I’ve never actually tripped…like on magic mushrooms or something…but I have tripped over things on the floor.  So when I first heard the story of the the thirty foot by one foot plank placed on the floor that everyone could easily walk over, I thought to myself…maybe.

That however wasn’t the point of the story and for those who’ve never heard it – here it is.

If said plank were on your living room floor and someone said I want you to walk the plank. it’d be a piece of cake.  You wouldn’t give it a second thought.  Easy peasy.

What if same plank were strung between two high rise buildings some fifty feet or more in the air, what then?  Could you walk across it with the same aplomb?

(I’ve been waiting to use that word for ever.)

The answer is, it’s doubtful that you could.

So what’s the difference?

Aah, it all comes down to that little, but oh so powerful mechanism called imagination.

Is it possible to walk the plank when it was high in the air.  Of course.  Think of tightrope walkers. If they’re actually called that.

The truth is that if you persuade yourself you can do something, provided it’s possible in nature you can do it, however challenging it is.  But imagining you can’t walk that plank at that height and fear sets in…you’ll become aware of how high it is, how easily you could fall off, or in my case trip up and then fall off.

Frankly, it’d put me in a cold sweat because I really don’t like heights at the best of times. I’m so, so, not going to try.

And for most of us, it would be pretty scary.

Molehills can become huge mountains to climb…all as a result of our imagination.

I’ve written about it before of course, here and here and here.


Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning. ~ Gloria Steinem

Don’t think for a minute that we’re free to act as we choose.  No way.  We’re all subject to our imagination, our subconscious.  We have beliefs about everything, even walking planks.  And it’s our subconscious that directs every action we take, or don’t.

Take someone, anyone, who says, oh oh, flu or cold season is here again…I know I’ll catch something, and every year like clockwork they get a rotten cold or flu.

That’s their inner power at work.  They’ve set in motion beliefs that there even is a cold season, probably accepting all those ads that fill our airways, without a second thought, not realizing they’re setting themselves up for that oh so miserable experience.

Those advertisers know what they’re doing.  They’re setting us up to need to buy the latest and greatest cold remedy.

Whatever it is that we desire and sometimes things we don’t desire, if we fuse our imagination with the desire, the ways and means of delivery are worked out, without our help.  We act unthinkingly, or someone or something shows up, or events occur.  Things happen that we didn’t have anything to do with…oh no, not us.

[success] Inner talking is the beginning, the sowing of the seeds of future action. To determine the action, you must consciously initiate and control your inner talking. ~ Neville. [/success]

Life can be a challenge.  We’re often enveloped in a sea of obstacles, sometimes danger, certainly frustration, upset, craziness and perhaps the most challenging of all, grief.  But we also are filled with love and hope, joy and inspiration and victory.

Life doesn’t come with guarantees.  Too bad, you might think.  But it’s part of our rite of passage, part of our expansion, our growth as spiritual beings.

Things get broken, hurt and lost.  People we love leave, or pass away.  But we’re not without power, we’re unlimited beings given the power to accomplish and experience all manner of magnificent things.

Determined imagination is our friend, so we begin to dream.  We begin to create the most wonderful world we can conjure in our imagination.

Each new day is a tiny part of the whole of our life.

[success] Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.–James Allen [/success]

And when your inner critic shows up, to tell you this is all malarky, to tell you nothing will ever change for you, to hit you in all the places that hurt, which she might…try turning her into your new best friend.  Promote her, she has a new job…to become your greatest cheerleader…the biggest approver of you…the greatest well wisher for your dreams to come true.

Let your dreams soar, guide you, inspire you, encourage you to love your life.

And allow your dreams to light your way. With love.  Love of yourself, love of others, love of the world, love in all it’s forms.  Because at the end of the day, all we truly need is love.  And who needs to bother with a plank when we have that?

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. ~ Anonymous

Encourage one another.

Love Elle

photo credit garlandcannon


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Hi Elle, Sometimes walking the tightrope is just what we need to get out of the house 🙂 What’s a little danger if it might be exhilarating (I will be checking for a net though! Hard to throw all caution to the wind.)

  2. This reminded me of how for years I used to say, “I never get sick” and I didn’t. Until one year I did and it shook my belief such that I was sick a few times that year. It took some work on my part but I got myself back to a place where I could believe again. Now I say “I rarely get sick” and the same is true. I tease my husband often because he is the opposite, a bit of a hypochondriac and he often announces, “I’m getting sick” and thus, that becomes the truth quite quickly. After a few years of me reminding him of the power of that statement, he does say it less often now and I know dear Elle, you won’t be surprised to hear that he is sick much less often!

    The human mind is an amazing thing!

    • Elle

      I had to laugh at your comment Sandi. Isn’t it funny how you might have persuaded yourself that you’re always healthy and were so for a long time, and one blooming bout of something and wham…your belief goes up in smoke. Been there, seen it done it kiddo. Mass consciousness can get us all…but super, super cool that you got yourself back to that happy, clappy place of great health. And hubby, it’s impressive that after all those years, he gets sick less and less. Good job you Sandi. 🙂

  3. Hey Ellie,

    You have a great blog! I can see that we share similar interests on the power of the subconscious and inner talk!

    I certainly like the idea of becoming an imagination expert and dreaming big! If we can conceive and believe it, we can achieve!

    • Elle

      Welcome Eveylyn and thank you for your kind words…and isn’t that a wonderful phrase, conceive, believe and achieve. Love it. 🙂

  4. Joseph Appaloosa

    Excellent ! “Don’t be pushed by your problems but be led by your dreams” . That really resonates with me.
    As you have written in previous articles – revise, release or rebuke your problems and embrace your wonderful imaginings. It really is an inside job, as first we must internally Love ourselves and our experiences. And only then can we participate in those same events here in this dimension. Thank you.
    Write on, Elle !

    • Elle

      Love the way you put things Joseph. Your words are always appreciated. 🙂

  5. I’ve been studying more about how our beliefs dictate how the cells in our body grow, live and die (love Bruce Lipton’s work). Basically, science is explaining how our beliefs dictate our health and a host of other things in our lives. This new line of science is called Epigenetics. We’ve known this for a very long time. It’s interesting to see how science is finally figuring out how to explain it.

    I also laughed when I read Sandi’s story. I used to “never get sick” (or at least no more often than once every decade). Until this year. I started to think about how my diet hasn’t been nearly as balanced as it should be and that may not be very supportive to my immune system. Whammo! I’ve gotten the worst of the cough, sinus and stomach bugs that have gone around. With all three of these hitting me one after another, I’ve made some big changes in my diet and my thinking. I’ve been feeling much better.

    • Elle

      I’ve got to check Bruce Lipton out more often Paige…I haven’t heard of Epigenetics. I’m sorry to laugh when I read your story about your thoughts on your health followed by a bout of illness. Done that more than once my own self…but believe I’m reaching a phase where I catch those thoughts before the seeds get planted too deeply. Will continue to imagine this to be true for us all. 🙂

  6. 🙂 I read Sandi’s comment – and I am going to begin mine in the same way – I do believe I never get sick – and when the :”season” is here and the bugs are in the air, I usually get away with it. Until someone at home falls sick – and succumbing was the farthest from their minds. Then all of us take turns to go through the mandatory period of being sick. We’re a close knit family like that.

    Channeling our thoughts into the best and most positive outcome does not always work. 😀 as I have discovered. Not that it stops me from being happy or thinking positive – but like it or not, there are other factors out of our control.

    About walking that plank – I’ll never forget walking across a very deep gorge in a rope bridge. You know how the crazy thing shakes like someone flicked a switch? Errgh. We were laughing and balancing and nervously negotiating it. Each time I looked down, my past flashed before my eyes. I thought of all the movies I’d seen where there would be a crucial knot untying in slow motion even as everyone wove across the bridge. I didn’t worry about dying. I thought of how much I love the giant wheel – weird thought. And most of all, I loved the dangerous thought.

    So would I walk that plank? Yes, but with my eyes closed 😉 The same way I used to speed on my bike, feeling in full control. Which is why, when I had the fall, the first thing I did was reach across to calmly switch it off. Will I stop riding the bike? No.

    Risk is exhilarating.

    I love the quote at the end by Anon. I love how you write with aplomb. (there! I used it too! – the word sounds so filled with applause and grandeur!)

    Hugs and love.

    • Elle

      It’s funny how our beliefs affect us in so many ways Isn’t it Vidya. I’ve always loved a quote from James Allen:

      “But do you really mean to say that outward circumstances do not affect our minds?” I do not say that, but I say this, and know it to be an infallible truth, that circumstances can only affect you in so far as you allow them to do so. You are swayed by circumstances because you have not a right understanding of the nature, use, and power of thought. You believe (and upon this little word belief hang all our sorrows and joys) that outward things have the power to make or mar your life; by so doing you submit to those outward things, confess that you are their slave, and they your unconditional master; by so doing, you invest them with a power which they do not, of themselves, possess, and you succumb, in reality, not to the mere circumstances, but to the gloom or gladness, the fear or hope, the strength or weakness, which your thought-sphere has thrown around them.”

      A brilliant man…I love his work.

      And I love the use of the world aplomb…nicely done…a girl after my own heart. 🙂

  7. Loved the article and the comments, too! I remember walking across a log across a chasm on a hike once. I thought I would have a heart attack. But it was the only way forward, so I did it. Like you, I am not much one for heights. And like Sandi, I had a lot of confidence in my health until this winter when I seemed to catch everything that passed by. I’m going to think about what words I’ve been using–I think I have been letting my imagination slip into some negative patterns. Thanks for getting me back on track.

    • Elle

      I’m impressed Galen…I would have had to hold my breath all the way across. Nah, I probably would have remained stuck…my imagination is too vivid.

      I’ve done that too Galen, last year, early on I went through all kinds of things…and I know it was something in my consciousness, but didn’t know what it was, so I just used that great old standby, every time I thought wow, I feel lousy I would affirm every day, in every way I’m better and better. And I began to turn it around…but I tell you my mind was happy to dwell on how awful I felt, if I let it. Strange that. No?

      • That is strange, but absolutely common. I asked my 10 Steps group why we do that and we had an interesting discussion. It’s familiar, for one thing. And we seem to think that somehow we are protecting ourselves or fixing ourselves by the negative focus. There is clearly something seductive and habitual about it, or we wouldn’t do it!

        • Elle

          I think you’re right Galen. A mixture of conditioning and habit. Perhaps someone in our early life thought we needed it to keep ourselves safe…whatever…we’re glad we can see the light now. Even though there are times (for me) when I falter into the dark a little. 🙂

  8. Enjoyed this one, Elle.!The power of the mind is amazing. I’ve told myself for years that I rarely get sick and I rarely do, but I feel that it is a matter of moderation and not overdoing as well. Although I am a little under the weather right now, but it’s a temporary thing and will be gone by the morning!! OK, we’ll see if that works. 🙂

    The mind chatter can allow us to soar or it can hold us back. I like this line – “Promote her, she has a new job…to become your greatest cheerleader…” Be well!!

    • Elle

      So happy to know you’ll be feeling better tomorrow Cathy…I have an old standby technique I used, when I was going through something early on last year that I shared with Galen in another comment. It really turned things round for me pretty quickly. Mind you I said it tons of times a day. 🙂

  9. I am dreaming about using the word “aplomb” in my next book review! 😆

    As a kid I used to cross those suspension bridges without any hesitation. I do not go on roller coasters because that is asking for stomach trouble which I bring on entirely myself.

    The biggest log jam I am working on right now is that I do not seem to be dreaming about anything ahead, rather I am feeling a profound contentment in the time right now. I know something will come up – but I am enjoying reading all that I want to read – to my hearts content. I might even jump off the plank right now fall into the river and go with the flow. I have never been in this position before and I like it

    • Elle

      It’s a great word Patricia and I’m sure you’d use it with great ‘aplomb’. How fantastic to be dwelling in the feeling of contentment…just think of all the contented experiences you’re drawing into your world. It deserves a big woohoo. 🙂

  10. Have you been reading The Compound Effect? If not, give it a read if you’ve got the time!

    ‘Life doesn’t come with guarantees.’ – Maybe not, but I’m adamant that mindsets do. If you think negatively all day about debt and how little money you have, you’re guaranteed a small bank account. But then on the upside you’re guaranteed a life of prosperity and success if you think about such things, but most importantly – take action upon them. That’s where The Secret has it’s flaws, it’s all about mindset but never mentions action or work.

    Have a brilliant day!

    • Elle

      Always appreciate another perspective Nick…and it’s an inside job. If you stay focused on experiencing the happy outcome you imagine…whatever action needed to be taken to accomplish this obviously was taken…or no happy outcome for you. 🙂

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