A man once walked with his son in the snow. He saw a large tree in the distance, and said to the boy, ‘I will race you to the tree, but instead of seeing who gets there first, let’s see who can make the straightest track through the snow.’

 The son liked the idea, because if it were a test of speed, his father could win easily. He decided to be very careful to walk in a straight line. Looking continuously at his feet, he slowly placed one foot in front of the other.

 When the boy reached the tree, he was not surprised that his father was already there. But he also found something unexpected. The father had made the straighter path. He used a method that his son was unaware of. He realized that the most effective way to walk in a straight line is not looking at your feet, but keeping your eyes on the goal you are headed to. By always looking at the tree, he had walked in a straight line without even thinking about his feet. So it is in life. There are times when you need to watch your step, but mostly you are better off knowing where you are headed. Now and then you might look down, but you should mainly look ahead.

 From Make your own Rainbow by Leonard Ryzman

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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.