"…what is that to thee? Follow thou me." – John 21:22
While I was standing in line at the grocery store, I overheard a conversation between two people. One was enthusiastically sharing a business idea she had and was expressing how she was looking forward to bringing the concept to fruition. From what little I heard, I thought the concept was promising.
Interestingly, the person I assumed to be her friend tossed a wet blanket over the idea. She gave a laundry list of why she should scrap the whole idea. The originator of the idea was crestfallen and had a look of defeat in her eyes after that conversation. I don’t know what she decided to do, but I couldn't help but wonder how many people don't follow through on their beliefs because of disapproving viewpoints of well-meaning people around them.
So, I have since asked myself, "How do you handle disaffirming opinions of others and protect your ideas, your goals, or your dreams?" Or, as I like to say it, "How do you get the jokers out of your life's deck?”
Imagine this scenario: You've decided to implement a new idea that excites you. As you step forward and start talking about the idea, doubters, trolls, and detractors begin to show up. They say things like:
“This has never been done before.”
“No one has ever tried to do it that way.”
“Why are you trying that? It will never work.”
“You better stick with what you know.”
Now here's the thing. When you begin to become your best self in life, you may be questioned (or even attacked) by mediocre minds. That's because mediocrity always attacks excellence. Those attackers are the disagreeable people or the “jokers” in your deck. To deal with the jokers, the haters, and trolls, you need something more potent than these detractors. You need a powerful vision and laser focus on what you want in life so you aren’t easily distracted or swayed by contradictory perspectives.
Here is an exercise that might help you avoid distraction from those jokers that show up from time to time. Imagine there is someone you love more than life itself … someone you would not hesitate to die for in order for them to live. Suppose this person was dying from a rare disease, and unless you found a cure, they would only have six more months to live.
You do exhaustive research on the internet to learn about their disease. You discover there is a miracle cure from a shaman in the Brazilian rain forest. It so happens he is a capitalistic shaman who is all about the money. The shaman tells you it will cost you $1,000,000 to get the cure you are seeking. You know it will work, but you only have $1,000 to your name.
Now the question is this - How hard would you work to get the $1,000,000? Would it be difficult to block out all the distractions in pursuit of your goal? Would you let any negative talk from trollers stop you? Would you listen to the people who say, "You can’t do it.”? There is no doubt. None of the jokers, detractors, or skeptics could hinder you.
So, if you find yourself facing distractors, determine that something that is so important to you that it far outweighs any disapproving messages or opinions that come from the jokers in your life. Ask yourself, what will anchor your belief so strongly that you would never doubt it? What would keep your attention on your dreams, vision, and goals for making a positive difference in the world?
The Master Teacher Jesus said it like this: "…what is that to thee? Follow thou me." In the same way, you can say to yourself: "What is that joker to me? I choose to follow what's vital for me.”
Peace and Blessings,