How your day-to-day focus affects your destiny.

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Imagine 2 brothers of about 10. They have been playing all evening and now their mother asks them to come home and study. They want to play more. The first one thinks – ‘Mom doesn’t want us to play’. The second one thinks – ‘If I quickly finish my homework, Mom might let me play some more’.

What difference in thinking do you see here? You might come up with different answers about maturity, smartness etc, and they may all be justified. There is another important difference that I want to emphasize, that is, the difference in focus.

Imagine being in their places and having their thoughts. I am sure most of you must have felt both ways sometime during your childhood :). What kind of feelings do these thoughts separately evoke? The first focus may cause feelings of anger, resentment and little, if at all, action towards a solution. The second focus will, most probably, bring about a feeling of hope(however slight) and a motivated effort towards a possible solution.

As we grow up, our focus increasingly determines how we feel, what efforts we make, what habits we form and, ultimately, our destiny.

All that we are, is the result of what we have thought. –Buddha

In any situation you are in and that you have no power on, your focus and response are totally in your hands.

If you are young and dependent on parents who are very oppressive, you may focus on how bad your parents are, on finding friends to discuss the shortcomings of your parents, on biting back, on your helplessness… Or you may focus on finding a way out, on moving to a hostel, on becoming self reliant as quickly as possible, on your efforts towards a different and better future.

I wouldn’t say either of the 2 choices is good over the other, you don’t need to defend your choice. I will leave it up to you to objectively think what your current focus will lead you to and then keep it or change it as you feel right.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. –Denis Waitley

The idea of focus is also a way to explain the Law of Attraction – You get in life what you most think about.

The Law also says that it doesn’t matter whether you like what you think about, or not. If you are constantly thinking about it, it will manifest in your life. When I ask you to not think about an apple, what is the first picture that comes to your mind? An apple’s! Negation of something is also thinking about it. Negation of something with great passion and focus brings it about with great force into your life. So if you say – ‘I hate my parents for all the restrictions they put on me’, you are bringing your focus on that and, consequently, moving yourself towards experiencing it more and more. If you can shift your focus to thinking something like – ‘I want a life of complete freedom where I decide everything in my life’, you will feel very differently, act differently and will see very different results. In both cases, you were not happy with the current state, it’s the dominant focus that made the difference.

The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear. Brian Tracy

Seemingly powerless rays of the sun, when focused through a lens, have the power to burn the leaves under them. That is the power of focus. You don’t need to be a genius or to be born under a particular star, to achieve what you want. If you can keep yourself focused towards your goal, through thick and thin, then, no matter how big it is, you will achieve it. The longer you can hold your focus, and the stronger you can hold it, the faster your goals materialize.

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. –Tony Robbins

Here is a test about how a change in focus changes your feelings and motivation immediately. It will need you to use some strong imagination. You might want to find a quiet and secluded place. I am giving you some statements below. Each statement has 2 ways of looking at a situation or desired outcome. Consider each way separately. Close your eyes, repeat it to yourself and notice how you feel. Some of these may appeal more to you because you are experiencing the situation currently or have experienced it recently. Notice what feelings and drive for action these, seemingly similar statements create in you. Take your time. Which statement creates a clearer picture of your dream outcome?

Getting rid of access fat Vs Flaunting a fit body on a beach

Finding someone to get rid of loneliness Vs Having a deep, meaningful and fun-filled relationship

Getting out of unemployment Vs Landing your dream job

Society where there is no corruption Vs Society where people are honest and helpful

Life presents you with different opportunities to decide your focus. What you decide sets the direction for the rest of your life. Here are some other interesting and contrasting foci worth considering :

What is going wrong Vs What can be set right

Gathering new stuff Vs Finding happiness in what already is

Following what others say Vs Seeking truth

Creating a safe life Vs Creating a dream life

Taste Vs Health

Fun friends Vs Positive friends

Being heard Vs Understanding different views

What will happen Vs What will be your response

Finding those responsible Vs Finding how to fix things

We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.
Stephen Covey

One comment

  • Karthik
    April 27, 2011 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful article Rahul. Enjoyed reading it and understood the importance of focus and the ability to focus on the right things. Thanks!!!

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