Growing up as a product of the 80’s there were two characters who reigned supreme in the theaters - Han Solo and Indiana Jones. But, it was a different story on tv - for me, Magnum PI was the man. A private investigator who worked as much as he wanted, lived rent free at a beach front estate in Hawaii, drove a sweet Ferrari all the while enjoying long paddle sessions and swims around Oahu.
That seemed like the ultimate lifestyle to a young boy entering his teen years. Hell, he even solved a crime while racing in the Ironman. He also always had wise nuggets of wisdom, many of which I carried with me over the years…and, even shared with my three daughters.
Now, as my girls have become teenagers with their worlds expanding and decisions becoming more pivotal , there is one piece of knowledge that I’ve repeated regularly to them that originates from the first scene of the pilot episode. I’ve said it enough that it’s become a personal mantra for my youngest.
Early in the episode Magnum is viewed swimming onto the shores of a fancy Hawaiian estate with the mission of breaking onto the property and testing the security of the home by stealing a Ferrari. In the process of trying to pick the lock of the car, two doberman pinschers come charging towards him from the back of the property. The dogs are a ways off but Magnum sees them and gets distracted from working on the lock. Magnum says to himself “don’t look at the dogs, work the lock”, repeating the line a few times as he forces himself to stay focused on the task at hand. He finally picks the lock and leaps into he car just as the dogs reach the door, at the same time shaking his head and saying to himself, “you looked at the dogs.”
The point being that everyone gets distracted at times. Whether it’s work, sports, relationships…. But, what I preach to my daughters is that a lot of these distractions are things that are out of our control. By worrying about things that might happen or what might go wrong, we are losing focus on accomplishing the task in front of us. It’s difficult to put 100% of your effort into something when you’re spending 20% of your time worrying about the “dogs” that may or may not become an issue down the road.
So, when my oldest called me from University of Hawaii (yes, Magnum PI was mandatory viewing prior to departure), and told me she was stressed out about her Japanese final and how a poor showing may affect her overall grade, I told her “don’t look at the dogs darlin’, work the lock” and she knew exactly what I meant. Stay focused on preparing for the final and don't be preoccupied by fear of failure.
To give ourselves the best chance to succeed, we need to remain focused on the objective and not become sidetracked or paralyzed with fear and doubt.
I made a short run of an updated version of our Robins Nest Poster - added Zeus and Apollo (dobermans) to the image. Only available for a short time.