Deepak Chopra once gave this beautiful talk reflecting on the meaning of: "We are not in the world the world is in us." I understood the basic notion to mean you get what you focus on in life—and—that at any moment you have the power to change everything. A slight shift in attitude can lead to a slightly different perspective and the world can look completely turned on its ear, for better—or worse.
The universe is chock full of infinite possibilities good, bad, and unjust...you choose—that's your ultimate power as a sentient being. You choose your reality.
Let's peel back the onion one layer with a real world example. The last 50 meters from Hawk Hill at the top of the Marin Headlands, I race to the finish—give it everything I've got. I have to win. Finish first. Nobody's allowed to pass—that's the game.
One day at 25 meters out I'm on the right shoulder when a roadie passed me and was about to completely jack my Champs-Elysees sprint finish fantasy. In a reflex, I sprung out of the saddle, stomped down hard on the right pedal then swung the bike frame wide left on the upstroke to overtake.
Now, mind you I previously I thought I was giving it everything I had—let's call this mistaken perception one. Suddenly there it was, a slight change in perspective and the whole world looked different and in this world—winning is everything! In a flash I realized he had his own winning scenario in mind—beat that guy to the top.
We were two grown men reduced to children the instant our imagined realities collided. He probably had me targeted for the last few hundred meters. Everyone does it, you see someone up ahead, you make them the rabbit, and you put your head down and go after them.
He's never met me, he doesn't know me, and yet I owned the one thing he valued at the moment—a win. And he wanted that imagined win with every sinew of his exploding frame bounding past.
When I came around him on the left, he edged left to squeeze me into on coming traffic and stop me from taking the finish.
In his mind, the choice was completely mine: resign or face the deadly peril.
Sure he was right. I should have pulled in behind him and ended the "race" right there...but...
I have to win. Finish first. Nobody's allowed to pass—that's the game. And he knew that.
Over the double yellow, head hung low, lunging, sprinting for glory—first to the start of the guard rail—the finish line and the cheering throng.
Almost got smashed by a Camry. Almost puked. But winning made the memory a lighting bolt of ecstasy. Just one question though...what world was that in? Does it matter? And if it doesn't—then couldn't everything change right now?