THE POWER OF THE MIND
by MICHAEL NORFOLK
have always looked upon one of my greatest assets to be determination.
If I set myself a certain task then I hold no visions of failure despite
the enormity or difficulties associated with the challenge I face.
Whether the task calls for physical or mental strength somewhere within
me is the ability to succeed and often it is just a matter of
determining how to bring out the best in myself.
when I look back at my childhood years and at the simple games we would
play out in the streets around our home, I held a great determination to
succeed at almost any task.
believe that within each of us is the ability for greater success once
we put our minds to it and that it is simply our state of mind that
restricts us to more menial achievements. We all possess the power to
achieve our goals but somehow we have to work out a way to unleash that
power in a positive way.
I was about ten years old I spent days on end attempting to learn to
ride a two-wheeled bicycle. I would sit on my bike while one of my
friends grasped the seat and off we would go, the wind blowing into my
big smiling face until my friend let go his grasp and I would
immediately topple and fall to the ground. Battered and bruised we would
try unsuccessfully once again. Is
it so difficult to retain your balance on a two-wheeled bicycle?
is it that eventually clicks within us and allows us to progress on our
own with precision balance?
it really something that has to be learned over a period of time or is
the ability already within us but just needs awakening?
on the bicycle for another attempt and once more in motion. Across the
grassed island we go, down off the kerb into the road and as my friend
stumbles and lets go his grip of the seat I find myself staring straight
ahead at an oncoming car. Had I fallen to the ground it would have been
big trouble but in an instant I was riding on my own and it was easy!
that moment on I could ride a bicycle as if I had been born with the
ability to do so all along – so had I?
Power of the Mind
am one of those fortunate people who can eat whatever they please and
never gain excess weight. All my life I have been of slender build,
bearing the brunt of many jokes about my physique that eventually
resulted in me hiding my frame from view whenever possible. While my
friends ran around during long summer days without their tops I was
always the one wearing some item of clothing with long sleeves! The
swimming baths were out of the question and even into my married life I
rarely wore shorts as the stigma from my younger days carried forth.
does your physique determine your actual physical strength?
would seem clear that someone of a large physique would hold greater
physical strength than someone much less proportioned but what exactly
determines our physical strength?
again I refer back to events from my younger days.
had no great qualities or abilities as an athlete, I was pretty much
your average person. I had a competitive streak and I enjoyed
participating but I was always one of the also-ran's.
of our regular games played around our street was our own version of the
‘Olympics’ which doubtless most youngsters at some time or other
was pretty average and out of half-a-dozen 'competitors' I would likely
finish out of the top three.
few doors away from us lived what I personally considered to be a very
attractive young girl, a few years my junior. Despite repeated
attempts I never ever came close to gaining her affections, though my
desire never diminished. This young, pretty female would often
join in with our games, attracted no doubt by my much fitter and more
attractively proportioned team mates!
own version of the Olympic Games commenced with a defined number of
events lined up to test our abilities as the young girl took her seat
among the spectators.
timed race around the block was the first event and looking at the
competition I considered that third place was possibly within my grasp,
and I was of course out to impress!
more able bodied friends each took their turn and set what appeared to
be fast times but I still believed it possible to snatch a bronze.
turn came and while my eyes were focused on the pretty young girl, my
friends had theirs on the stopwatch and the off was shouted. Into a fast
stride I went all around the perimeter of our street, determined to show
the pretty girl that I could compete as well as the others. I came home
to an astonished group of friends having destroyed their personal times
by some distance.
it was just a fluke or maybe an error with the timekeeping but either
way I had hold of my first gold medal!
version of the shot putt utilised a whole house brick and we marked out
a throwing line at the top of the grassed area with the view to throwing
down in the direction of the road. Never one to be the centre of
attention, I strolled around in the background while my more assertive
friends took their turns – each one using their greater physiques to
throw a respectable distance that looked beyond my potential.
my turn came round I recall having a vision of how it would feel to
fail, how it would appear this scrawny kid had no physical strength. My
right hand gripping tightly on to the house brick as the pretty young
girl giggled and chatted to my competitors, the brick was nestled
against my chin in true shot putt fashion. I set my toes down at the
designated line, leaned back and let fly with the brick, which sailed
out across the grassed area and into the road. Had there been a car or
pedestrian passing at the time I dread to think of the consequences.
There was a general hush among my group of friends as if in total
disbelief before it was decided that as I had been the final competitor
parts of the brick must have broken away during their own attempts
resulting in a lighter object for me to throw.
a similar outcome in the following event the games were abruptly halted
and I was left a slightly dejected champion! Victory had not earned me
the respect of my friends and alas, I was no closer to gaining the
affections of the pretty young girl.
any other time my achievements would not have been so remarkable but
simply because I saw a reason to excel I was able to surpass what I
would ordinarily be capable of.
often do we all under-achieve when we have it within us to make a more
used correctly we each have the power within us to shape our future, to
create our destiny and to determine who we are. It is a power that
builds reality and not mere imagination.
we are too focused in looking outside ourselves that we have almost
totally lost access to our inner-self. We settle on observing things
outside of our own, making comparisons, judgements, and evaluations,
which only lead us to conclude that we are inferior among others. What
we don’t always realise is that we have the power to reverse what the
outside world would have us believe.
you ever been in a situation where you have achieved something that
would normally be out of your reach? Please write in and tell me about