The dictionary defines focus as “a point of concentration.” How many people do you know that dwell on petty nonsense or always seem to have the ability to point out the negative in any situation? Each of us is faced with challenges every day of our lives. It is not what happens to us that determine how much joy we get out of life, but rather our reaction to what happens. Unexpected events may happen that we have no control over, but we most certainly have a choice in how we interpret and respond to those events. This key choice determines where our focus is and that focus develops the path to your future. Until you can see better, you cannot be better. You have to change how you think about life’s situations to see the opportunities that exist for you. How do you view life? Do you see life as an endless stream of responsibilities or as rich soil full of endless possibilities? This journey called life can crush you with its weight or enthrall you with its wonders!
Gandhi said, “If you don’t change the way you look at things, you really can’t expect anything in your world to change.” In other words, you have to be the change you want to see in your world, and the only way to change is that you have to see things differently. That’s the question to be answered, “Where is your focus?” What things in your life do you spend your time concentrating on? Many people walk through life with constant fears and doubts. They’re afraid of losing their jobs, or being lonely or rejected, or making difficult decisions. The list can go on and on. That is why approaching every action and situation from this perspective limits your personal growth and overall life experiences to a minimum. This mindset will keep you locked in place – functioning but not living! Routine and predicable days are the soil that develops a complacent mind; and complacency breeds stagnation! Once you change your focus and start seeing life as an adventure, everything changes. The possibilities and opportunities that unfold themselves in front of you seem endless.
Sometimes, even if you’re playing fair, life can deal you a hand from the bottom of the deck. I’ve often said, “life isn’t always about being dealt a good hand; it’s about playing good with the hand you’ve been dealt.” Let’s examine some options on changing the way you look at things – your focus.
- Understand that challenges come with living – For some reason, most of us think that life should be smooth sailing all the time. Of course this is unrealistic so when challenges do come, it can be difficult to focus on the good in your life.
- Understand that problems and challenges don’t go away just by dwelling on them – It is far easier to identify problems than it is to come up with solutions. As long as your focus is on the problem, you’ll never be able to see beyond that to see the hope for a better tomorrow.
- Understand that blaming someone else is focusing on the wrong things. Guilt is a trick of the mind. Accept responsibility for your life and your actions. If you continue to feel guilty, you stop growing and start focusing on the “what if’s”. You attract every experience in your life, regardless of how positive or negative your perception is of that experience. When you accept accountability, you free your mind to learn and grow.
- Redirect your focus to the many blessings in your life. Do you constantly whine and complain…or broadcast your ailments and minor irritations to everyone you talk to? Do people look at their caller ID, see your name and ignore your call? Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, start thinking about what you do have. Health, food, a roof over your head, reasonably good health, even that you woke up this morning and knew to put your shoes on your feet and not your head! Find something positive in your life.
- Learn how to say “no.” Easy to say, not always so easy to do. Sometimes we can get overextended by taking on too much responsibility or too many tasks. Mental fatigue is a state of weariness that develops over time and diminishes your capacity. Eventually, it will impact your emotional and psychological well being. At this point, your focus is entirely on your present state of being and it is impossible to see beyond that point.
Virtually all of us, on occasion, will devote precious mental energy to situations that are not worthy of our attention. People, who don’t
sweat the small stuff, are far more likely to accomplish more in life and be happier in the process. As you widen the lens of your perception, you’ll experience less tension, improve your attitude and develop a keener insight into the meaning of your life. When you begin to recognize that you are the source of your entire experience of life, you can step into all the power that exists inside you. Remember, all you’ve got to do is change the way you look at things – your focus!