Bicycle, Bicycle, I Want To Ride My Bicycle

“…I want to ride my bike” – Queen

Is that song stuck in your head now?  It is in mine.  Has been for the last couple of days.

Now onto the quote:

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” Oscar Wilde

Mmmm….donuts.  I’d love a chocolate glazed one right about now. **Focus, Smartie, focus**

I know that in the past I’ve written that the quality of your life really depends on how you look at it.  If you believe that life sucks, then it will suck.  Blah, blah, blah.  The reason why I’m writing about perception vs. reality is to be able to tell you a little story about what happened yesterday.

My daughter is learning to ride her bike.  She really hasn’t been on it much before, perhaps a couple of years ago on her trike, but last year and the year before, not so much.  We were building our house, moving and then throw in the divorce – this all sums up to really no time to learn.  So this year I made it a mission to teach her to ride.  After running up and down the road a couple of time, and being the one responsible to balance her, rather than being a sense of security (and needing an in-house chiropractor), I decided there must be another way to do this.  She’s a smart kid, and knew that if I’m holding her seat, she can then leave it all up to me and she can joy ride.  So off to my trusty friend google to see if there is any other way to teach her, and behold, there was!  So for a couple of nights I would put her bike at the top of the driveway (there’s a slight hill on our driveway), and I would get her to push-off and ride down trying to balance, with no pedals.  Once I saw that she was able to get down half way balanced, back onto the road we went.  That same night, she took off!

And with that came falls.  With the falls came scrapes.  With the scrapes came embarrassment and discouragement.

Her first fall was minor.  She managed to “gently” fall – if that’s even possible?  It was really graceful, actually.  But the next one was a doozy.  She looked at me and was crying and saying that she didn’t want to do it anymore.  So I ran up to her and made a game out of it.  I said “Well, your hands and feet are still there, I don’t see any blood.  I think you’ll live!” And she then showed me the scrapes.  And so I said “Oh Wow!! This is great!!  Do you know what you have?” She looked up at me with these huge, curious brown eyes and shook her head no. I grabbed her arm and pointed “This, my dear, is a war wound!  You wear it with pride!” She pulled herself up, grabbed her bike and tried again.  She was riding again, and her head was high as if she was wearing a badge of honour.

So, this whole thing about your perception being your reality is true.  Life is very little about what you make of it, and mostly about how you take it.  My daughter could have easily have given up riding for the rest of that night, and it could have likely been very difficult to get her back on that bike.  Since then she had a few pretty bad falls, where she had every right to stop, but because she now views her scrapes as badges rewarded for her efforts, she just keeps on going.  She is even passing along the message to her friends now.

The mind is amazing.  We only see what we train it to see.  If we think that we can’t do something, then we can’t.  Most times, it’s not a matter of being weak.  It’s because we don’t accept ourselves as being strong and capable. When my daughter was running her first 5k, we were about half a kilometer away from the finish line, and she wanted to stop.  She said that she couldn’t do it.  I encouraged her and told her that I believe in her and that the only way she would finish is if she believed that she could.  So the rest of the race, she was repeating a mantra “I can do it, I can do it.”  Last night, she struggles with pushing herself off on the bike, and on her own she began saying the mantra again.

Nothing is impossible in life.  Impossibility lasts until you are able to find ways to dispute it, like a lawyer.  Break it down, chip by chip, small step by small step.  And when you do chip away at it, be sure to bring it to your own attention, even a minor speckle.  When you do that, the lens which you see the world will change shape, and therefore the way you interpret the world will change as well.

Perception is subjective. So why not choose the frame of thinking that makes you feel empowered?