The Biggest Challenge: Focus!
by, Jeannie Willets
The question is: What are you willing to “give your mind to”? So many things are competing, everyday, for our attention. The media, FB posts, TV and radio commercials and advertisements, and the list goes on. Are you willing to let these distractions steer you away from your real goals in life? Are you willing to let them control your mind and determine your mood for the day? Well, I have decided that I am not. A huge realization that I have recently had, and would like to share, is that we pretty much “create” what we focus on. So, of course, there are probably many reasons, I am sure, why the media and advertisers would like us all to focus on what they are saying. I suppose they would like us to continue “creating” the reality that they want. But the fact of the matter is: you can create any reality you want. You create your reality everyday! I realized today that there is so much power in this but what is stopping us from knowing about it is that our attention is constantly “being directed” to areas that we are not intending for it to go and so we are often distracted instead of “focused” on what we want it on. So staying focused on our goals and on desirable things, instead of letting our attention go to anything that happens to pop up throughout the day that we did not choose, can be the biggest challenge in this high tech, information highway world we are living in today. I realize that some may think “well, if you don’t pay attention to the news or other important things that are happening, isn’t that the same as ignoring what’s going on or “being in denial”? Well, no, it isn’t. Why? Because, first of all, we all have the right to choose what we put our attention on and, secondly, I believe that putting attention on an undesirable thing actually “creates” more of it. Because when you, for instance, talk about injustices in the world or about politics, let’s say, and you get all upset, does that really help anything? No, it just raises your blood pressure so I’d say it’s even unhealthy. But if you don’t talk about or think about these things, and if you instead talk about or think about things that bring joy or good, positive feelings, then that’s what you will “create”: good, positive things that bring joy! Now isn’t that better than perpetuating upset, fear, and worry?
Sometimes knowledge needs to be passed along in order to help people, even if it is unpleasant to put our attention on. This is understandable. But to dwell on it and feel sad about it all day long is something else entirely and is really not necessary at all. It only “creates” more of that, in fact! It kind of reminds me of the same idea of what Gandhi said. (I’m paraphrasing but): “Be the change you’d like to see.” If you focus on those wonderful, positive things that you prefer in life, you will “create” more of that! Try it and see! Here’s an example of this that happened to me just today so I can say with absolute certainty that this works! In fact, it happened twice today! but I’ll just share one of them for now. I was in Starbucks waiting on line to order a coffee when I noticed this lady who was apparently waiting for her coffee for a long time, to be made, because her arms were folded and she looked really tense and annoyed. Well, I just thought to myself, “Hey, there’s nothing to be upset about. Lighten up. You’re beautiful. You have nice hair. It’s gonna be alright.” And I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe this, but right after that, she started smiling! and talking to this little kid next to her and she looked just fine! And believe me, just a minute ago, before that, she was NOT fine! So that just blew my mind and made me realize that WE ARE POWERFUL! Where we put our thoughts is powerful! Can you imagine what a beautiful world it could be if we all thought positive, loving things and lightened people’s days by sending them admiration and love in our thoughts all the time?! So you get to choose what to do the next time you see someone like that lady. Will you just think, “Man, that woman looks like such a bitch, I’m staying away from her.” Or will you do what I did? Which one is a better, more helpful way to focus your attention?
So, if there is something that you would like to see in the world, some improvement or anything at all, “create it”, starting with your thoughts. And remember to focus on what you choose. It can be a challenge but one very worth taking! :)