In a past newsletter, Howard Ruff described how the crocodile attack that claimed the most human lives happened on February 19, 1945 when part of the Imperial Japanese Army unit guarding a stronghold on the Burmese island of Ramree was outmaneuvered by a British naval force. The Japanese soldiers were forced to cross 10 miles of mangrove swamps to rejoin a larger battalion of the Japanese infantry. The swamps were home to thousands of 15-ft saltwater crocodiles. By the next morning, only 20 of the original 1,000 Japanese soldiers had survived.
When I read this recently, I was astounded by the story. And it got me to thinking. So what are the crocodile infested swamps we must navigate in our lives? What crocodile like obstacles must each of us become equipped to overcome if we want to achieve the freedom we seek?
In my opinon, it’s within our own mind that we harbor the biggest and most nasty of the crocodiles. We harbor thousands of self limiting beliefs daily that threaten to devour our dreams. Without even realizing what we are doing, we buy into thousands of thoughts that in no way serve us, and which stand between ourselves and our dreams — the other side of the swamps.
What do you suppose it takes to successfully achieve your dreams? What do you suppose it took for those 20 surviving soldiers to avoid being eaten and make their way to the other side?
To overcome the crocodiles, it’s necessary to start from the end. Be larger than yourself in terms of vision and goals, trust in the magic of your belief, and then follow-through with unwavering persistence. There is a magical moment when you finally really, really believe in what is possible for yourself and what you are able to achieve – well beyond what you may have previously considered.
When you have breakthrough success in a new venture (be it a home business, a new project, venture or otherwise), this is often what you experience . You may have started out doing what you knew you had to do simply because you saw a process that made logical sense to you and you see an opportunity that is so attractive and appealing.
But as the results begin manifesting, you reach a tipping point and are finally able to believe completely in what you can do. Those lingering doubts vanish. The progress you are making towards your goals is now fully visible and soon you ‘ve created a vision larger than yourself that you believe unequivocally. This is when everything explodes exponentially.
Imagine how impenetrable those soldiers’ belief in their ability to cross the swamps must have been and the degree of doubt they had to overcome in order for them to survive. Consider the spectacle of the feeding frenzy amongst the crocodiles and how it must have looked and sounded. The degree of fear and self limiting beliefs each soldier had to overcome is astounding. And consider the degree of commitment and follow-through that was absolutely necessary to make it to the other side. Everything relied upon instant decisions and follow-through if they were to survive. There was no room for hesitation.
Few of the soldiers survived the crossing of the mangroves. Similarly, few people ever survive the crossing of the crocodile swamps in their minds and so fail to live out their dreams. But for those that do, it is due to their focus and vision, the absolute belief in their vision that they carry, and their unfailing follow-through These are the basic ingredients that are available to each of us. And they can be used to determine the thoughts we choose, the beliefs we foster, and the actions we take which will ultimately create the path to our own success.
There is no shortage of tremendous opportunities and enormous waves of momentum that we can ride. Opportunities are in abundance everywhere. But in order to catch a wave, each of us needs to be ready to swim out to it. And it is only through our own clarity of vision, depth of belief, and persistence that we will get there.
If 20 Japanese soldiers were able to cross 10 miles of mangrove swamps and overcome thousands of saltwater crocodiles, then it stands to reason that any of us can navigate the swamps in our minds and can achieve anything we choose to achieve.
You can achieve anything, without limits, with the for those limits you impose upon yourself.
And if we begin surrounding ourselves with like minded people with the same strong sense of belief and vision as we have, pretty soon we can leverage the strength and support of an entire team surrounding us. So, there is no reason for any of us to ever limit ourselves.
So start swimming and put those self limiting beliefs behind you!