If I were to ask you what you tend to focus on in life, what would your answer be?
In each and every situation you find yourself, would you say that you tend to focus on the negative aspects or the positive aspects? Do you tend to focus on all that is wrong in the world? Or all the possibilities that are ahead of us? Do you focus on what you want to happen? Or what you fear?
Consider this an opportunity to get curious about your habitual thought patterns and areas of focus.
So, where am I going with all of this?
First, I want to be clear that I am not advocating you only focus on “positive thinking,” as I believe that it is foolish to turn a blind eye to the realities of life. What I do want to shed light on, though, is that although the negatives and difficulties in life are inevitable, the space of miracles, opportunities, and possibilities are also real.
Let’s say for example that you’ve set out to achieve an intention or goal of yours. Throughout the journey of the intention or goal, do you tend to focus on all the bad things that can happen, what could go wrong, and what might stop you? Or, are you committed to staying true to yourself and your vision, and continuing to keep your eyes on what you want to happen regardless of present circumstances?
In some of my yoga classes I’ll tell my students to set their physical Drishti (yoga gaze) on a fixed spot in the room, and also to set their third eye Drishti (their vision, dream, goal) on whatever they want to happen. In life, you can guarantee that obstacles will arise and deter you as you set out to make your contribution to the world. The external forces (setbacks, worldly events, ‘failures’, mistakes etc.) are inevitably going to come, but by putting our attention and focus on where we want to go instead of on what we fear, that is what will ultimately pull us through.
It is essential to remember that wherever our focus and attention goes, energy flows. Focus on the good and the possibilities in life, and you will likely feel vitalized and euphoric. Focus on the bad, the ugly, and adopt a pessimistic view, and you will likely feel lost, helpless, and beaten. The inattentive mind tends to focus on fear, anxiety, and problems. You see our brains aren’t necessarily designed to make us happy, they’re designed to help us survive. Our thousands-of-years-old reptilian brain is always looking for ways to keep us safe and alive, but now since there are no more “saber-toothed tigers” threatening our lives, we get fearful about other things that may arise in an effort to keep us “safe.”
I went to see Tony Robbins back in December and I was forever changed by his profound wisdom and insights about life. Tony reminded us that the choice of focus and attention we give to events and circumstances is always under control. It’s not what happens, but what we do about what happens and what meaning we give to the endless events in our lives that will ultimately decide where we end up in life. What’s “wrong” is always available, but so is what’s right.
Resolve to be a leader and to be someone who puts their attention on possibilities and opportunities whereas others only see only problems and difficulties. Be part of the solution, instead of the problem. It all starts with where you focus your mental energies.
It takes great courage and grit to have faith, determination, and attention put on what we want to happen in life, but I believe it is the only way to make a real difference in this world. When you make the tangible shift, you go from being a victim of circumstances and someone who life “happens to,” to being the CEO of your life and destiny.
One of my great teachers would often remind me that it’s not what happens in life to us that determines the quality of our life and where we end up, but what we do about what happens. Certain events are going to happen in this world whether we like it or not. The same wind blows on us all; it's not the blow of the wind - it’s the set of the sail that will make all of the difference.
As you continue to embark on your lifelong journey, remember to check in from time to time on what your attention, focus, and energy is on. Resolve to make shifts in your attention as needed to get you where you want to go. Become what you want to be, and do what you want to do.
You’ve only got one chance at this life. Don’t waste it!
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© Copyright Whatismyhealth, April 9th, 2017