Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Runaway Train

Yesterday I saw the new movie, “Unstoppable,” about a runaway train and two engineers’ attempts to stop it. The film is based on a true story of a runaway train in Pennsylvania.

Denzel Washington and newcomer Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in last summers’ “Star Trek”) are the stars and, while I won’t spoil the ending for you, I’ll just say that they both live through the movie. If you like action you certainly won’t be disappointed by the last third of it.

I knew a little about the original story and Washington and Pine did a great job of showing two regular guys who get caught up in an extraordinary event.

I believe that most of us wonder from time to time what we would do in an extraordinary situation. We play “What If?” in our minds. Studies show that the simple exercise can be a great practice session for the real thing. Our minds can create wonderfully real scenarios into which we place ourselves; then we decide how we would react. Positive reactions to our mental exercise can create a foundation that gives us confidence.

That’s a roundabout way of saying, “Ask yourself, ‘What If?’,” and then imagine yourself moving through the situation successfully. You’ll end up more confident and better able to handle difficult situations in the future. It’s mental practice.

Imagining negative outcomes has the opposite effect. The activity is a negative runaway train in your mind that leads to less confidence.

Play “What If?” and win.

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