Concentrate on where you want to go...or you might hit a rock

Continuing with the mountain sports analogy from last week, one of the most valuable lessons I think I ever learnt about life in general was the advice a young extreme sports maniac gave me when I first tried downhill mountain biking.

For the uninitiated, downhill is about as dangerous and you can get on two wheels. Mountains are great for skiing down in winter and walking up in summer - well that's how I see it. But downhill mountain biking involves riding a chairlift up the same mountain you'd ski down in winter, except now you're clad in body armour, clutching a two-wheeled hyper-suspended contraption and the rolling white soft stuff has melted to reveal hard dirt, gullies and rocks.

This guy had one of those ear piercings that are about as big as a 5p piece and go right through your ear, so I knew he was hardcore, and I hung on every word he said, sure that my life depended on it. His advice was this: "look where you want the bike to go. Choose your path and take it with your eyes - you'll find the bike and your body will naturally follow. If you spend your time looking at that rock over there thinking, 'I'm going to hit it', chances are you'll hit it."

I survived my downhill experience, half riding, half stumbling all the way and the advice has stuck with me ever since. Whether it's running a business, trying to start a career, moving house or some other kind of mad sporting pursuit, focusing on where you want to be and not getting too caught up in what might go wrong is an invaluable tactic.

That's not to say that you're shouldn't be aware of the rocks - you need to choose your path - but don't let them lure you into a fall.

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