Contributor: Jack Canfield, www.jackcanfield.com. As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre–and then watched it grow into a billion-dollar market. Here, Mr. Canfield shares a true law of attraction success story about the transforming power of one’s beliefs.
One of the best examples I know of the power of belief is an Australian named Cliff Young. Here is his story.
Cliff Young was a farmer who loved what he did; however, somewhere in the back of his mind he’d always wanted to run in a long distance race–an extreme race like a 5 ½-day 500-600 kilometer one. So, one day when he was in his 60s, he finally decided to enter and to fulfill his dream.
On the day of the race, Cliff prepared by dressing as he usually did in overalls, a T-shirt and construction boots–not even running shoes–with a baseball cap and sunglasses, while everyone around him was wearing Nike, Reebok and Asics running gear.
When he showed up and the others saw what he planned to wear, they said, “Are you serious?” They asked him if he’d ever run a long distance race before. To this, he said “no.” Then they asked if he’d run a short race like a half marathon before. To this, he also said “no,” and responded the same to a question regarding a 10k. So then they asked him what made him think he could run this race.
To this, he said, “I am a farmer. I chase my sheep around all day. I don’t have a tractor, so when I hear the sheep I gather them with my dog. Sometimes, if a storm’s coming in, we may be out running around for two or three days without sleep, so I think I can do this.”
At first, the race organizers didn’t want to let him enter. Finally, though, they acquiesced.
When everyone took off they were running fast, but Cliff ran rather slowly, doing what’s now called the ‘Cliff Young Shuffle’. He didn’t know that you were supposed to run for 16 hours and sleep for 8, then repeat that process to the end, and when everyone else went to sleep he was so far behind them that no one was awake to tell him to go to bed. Then, when they got up they were gone before he got there.
This went on for three and a half days, but on the fourth day while everyone was sleeping, Cliff ran by them again, still with no one telling him to go to sleep. The end of the story is that he ran non-stop for five and a half days and broke the old record by twelve hours.
What does this tell us? To me, this says that what you believe affects everything that you do. The other runners believed that they had to sleep every night, but Cliff didn’t have that belief. Therefore, he just continued on and ended up ahead of them all.