The other day I read an Instagram post about the power of speech. It revolved around the word "Abracadabra", which, the writer implied was a Hebrew word that translates roughly to "I create as I speak."
The actual etymology and translation is tricky, and probably doesn't have it's origin or meaning in what those involved in arcane practices believe, but so what?
If the belief and intent is there, that's kind of all that matters, at least to one working in magic.
In fact, a word, phrase, or even object used with magical intent is simply a trigger to focus the mind.
Is this any different than a person having a mantra - a word or phrase said aloud or internally before or during a performance of any sort?
Are we to believe that words - or objects, for that matter, can have actual, physical power?
Or is the power one of self belief that is only focused and enhanced by said word or object?
How does this relate to us, though?
The power of the mind - the will is an amazing thing.
At our fingertips lie the stories of soldiers, special forces candidates, and athletes who have done amazing things in the face of enormous odds simply because they had set their minds on no other outcome but the positive one.
There is a story of a man who fully recovered from a massive stroke , suffered at 65, to go on to live a full and active life after only one year of highly irregular therapy given him by his sons.
All around us, if we pay attention, we can see everyday people who rise above circumstances, environment, and expectations to create a better life, which translates to a better world, for themselves.
We have ample proof that the mind is the key to our success - or failure.
Yes, life is hard. Circumstances make things more difficult for one person while easier for another. Environment is a heavy influence on how you see the world.
However, we all possess the ability to choose how we let these circumstances and our environment shape our belief systems.
We can choose to view our lives as effected and directed by outside factors working against us - our parents, the government, the economy, our age, etc.
Or, we can choose to recognize that we actually have control over the majority of our life, and a large part of our current outcome is the direct result of our efforts, or lack thereof, to get us where we are today.
This is responsibility, folks. It is also freedom. It is most definitely power.
But can you wield it?
By accepting this reality, you acknowledge your role in what happens next. You get to decide where you're going to go, what you're going to do, and who you will be.
It all rides on you and what you're willing to do.
Can you change your thought process?
Can you change how you view yourself?
Can you create a purpose, a new reality to push yourself toward?
Can you keep yourself focused and on the path, holding yourself accountable?
The more I study and train, the more I realize (at 44) how much of my adult life I spent responding to life like a child - allowing instant gratification, letting myself off the hook when things got tough, rarely holding myself accountable to do things I committed myself to do.
Yesterday I was reading something by Travis Mash, a highly successful strength coach down in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. He was talking about one of the athletes he's been training, a Wake Forest freshman who not only made the football team, but started his freshman year, which is not a light thing.
Travis was talking about the reality this young athlete had created. He and his parents talked about getting into a D1 football program, and what it would take to get there, from an early age. He set small goals to work on improving all his physical skills, building his confidence. He chose the right people to hang around - positive people, creating an environment for success for himself. He and Travis talked about having the right mindset to walk in on day one and start, as opposed to expectations of being benched for his first year.
I use this example because, if you look at it the right way, it's a real world example of a formula for success.
1.) Decide what you want, and work backward. What is it going to take to get
2.) Set up small goals to knock down leading up to and preparing you for the
big one. Too often people go for broke when they aren't prepared physically
or mentally yet. Build yourself up. Build your confidence and self belief up.
You will literally be experiencing your reality changing - by your hand.
3.) Create an environment consistent with where and who you want to be.
Thoughts, habits, people, and places that detract from that will tank your
4.) Believe in yourself and the work you've put in.
As much as I hate math, I often talk of how training is like math. There is science behind why it works. From there, all I have to do is show up, put in focused, determined effort, follow a lifestyle that's congruent with what I'm doing, and I will get the outcome I'm looking for.
The thing is - everything's kind of like that. Once you realize that you choose your outcome, you control in a very large part where you go and what happens to you, everything simply becomes a matter of making better choices.
Stop hanging out on the bench. It's getting crowded there.
Eric Chasko is the head of Redemption Fight Club. He is a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Progressive Fighting Systems Full Instructor. From young athletes to busy professionals, he helps people develop the physical, mental, and emotional strength to win on the field, on the street, and in life.