Most of us go through our day to day lives not recognizing the power of focus. If we’re listening to the news, and something catches us, we focus on it. If we’re standing in line and there’s a grumpy patron in front of us, we tend to focus on them. If traffic is bad going to work, this tends to hold our focus for the entire commute.
If Facebook, Twitter, or some social media event catches our eye, we focus there. If our boss was in a bad mood, we complain to our co-workers and we keep focusing on it. If our children are upset, we often focus on their upsets. When our children complain in the face of a world that’s blessed and full of wonderful opportunities, we focus on it.
In my mind, a thought arises about how badly I was treated as a child, and I focus upon it. A few moments later a thought arises about the mistakes I made yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year, and now I focus there.
What Takes Our Focus…Steals Our Life.
It is critical to understand that thoughts and events will arise over which we have no control. We’re driving the car and boom….a thought arises. We’re on the phone, and the world intrudes with alerts, commentary, and criticism. Everywhere we turn, our focus is being directed and taken from us.
Often, we can’t control the events that show up, and we can’t control the thoughts that arise from those events. Events happen…and thoughts just come about. And then, we focus on that.
Life will continually present itself in a way to absorb our attention. And then, time passes while we focus on that event or thought…and we have just surrendered a bit of time.
And what is a bit of time …but a bit of our lives?
And bit by bit our lives are now consumed, as our focus is directed and taken without so much as a moment of resistance. In many ways, it can appear as if we chose it. But in reality, we did not.
This focus robbing process has crept into our lives like the Trojan horse. It appears as one thing, yet is proving to be another.
It’s Time to Fight for What You Want to Focus On!
How do you feel about this life? How do you feel about the world we live in? How are feeling right now?
I ask because we typically experience the effects or feelings that flow from where we have put our focus over time. If our focus has habitually shifted to the negative, the doubting, the cynical or sad, then our lives tend to reflect that habitual focus. (This is obvious…right?)
So, in short, we stand where we are today as the accumulated effect of what we have focused upon. And yet, few of us have taken a careful look at what we habitually focus upon.
Today, I suggest a fresh start. Make a choice about what will get your focus, and then set out a course to ensure that this happens. Let’s consider a few simple ideas:
- Start the day with laughter, by watching hilarious videos
- Leave for work 15” early, so no traffic takes your joy.
- Shut down social media that does not uplift or inspire you.
- Choose 3 empowering questions to ask yourself before getting out of bed.
- Set the intention to smile today…regardless of other’s moods.
- Be diligent of the negative, the pessimist…and walk away.
There are dozens of ways to you to hijack your own focus, based upon what you want. Consider what you would like and resolve to move toward this today. Simply chose it and predetermine how to hijack your own attention in the direction you seek. This is key.
You can insert your own Trojan horse in your life, but this time fill it with allies that keep you on track. The phone and all its automaticity and apps can remind you, motivate you and support you on this path.
And so, the point of all this is to remember: What just got your focus just stole a bit of your life. Was it worth it? Was it a good exchange? If you could do it over, would you give it that much time? And, how many times have you given up your focus without so much of a second thought?
So, is it time to be more thoughtful about what is worthy of your focus…and your life?