You Have a Crystal Ball

You Have a Crystal Ball

So, it turns out you have a crystal ball. We all do. Your friends, it turns out, and your entire social network have a tremendous influence on your future. We want bright futures. We want better living and it has been said that the most important tool at our disposal for living better is other people.

In the words of motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” You can argue the idea of being determined by outside sources rather than your own decisions shaping your destiny, but when you consider that adults in most circumstances have the liberty to choose their friends and circle of influence, it dissolves the idea that we are not personally responsible for our futures.

The people we surround ourselves with are the biggest influence on our behavior, attitudes, and results. We should point out that our “entire” social network includes online as well as offline. So then, if our best tool is at our disposal, how do we use it?

First, accept the truth that the people you spend the most time with shape who you are. They determine what conversations dominate your attention. They affect which attitudes and behaviors you are regularly exposed to. Eventually, you start to think like they think and behave like they behave. It’s a fact of life that some people hold us back, while others propel us forward.

Second, accept the truth that you can construct your own social network and that you are responsible. In most cases, we are not at the mercy of our family, our culture, our school, our community as to where and whom we choose to spend our precious time. Our guest in Season 1, Ryan Stream says, “if you want to change, you have to change your friends.” If we sit idly by, without taking deliberate action, we may suffer the result of an unintentional life of existing rather than thriving, reacting to rather than acting upon.

Third, make some decisions. There are 7.9 billion people on the planet and a plethora of internet forums to choose from. We not only must choose who to allow but who not to allow. Most of us are experiencing or have experienced negative people who are simply not good for us. The future we want won’t happen with these people around us. We are going to need to act with courage and diplomacy to make the necessary changes with our allotted time.

Fourth, we change, and other people change. Some good advice is to spend your time with the people who are already living the life you ultimately want to live–those who have been successful in your field or people that you really admire and aspire to emulate, then regularly look into your crystal ball, and evaluate your future and your entire social circle.

For those of us interested in horses, I recommend The Horsemanship Journey. The show showcases the best horsemen/women and personal improvement professionals of our time. It’s where horse people go for motivation, information, and inspiration. It’s the wisdom and knowledge of the best of the best. It’s excellence in horsemanship and in life from those who’ve achieved it. If your future self is more skilled and more knowledgeable with horses, The Horsemanship Journey is one of the places you’ll want to be. Surround yourself with greatness and be your best you!

Wisdom Doesn’t Come From Presence

Wisdom Doesn’t Come From Presence

I was talking to my friend Jimmy Sharp. He was a mechanic that worked on my trucks and everything else that broke. “That’s a real nice truck you’re working on,” I said, “times must be good.” His response, “expensive trucks and fancy stuff doesn’t usually mean prosperity, it’s more likely good bankers.” For some reason, I remembered that. It goes along with, “age is no indicator of maturity” and “wisdom doesn’t come from presence.” These are interesting ideas to observe, particularly the last one when it comes to our horse life.

Some of our families had horses while we were growing up, some of us had the opportunity to ride or be with someone else’s horses, and some of us wanted to have horses when we could. Whatever your length of time on task, I can assure you that the number of hours or years being “around horses” is not equal to your proficiency. You would think it obvious when you read it, but it’s not obvious. At least many of us don’t act like we get the idea. Usually when people say things like, “I’ve been around horses my whole life” they are presenting evidence of their knowledge or justifying their thoughts or actions
with proof of their correctness as if it were the same as the results of a scientific study. Sometimes being aware of our words and intentions can be eye-opening. None of us would presume to be a brain surgeon since we had “been around” people our whole lives or believe that “being around” automobiles is enough to qualify as a master mechanic.

I’m not pointing a shameful finger if you’ve ever echoed these words or had similar thoughts. I know and recognize this concept because I said and expressed these ideas myself early on. Whether it’s these exact words or not isn’t the point. The point is that it’s easy for us to fall into bad thought patterns that move us away from being able to have the happiness and joy that is available with horses or with any aspect of our lives when we do not intentionally make the choice to continue to learn and then follow that decision with action.

Not consciously choosing to pursue excellence is a totally rational decision. The opposite requires effort, so it seems easier to do nothing. With horses, we might be in the minority as a horse owner when it comes to our total friends, family, and acquaintances. So in comparison, merely having a horse qualifies us as an expert in our circle of influence. Why would we do anything more when things are so good? We’re getting by. Our horse(s) seem to be fine and everyone we know thinks we’re Roy Rogers or Dale Evans, John Wayne or Annie Oakley. Life is good. It’s a fact. Why seek to change that? Because the limitless knowledge and experiences available with horses can provide you more meaning, more fulfillment, and ultimately more happiness and joy. That’s why it’s worth it.

In 2016 The Horsemanship Journey conducted a Nationwide survey asking horse owners what was most important in their horse experience. The overwhelming result, 82% of respondents said that “their horse being well cared for” was most important. If you are part of this group, the information and ongoing advancements in horse health alone are massive areas of study. Your knowledge has a direct impact on the health and quality of life of your horse.

Arguably, more importantly, is the fact that human beings are hard-wired for progress. The positive thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that occur when we are making progress are big and broad. They can have a tremendous impact on our daily lives. Learning is a source of self-confidence. Our self-image affects everything we do, every relationship, everything. When we are learning we not only get the benefit of what it is that we are learning but, the good feelings of bolstered confidence and all that comes with knowing and doing what requires effort and is worthwhile. It’s like giving yourself a high five or congratulating yourself for doing what you believe is right.

A recent article by Tracy Brower published in Forbes.com titled “Learning Is A Sure Path To Happiness: Science Proves It” states, “When you learn new things, you also expand your horizons and greater perspective is linked to experiences of happiness and joy… Depression is typically marked by a myopic perspective where you feel limited or trapped within your circumstances. But a broader view—of others, of the world, of circumstances and of possibilities—is correlated with greater happiness.”

In summary, being an exceptional horseman/woman rather than an average or mediocre owner that simply gets by, is going to require a conscious effort. The good news is that it’s worth it. It’s not only worth it, but it’s also necessary if you want more meaning and more happiness. Double good news bonus – the effort required is reasonably small and doable. Learning is easier, more available, and more affordable than ever before.

I suggest and recommend The Horsemanship Journey as a worthwhile component in your overall life plan and horse program. We bring you the top horse professionals in the world for less than $4/month. The show will leave you feeling empowered, informed, and inspired. In addition, The Horsemanship Journey will soon launch private training with the best trainers of our time. Whatever your level of experience and skill, your progress is paramount, and “wisdom doesn’t come from presence.”