7 Ways To Shift Your Focus (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 344)
“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”
— Zig Ziglar
The story is told of an old horse whose farmer wanted to get rid of him because he was no longer useful on the farm. The farmer put the horse into a wide open pit and attempted to bury him under the dirt.
The farmer and his farmhands dumped bucket after bucket of dirt on the horse. The horse, however, didn’t want to die because he was the closest friend of the farmer’s young daughter who was blind. The horse was intent on staying alive.
Instead of focusing on how much the farmer hated him, the horse decided to focus on living. With each bucket of dirt they threw on him, he shook it off and pushed it under his feet. Before long, the horse was on equal ground with the farmer and his farmhand.
Notice that what we focus on will eventually become our reality. What happens to us is not nearly as important as how we choose to react. When we face challenges, we overcome them faster when we focus on the benefits instead of the obstacles.
Here are seven helpful ways to shift your focus the next time you encounter a hard challenge:
Focus on the process, not the outcome.
Some of the time, we work with an end goal in mind, but we never actually reach the goal because we pay little attention to the process. It is one thing to be at A and have it in your mind or even on paper how to get to Z. It is quite another thing to roll the ball from start to finish. It is what you do in between A and Z that will determine whether the outcome is good or bad. If you work a good plan, you will most likely get a good result.
Focus on the internal, not the external.
The best work comes from within — in our minds, our hearts, and our souls. What exists on the outside is largely a reflection of what is happening on the inside. Too much time spent with externalities can cause us to feel hollow and empty and not live up to even the expectations we have set for ourselves. When we focus on getting and keeping our hearts, minds, and souls in the right place, we are more likely to make good decisions, persevere through obstacles, and get things done.
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
This does not mean that we should not set goals and keep our eyes on reaching them. What it does mean is that things don’t just happen. There is a significant amount of time that elapses between where we are and where we want to go. We have to make sure that we embrace the journey and do the right things on the journey in order to arrive at the right destination. Everything you do now accumulates across the lifespan to help you reach your goals.
Focus on your values, not the opinions of others.
It is easy to pay attention to what other people think or say just because it seems so much louder than our internal voices. But people’s opinions are subjective; they have no bearing on you as a person unless you allow it. What you believe and value should always be more important than the opinions of others because these are the things that will guide you and direct your thinking and actions throughout life.
Focus on your abundance, not scarcity.
When faced with an obstacle or challenge, it is easy to focus on how much time we don’t have or how much money we need or how many people or resources are not available. But it is in the middle of difficulties that if we really look for it, we will find that we often have more than we need at least to start with. It has been said that what we believe comes to pass; what we focus on, increases.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.
We can always do something; it might not be everything that we want to do, but we can do one thing — something, anything. Sometimes when we don’t have ALL the information or all the resources, we tend to not do anything at all. But not doing anything can set us back more than doing one little thing. Don’t give up; instead, keep going because every little step counts.
Focus on the solution, not the problem.
We all have or know that one person in our lives who seems to enlarge every problem they face. They wallow in confusion, live in drama, engage in magical thinking, and focus on blame. Yet their problems never seem to minimize or go away completely. Problems demand solutions and when we focus on finding solutions, we encounter greater peace and accomplishment.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”