April 10, 2012

Opportunity’s favorite disguise is trouble. — Frank Tyger

No one can spin undesired behavior (aka “trouble”) better than a horse trainer giving a clinic (well, except maybe a politician backpedaling to cover his tracks). Take what’s going on in this photo for example. You can choose to look at this horse as a bronc and not fit for riding OR you can spin the situation the other way and take this opportunity to allow the horse to figure out that bucking like a psycho is not the right answer. The horse trainer here, Kerry Kuhn, took the latter approach. Another half hour, and he was riding her around (mostly on the horizontal). I’m sure she went on to become a good riding horse because he was smart enough to turn this trouble into an opportunity.

This is one of those reminders from life that what you choose to see changes everything — including your reaction to a situation and the final outcome. I have watched this lesson take place innumerable times as I sat on the edge of a roundpen photographing horsemen as they work with colts.

I honor this lesson by trying to remember it every time I’m presented with a challenge. I won’t say I’m always successful — I am, after all, a work in progress. But the times I’ve been successful, it has paid off and here’s what it has given me: confidence. When I changed my mindset from always looking at a problem as a “trouble” to looking at it as an “opportunity” I found the problem was much easier to solve and that turned into an internal confidence that coaxed “I can’ts” into “I cans.”