Needing to do some grocery shopping last week, I made my way to the local store. I went about my typical routine, walked in and grabbed the closest shopping cart. As I entered the store, I experienced what most of us have experienced at some point – that stubborn cart with the broken wheel. No matter how hard you try, it seems to have a mind all its own. After a few frustrating minutes, I suddenly became aware of my self-talk. There I was in the middle of a grocery store, allowing an inanimate object to hijack my emotional state. It was in that brief, illuminating moment that it hit me: this shopping cart is on to something.
How many times do we get steered away, from our goals and aspirations, by forces or objects that shouldn’t even be allowed the opportunity to get in our way? It could be a friend or a family member, inserting themselves in the middle of our aspirations. In organizations, these unhelpful “forces” are all around us while we work to achieve organizational goals. It may be part of the culture of the organization that is steering us in a direction not quite aligned with where we envision ourselves to be.
That grocery store shopping cart had just taught me a lesson and re-charged me to think about all the lessons and principles I’ve been so grateful to receive from The Pacific Institute. After that trip to the store, I sat down and revisited the affirmations I’d written for myself. In doing so, I realized I had indeed “steered off course” from what I had truly seen myself achieving. This was the prod I needed to become laser focused and re-craft my affirmations to get my vision back on course. You see, the shopping cart was right all along. I could have steered it where ever I wanted it to go, imposing my will on the wheel. Instead, it stayed its course, not allowing any outside force to change its path.
The lesson from this experience? Be the shopping cart with the broken wheel. Stick to your vision and strive to reach the potential you know is inside of you. Refuse to allow outside forces to “steer” you away from what you know you are capable of achieving.
And the next time you are in the grocery store, thank that stubborn cart for being a great reminder of all that we can be when we focus on fulfilling the promise of our potential.