Incredible true story:
It was a rainy night, and Chet was racing in his 1968 red charger on winding country roads. His friend was driving an Austin-Healy. During the race, Chet whips across a turn and hydroplanes across the lane, while another car is heading towards him from the other direction. He accelerates to avoid hitting it but then can’t make the next turn, so he bolts through someone’s lawn and launches towards a tree.
In that moment, images flood his mind: his father screaming at him for wrecking the car… the damage to the vehicle… the punishment… all of it.
As his car struck the tree, it spun around it, and then tumbled 260 feet off a cliff.
Meanwhile, his friend saw Chet’s car fly off the cliff. He’s balling his eyes out - thinking he’s a goner. Until he sees Chet running up the hill towards him yelling, My car! My car!
Forget your car! I thought you were dead! his friend replies.
Remarkably, there was not even a cat scratch on him. How?
Chet’s training kicked in. When the car rolled down the cliff, he bounced around the interior of the car, and focused on relaxing every muscle in his body. He knew if he tensed up he was going to be trouble. By relaxing his muscles, his bones were able to keep their flexibility.
After the incident Chet (who became a famous author and speaker) stated:
“The only reason I’m here is because of all the karate training”
His training taught him to:
Now you don’t have to find the nearest dojo and pursue a black belt – the same principle applies. Relaxing allows you to absorb the “impact” of stressful events. Whether navigating small ripples of stress or massive tidal waves, relaxing will allow you to skillfully ride the rough waters.
That’s why it’s critical to have daily rituals that put you at your best, the kind that allow you to charge into the day with confidence and centeredness – not overwhelm and anxiety. And keep doing those rituals day-after-day so that your “training” will kick in at the right time as well.
Not just if you have time.
But as a standard for each day.
Because being at your best doesn’t happen by accident.
We don’t rise to our level of expectations;
we fall to our level of training
The Renegade Life Coach
P.S. There are hundreds of techniques for making you feel more confident, centered and “firing on all cylinders” each day. And while there’s no “right” way, it’s about finding that ones that work for you. If you want ideas and tools that have worked for others there’s an entire collection of techniques I’ve put together - you can learn about it here.