“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” -Jack Canfield
Many people feel that what they focus on is not always under their control. I agree that there are certainly events that pop up in life that demand our immediate attention, but what about after the fact? How many of us spend our lives re-experiencing events and situations hours and days later, replaying the imagery over and over as if a new outcome will result. I am here to say that it is not only better to consciously choose what you focus on, but it is actually your duty and responsibility to make as many attempts as possible to get yourself focused on the things that you want to get out of life.
What you focus on is what you experience. We are single-focus creatures and if you’re spending time focusing on things you don’t want, you are using valuable mental real estate that could be used for resourceful thought.
There is so much that your mind does with the things that you think about. If we’re thinking about food, your mind will come up with solutions to get food (usually this is easy in present times, but it wasn’t always that way!). Using this same principle, if you’re focusing on ways you can become a better person, your mind will help you do this. You will start noticing things that can help you become a better person around you. Things will start to stick out more that can help you. When your conscious mind is focused on something, your unconscious mind comes through and finds things that are similar to what you’re thinking about. Maybe a question will pop into your head that you never thought of before, and you will have a shift in perspective. All of these things are possible when you start to focus on what you want in life.
Consciously choosing your thoughts is a learned skill. A scattered mind is a scattered life. Be careful jumping around from point A to point B, without a solid plan to finish either process.
In his great book The One Thing, Gary Keller teaches us that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow we can make our focus. He goes on to make the case that in order to have the absolute best chance at success- we have to ignore all the things that we could do and do the things that we should do. The important message is in realizing that though we like to believe that all things in our lives are a priority, not all things matter equally. The gift and the secret of success here is in prioritizing, removing, and reallocating your focus towards your key objectives. These objectives are the practices that will get you to where you want to go, such as exercising daily, reading, or learning a foreign language.
To free your mind and make room for a narrow state of focus, work on converting your conscious activities into subconscious habits. Successful habits take all the effort out of an activity, freeing your focus for other things.
Converting your conscious activities into unconscious habits is a lot easier than most people think. The simple key to making this work for you is consistent, daily practice of the habit you are trying to implement. I go to the gym just about every day now, usually 7 days a week. If I’m not going to the gym, then I make sure I at least hit 10,000 steps a day on my pedometer by incorporating walks into my day. How has it become so easy for me to go to the gym daily? The secret is in my timing. I’ve made it a practice to go every single day at the same time. For me, that is 7AM, for you it could be 6PM or 12 noon. The time itself doesn’t matter, what matters is that I’ve trained my mind to expect the gym at that time of day, so my body just goes with it. At first it was a little bit tough getting myself to go, but now I look forward to it and enjoy it every day. Consistency is the key to habits, and there are many ways to implement habits in your life besides a time scale. For more on habits, I recommend The Power of Habit.
Ignore the things that used to bother you. Realize your world is your state of mind. Free your mind of negative, unresourceful states and open it to the propitious world surrounding us.
Open up and release the hold you have on the things that used to bother you. Take a deep breath and for just a second realize the world is infinite in the amount of possibilities surrounding you. There are thoughts you haven’t thought, that could change your life in an instant. Look for the epiphanies, and when you find them express gratitude for the things that are happening around you. Your world is your mind, and with a clear set of focused ideas- your world becomes your creation.
-Anthony from AuthenticGrowth.com
Links for clearing your mind and improving your focus: