Anyone who’s drawn in a deep breath, uttered a guttural scream and floored it to complete a high-speed merge onto the New Jersey Turnpike anywhere between exits 18W and 6 knows what it’s like to live on the edge. I’ve run this Grand Prix race more times than I remember, as my wife is originally from North Jersey and I hail from Bucks County in PA. For those that have driven the turnpike, you know the drill. If you haven’t, well, consider yourself lucky (or maybe not).
Given my glowing review of the turnpike, you might be wondering why I’d think you might not be lucky if you haven’t driven this magnificent road. Sure, you can improve your Mario Kart skills on just about any major highway in the country. High speed merges, road rage and tolls galore! But, I ask you: how many roads offer you the opportunity to see UFOs?
One clear night, my wife and I were heading back to PA after visiting her family over the weekend. It was late, somewhere around midnight. Even at that time, the lack of other vehicles in either direction was somewhat surprising. We were debating something (neither of us remembers what) as we cruised along a section of the turnpike featuring a nice long straight track.
I noticed it first. Then my wife, seeing me staring at something off in the distance out the windshield, saw it too.
In the uppermost left part of the windshield, way up in the night sky, we both saw a round, bright, glowing yellow light. As we watched, in less than a second, it zipped across our view to the edge of the right side of the windshield. Its glowing yellow light pulsed in stark contrast to the pitch-black sky. The light zoomed to the bottom of our view out the windshield and then to the top, followed by another move to the left edge, where it flashed back to the right, before finally disappearing past the edge of the windshield. We turned toward each other and together said, “What the h*&^ was that?”
Now, I don’t know if we actually saw an alien spacecraft out joyriding. And I’m sure there’s no short supply of wannabe scientists armed with theories to debunk our sighting. That’s not important. What is important is that we believed we saw something out of the ordinary that night, even if science can muster some explanation. Note: I probably won’t buy it, but fire away.
Belief is a powerful concept. We believed we saw something bizarre, something we could not explain, and that was…well, awesome! It’s not as if I was a hardened skeptic whose life was shaken to the core. I’ve always held out the possibility that there may be other life somewhere else out there in the universe. It’s a pretty damn big place, so why not?
When we believe in something, it becomes real. It becomes something we naturally accept and move toward. Do you belief you’re going to be a lawyer? Or a doctor? Or that you’ll develop a cure for cancer? That’s the first step in accomplishing anything: belief that you can. It moves you toward your goal and helps you to create a plan of action to get there. Belief also is your ally in overcoming any self doubt or doubt others feel they need to provide.
Need a few examples?
- Thomas Edison devised thousands of theories to create the light bulb before finally succeeding. He believed he was going to do it, and pressed on until he did. I have him to thank for being able to sit up late at night with the lights on while I hammer out this post.
- The Wright Brothers believed that could get a heavy piece of machinery off the ground. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, they nailed it. Without their belief, we would not be able to go from coast to coast in about six hours (jet stream notwithstanding).
- NASA believed it could put astronauts on the moon. Check. It also believed it could find a way to safely return the astronauts from the nearly disastrous Apollo 13 mission (great movie, by the way). Big-time check.
4. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” This is another way of saying that if you believe it, you can achieve it. Henry Ford believed he was going to build a vehicle that worked, and he did.
5. Steve Jobs believed he was going to change the world. Fast-forward through several iterations of the iPhone, iPad, and iMac, among others, and it’s obvious that he succeeded. I’m writing this on a Mac, while working under a version of Edison’s light bulbs.
The list goes on and on. The point: belief is critical to our personal and professional success. Belief gets you going and keeps you focused.
But don’t make the mistake of just believing in something. Take action. Write down goals, objectives, and milestones. These keep you on track and help you reset priorities when you inevitably accomplish one goal after another.
This is why I believe in UFOs, and think you should too.