Don’t Look at the Wall

Mario Andretti

One of the great racing car drivers of all time, Mario Andretti, has two great quotes that I am particularly fond of.

If everything seems under control you are not going fast enough.

Don’t look at the wall.

The latter struck a chord with me as I have experienced setbacks myself when I’ve looked at the wall.  Both in actual racing and in life. It is natural to move in the direction our eyes are leading us. If Andretti were to look at the wall while he driving at 200 mph, he would hit the wall. So, in racing, you need to look at where you are going and focus on the road. You don’t look at the wall.

The same holds true in the track of life as much as in racing. In life, when we are moving forward toward our goals and gaining speed, we may become distracted by the challenges. Once we start to focus on the challenges we start to lose sight of the destination. We begin to focus on the wall instead of the track. The challenges easily become the wall that you really don’t want to hit.

Whatever is your strongest focus will have the greatest drawing power.

As you move towards your goals, focus on the journey, focus on the plan, focus on the benefits of achieving your goal, and keep moving forward. Of course, be aware of the distractions and their potential harm, but never focus on them. This keeps you highly proactive.

Like Mario Andretti, you can achieve success over a long journey by following his example.

By the way, I used to race (bicycles) when I was young and experienced this sort of racing hazard first hand. When going around curves at high speeds fear sometimes crept in and suddenly I would be distracted by a nearby ditch. Now my strongest focus became the potential hazard. I let the road and destination slip out of main focus and of course, ended up in the ditch.

So yeah, don’t look at the wall.

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