What “Wants To Happen” for You Today?

Success Strategy #3 for Transformational Change Leaders

by Robert S. Tipton

Yep, that’s me in the photo.

And that’s the day I drove 189+ miles per hour. Legally. In the United States!

Lowes Motor Speedway, Summer 2009I’m the guy at the right, with the “I just ate the canary” grin — and I’m standing next to my life long friend Alex.

We’ve known each other 50+ years, and consider each other to be the brother that neither of us actually has.

Alex and I both have a passion for cars and for driving fast, and wanted to do something fun the year we turned 50 (we are the same age, and share birthdays 24 days apart).

So, we bought 40 laps of the speedway in 650HP, open-wheel, Indy-style cars at the Mario Andretti Racing Experience at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC (one of the most famous tracks in the world for racing).

Talk about FUN! And exhausting… Dang — I was wiped out. Wow!

Stop Trying to “Make Things Happen”

Anyway, the day at the track was all about sitting down, strapping in, and hanging on — in a way that oscillated between exhilaration and insanity. It was the BEST time I’ve ever had with a steering wheel in front of me, and the most terrifying.

And… It was ALL about allowing what “wants to happen” instead of trying to “make things happen.” Let me explain.

The process was this — we were to go out in one set of 10 laps, then take a breather, and then head out again until we’d completed four sets of 10. (BTW — this was EXHAUSTING. My admiration for the physical fitness of race car drivers exploded as a result.)

We had a “coach car” in front of us showing us the optimal “line” through the course, and we were to follow that car — keeping about 4-5 car lengths behind it. Each lap, the coach would continue to “pull us” forward, moving faster and faster until he or she sensed that we had reached our limit in terms of speed, endurance, risk, etc.

It was all about pushing out to our limits, finding our comfort zone, and then (for some) stopping, or for others (like me) continuing to expand, to move beyond my limitations related to what I “think should happen.” Each lap I continued to stretch myself — to allow new boundaries for what I thought was possible.

Surrender is NOT Failing

In reflection, this is a metaphor for surrendering to what wants to happen. Clearly there was an ultimate limit to what the car could do (grip, acceleration, etc.), and the human endurance has its limits too. However, had I remained attached to what I thought my limits were personally, or what I perceived the limits of the car to be, I would never have managed to “let go” and trust the coach, the car, and myself.

I needed to surrender and allow what wanted to happen.

That’s the only way I managed to reach a little over 189 miles per hour on the long straight on one of my laps — and how I achieved (at the time) the 2nd fastest lap time in history by an amateur at the Mario Andretti school at Charlotte.

By surrendering I succeeded — significantly. This kind of surrender has nothing to do with failing. Nothing!

(Note: I let my ego run away with me a bit until I went to look up what a professional does at Charlotte… Let’s just say my “cool to me” lap time was 40% SLOWER than the fastest professional lap in history at Charlotte… Humbled, I was.)

Trust It and Stop Listening to the “Small Voices” in Our Heads

Clearly, to be a successful race car driver, you need to have some level of skill — but in order to achieve maximum success, you need to surrender to the idea that you’re actually “in control” of the changing dynamics of the race track, the physics of the car, the grip of the tires, etc.

Instead you need to be FULLY present, and FULLY engaged with what wants to happen, RIGHT NOW, and trust your skill, your coaches, your tools, and your intuition.

Because in my experience, things that “want to happen” for us are usually — actually, almost always — exactly the right thing at the time. It’s just that we let our mental ego, our historical limitations, our fears, and the “small voice” inside our heads talk us out of listening to them.

How many days do you wake up with this as your first question, “What WANTS to happen today?”

Very few, if any I’d bet… And you’re not alone.

Some anecdotal research tells me that most people start their day with these kinds of questions instead, “So… What do I HAVE to do today?” Or, “What’s needed for me to survive today?”

I have a different suggestion.

As you start your day today, tomorrow, and the next, ask yourself, “What wants to happen for me today?” I believe you’ll have an entirely different view on what’s possible, and your results will surprise you again and again.

You may never have a day where “what wants to happen” includes driving over 189 miles per hour, literally, but you just might find that parts of your life will push FAR beyond what you think is your personal speed or endurance limit.

Give it a try. You might discover what wants to happen is exactly what you need to have happen.

For More On Transformational Change Leadership,
Please Check Out These Other Posts from Our Blog:

• How You See the Future Changes Everything!
• Get a Renewed Attitude and Stop ‘Managing’ Change!
• 9 Stages of Transformational Change
• 5 Essential Behaviors of Transformational Change Leaders
• 7 Core Beliefs of Transformational Change Leaders

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