The Lesson

On New Years Eve, as my wife and I were passing the time until midnight, we came across a documentary on TV about David Blaine. Blaine, a well-known magician who many people equate to a modern day Harry Houdini, not only pushes a card deck to its limits, but also his own body and mind by completing death-defying endurance challenges that many people–including doctors–say are impossible.

Here are a few of Blain’s most notable feats:

Frozen in Time – Encased in ice for nearly 64 straight hours.
David Blaine – Ice

Vertigo – Stood on a 100ft high pillar for 35 straight hours.
David Blaine – High

Above the Below – Spent 44 days in a in a 3ft wide, 7 ft tall, and 7ft long plexiglass case surviving on only water.
David Blaine – Encased

Drowned Alive – Submerged for seven days and seven nights in a water-filled glass sphere.
David Blaine – Drowned

Guinness World Record – Held his breath under water for over 17 minutes.

Clearly, Blaine loves to test people’s theories of impossibility while using himself as a guinea pig, and he has shown that with proper training, a strong desire to achieve our goals, and an appropriate mindset, that we can achieve things that people, including ourselves, never dreamed possible. In fact, Blaine once remarked, “In truth, the only restrictions on our capacity to astonish ourselves and each other are imposed by our own minds.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but my mind loves to get the best of me, especially when I’m chasing after a big dream.

The Challenge

Being that we just rang in the New Year, many people are focusing on a resolution to shed weight, stop smoking, save money, spend more time with family, and the like. And, while many people will be successful, many others will not. Sorry, I don’t mean to be Mr. Negative, but that’s simply the truth. The challenges become too painful, and the commitment proves to be too much. Our mind imposes restrictions. We struggle. We give up. We stop believing in ourselves.

However, this week your challenge is to proactively prepare yourself for those moments when your mind tells you that it is okay to reach for a cigarette, splurge on that shopping spree, or slip in a few more hours of work instead of spending time with the family. You can find inspiration by reviewing Blaine’s accomplishments and reflecting on his drive, determination, and desire to make the naysayers eat their words. Then, tuck those lessons away in the back of your mind for safekeeping, and when you are ready to give up on your goal, think about Blaine hanging in a 3x7x7 box for 44 days surviving on only water and dig deep to know that you, too, can make the impossible, possible. You just have to believe in your own personal magic, because as Blaine also points out, “We are all capable of infinitely more than we believe.”

To hear Blaine share his personal story, you can watch his talk at TED here:

David Blaine – TED

The Reflection

1.    Has your mind ever caused you to give up on a goal?
2.    How do you proactively prepare to deal with the challenges that you face?
3.    What people inspire you to achieve greatness?

Have a great week!

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

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Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.

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