positive visualisation in my adult life.
As adults we find ourselves hearing far more about the regrets and near-misses than the success stories, and it’s human nature to focus on the disappointments.
The next time I pick up one of my pursuits, I’m going to draw on a little of the dreamy wonder I had as a child, when I really believed anything was possible. Who knows, maybe it will rub off.