As a 14 year old skinny and rather awkward kid, I learned a winning step-at-a-time approach. Alone in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, I first discovered the brain’s propensity to risk, step and win.
In reality, it seemed more like surviving than winning at first.
Looking back – triumph hardly seems possible. Penniless on Barrington Street near dusk, I still taste the sheer panic of darkness setting in.
Doom pressured me to locate a rental room that would accept mere promises of payment.
Step Small at the Start
Plans to survive the night eroded whenever I fixated on hurdles beyond my immediate reach.
This was no time to plot how to stay in school, much less maintain any valued position on the 10th grade honor roll. As darkness rolled in around me, I opted for the one-day-at-a-time alternative.
Do you struggle to survive a night’s terror? Find yourself sinking into seemingly insurmountable frustrations?
If doom grips you at any moment, like it trapped me as a teen – why not opt for one simple game plan? One tiny-step in the direction of a dream, could win you another shot at success.
Focus on the Next Opportunity
Sudden loss of my mother to cancer, left six underage siblings all sinking more than we swam. Two brothers committed suicide. Two sisters disappeared. Hopelessness shouted its loss from every corner of my reality.
Armed with little more than a broken heart, I focused more on tattered images than on triumphs for a finer future. Gradually though, as my focus shifted from horrific loss, a brighter sunlight appeared. Fresh insights nudged me along steps toward earning a simple meal and another day’s rent.
You could say my laundry depot job saved my bacon, but I’d rather say I learned how brains reboot for innovative hops over hurdles.
Leap for Novel Possibilities
No question, survival can be daily and at times it even seems grisly. Homelessness felt like a jungle of scary creatures, whenever darkness hit before I could pony up a day’s rent. Only by shifting lenses – did I spot a novel game plan to escape fear’s slugs.
Luckily brains come with dopamine lifelines that equip us to risk another baby step in better directions. Dopamine nudges you to advance, even when reason shouts, Retreat! Once stoked, serotonin can also fuel a feisty and passionate determination, to dance forward in novel steps. How so?
In my case, that larger-than-life hope to stay on the 10th grade honor roll – packed a compelling dream. One simple choice lit a narrow pathway through poverty’s maze into a brighter trail forward.
Spot Hope Around Your Next Corner
From that first day I walked along Halifax’s water-soaked streets – ratted job ads in hand, I longed for something more than another day’s rent.
Not much made sense back then, until I simply selected a new game plan to survive succeed another day.
Check out people here who exchanged long range unemployment traps for a new mindset into work – one step at a time. You?
What simple game plan would spark your dream into the reality you deserve? What if you stepped in a winning direction today?
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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset