Will World-class competition and the medaling of champions keep you watching the 2016 Summer Olympics? Or will you watch in anticipation of barriers and limitations being shattered?
When it comes to breakthroughs and victories, though, you don’t just have to witness Michael Phelps compete for yet another Gold Medal. Although Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, you too can be an achiever, a champion.
Yes, your victories may start out smaller than Rio gold, but in the long run, they may actually be more beneficial to you.
While practicing the guitar and learning languages, I’ve noticed a phenomenon that might help explain how you can shatter limiting expectations.
In order to master a guitar riff or learn a phrase, I sometimes struggle for days or weeks with no progress. Then, out of the blue, I experience a breakthrough. One minute I can’t, and then the next, I can. What couldn’t be done before now seems natural, as if I’d always had the know-how.
How does this happen? Well, I’m learning that each of us has conscious control over our experience; I was simply failing to recognize and use it.
I’m convinced that this shows, in a small way, the mental nature of things, and your and my untapped, dynamic individualities. It tells me that if we refuse to yield to discouragement, persistence will be rewarded. The real barrier to progress is a belief. And we can take control and exchange believing I can’t for understanding I can.
Each Olympic athlete certainly puts resolve into action and destroys the fears and doubts that would keep them sidelined. As well, when I can’t yields to I can, you are able to achieve too.
Fortunately, and possibly more importantly, the phenomenon of sudden breakthroughs is not confined to languages, music, and sports. It also takes place in health care. I believe it is the mental as well as the spiritual nature of life and health that enables similar progress.
For example: Cory, a sophomore pitcher with The University of Texas varsity baseball squad was a student in my Christian Science Sunday School class. I had the opportunity to watch Cory pitch several times.
During a game, after delivering a pitch, the ball was batted directly back at him. Cory caught the line drive, however, not with his glove, but with his bare hand. The next day the hand was swollen and he couldn’t grip a ball. An x-ray revealed a fracture.
Cory was to pitch again in four days. And, although a doctor and his coach felt that his taking the mound for this next scheduled appearance was impossible, Cory knew from experience that prayer was a silent, mental force that could help.
Cory had planned to take a seven-hour trip to his girlfriend’s cottage. Despite the injury, he followed through with his plans. While he traveled, he prayed – affirming that he was a spiritual being and lived to express divine soundness and action. He refused to accept that he could be sidelined.
Through years of reading the Bible and applying spiritual ideas in his life, Cory had learned that it was possible to correct physical difficulties with a thought-shift. He had conscious control over his own experience, and could use it. Breakthroughs took place not with a human “mind over matter” approach, but by acknowledging a divine influence present in consciousness that generated betterment.
Just as I can’t yields to I can, inspired perseverance helps erode the seeming solidity of an I am hurt belief. And when I am hurt yields to I am well, you are well. It’s as if you were being reminded that you have always been sound.
As Cory prayerfully reasoned, he felt a change take place. When he arrived at the cottage, he knew the healing was complete. He went swimming and fishing, and wrestled with his girlfriend’s brothers.
When he returned, to satisfy his coach, the hand was x-rayed again. The doctor said he’d never seen anything like it. The hand was healed. And when Cory pitched again a few days later, he struck out seven of the eight batters he faced.
Perhaps for you, the end of an unyielding difficulty seems impossible or far away. However, in regard to health, just as in music, languages, and sports, — the beliefs/barriers that would stop you from being healthy can be erased. What before seemed obstinate no longer has to remain formidable. There is a divine reason for confidence and conscious control.
Yes, for the Olympic athletes, each transition from I can’t to I can is impressive and gratifying to witness. So, consider allowing their accomplishments to motivate you to achieve your own victories.
Originally published in Houston Chronicle, @HoustonChron