In today’s Lesson From The Saddle Of My Bullet (my Indian motorcycle) we learn about an essential ingredient for success that many people overlook.
I hurtled towards a left hand corner on a dusty dirt road cut out of the Himalayan mountainside. I was aware that this could be the last 5 seconds of my life. The sharp corner had appeared out of nowhere and was getting closer and closer with each passing second.
Dirt road has a lot less grip than tar and I needed to slow down fast. Braking on dirt road is like a delicate balancing act. If you pull the front brake too hard, you lock up the front wheel. Pull the back brake too hard and it will also lock up without slowing you down.
If I didn’t slow down enough, I would be forced to lean my Bullet into the corner at an angle far greater than its tyres would cater for and the probable outcome would be a few broken bones at best. Getting around this corner upright was going to be a calculation of note – a dance with the forces of nature as I juggled the variables of momentum, traction, acceleration, gravity and trajectory.
I applied gentle pressure to both brakes at once, focused my eyes on the apex of the corner, shifted my bodyweight to the left of the saddle and entered the corner too fast.
The tail end of my Bullet twitched as my rear wheel passed the apex of the corner, threatening to give up traction at any second. However, seconds later, the dusty mountain corner was in my rearview mirror and I was still alive. Phew, that was close…
Bullet Lesson #5: Practice makes perfect
The reason I was able to make those calculations so quickly and survive that dangerous situation without falling off had little to do with luck and everything to do with practice. I have been practicing riding motorcycles for 18 years, attended advanced motorcycling courses and covered hundreds of thousands of miles on 2 wheels around the globe.
What I am pointing to is that I have PRACTICED cornering thousands of times before and the practicing gave me the skill to get out of this sticky situation alive.
Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. It happens when practice meets opportunity.
“Practice as if you are the worst; perform as if you are the best.”
The easiest way to prepare for success is to practice in a simulated environment, where failure can be explored. In such an environment, you can move out of your comfort zone and test the limits of your capability, because growth only happens outside your comfort zone. This is particularly useful when real world failure could cost you money or your life…
For example, I became a capable motorcyclist through attending training sessions on a racetrack (a simulated road environment), where I could fall off safely. Knowing I would be safe, I could push my riding skills to their limits, and quickly grew as a motorcyclist.
Pilots practice in a flight simulator before and after they have passed their pilots exams.
In the Stock Market, a new trader practices ‘dummy trading’ before investing his real money in the market. When you ‘dummy trade’, you trade the stock market with monopoly money. This way, the trader is safe to explore what happens if he places ‘risky’ trades or plays it safe. By practicing first, the trader stands a far greater chance of success when he invests real money in the stock market.
Here are two examples of simulators I use:
– If you want to become wealthy, you can practice before investing your own money by using a game like Rich Dad’s Cashflow 101. I have the eGame on my PC and can play it anywhere – very cool indeed!
– If you want to manifest an important goal, use the Relaxation For Manifestation to mentally simulate your goal and program your mind for success. I use it daily and get truly miraculous results.
Great success requires great practice.
When you are doing what you love, the practice will be so enjoyable, you won’t want by stop.
So, find yourself a safe environment to practice in and get practicing.
Till next time, go gently on the corners,