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The Power of Picking Your Focus

14 Mar

The Power of Picking Your Focus

After nearly five years and more than 250 blog posts, I’ve learned enough to know that inspiration can will strike in the most unexpected places. The inspiration for this week’s particular post came from a stranger in front of me in line at Panera Bread, who likely has no idea her wardrobe choice that day provided quite the colorful thought process over lunch. Her shirt simply read, “What you focus on expands.”

I can’t recall what cause or organization this t-shirt was designed to support; my mind was already wandering off in countless directions as to how this simple statement has proven true in my own life – even just recently.

I have always had an intensely focused mind. I have no trouble immersing myself into a project and blocking out all other distractions. Though very useful for my particular career path, these mental “blinders” I put up can also cause me to misguide my focus toward negative thoughts that are counterproductive…and at times, paralyzing.

I know I can’t be alone; I think most people can relate to the notion of “What you focus on expands.”

The Positive

The good news is that because what we focus on expands, this means that choosing to focus on positive and productive thoughts will lead to more positivity and productivity in our lives.

Have you ever experienced a stretch of a few days, maybe even longer, when things really felt like they were coming together in your life? The good news kept rolling in and you felt like you had a little extra luck leading your way? I know I have. Now reflecting upon these “charmed” moments, I can see that what I considered good luck was actually the result of having my focus in the right place.

Because I was focused on things that were going right, I was more inclined to find and appreciate even the littlest of things that were blessings in my day. I was focused on the positive and the positive continued to expand.

The Negative

Unfortunately there is also a negative side to these words of wisdom. In contrast to those positive moments in life, I know I can also recall moments (even weeks or months) when I felt down on my luck.

What likely began as some bad news, like losing a client, then spiraled into what felt like the opposite of the Midas touch. Everything I encountered seemed to go the opposite way of what I had hoped. It’s no wonder that since I was expecting a negative response, that is what I received. Even little things, like clumsiness or forgetfulness, seemed amplified.

The Power of Picking Your Focus

The reality is that in both the positive and negative scenarios I just shared, my luck was pretty much the same. The major thing that shifted was my focus. When I was focused on positivity, I was more inclined to see all the little positive moments throughout my day and overlook the negative. The opposite applies for when I am feeling overly negative. In a given day, I likely encountered just as many highs and lows, but how I choose to frame them is what determines my mood.

What I challenge you with today is to stop and really examine your focus. Are you feeling positive or negative? You have the power to pick your focus. Regardless of how your morning started or any residual stress left over from the week prior, you can choose to start anew. There will be days when finding the silver lining feels impossible, but really try to avoid taking the easy way out by choosing to be negative. Remember, what you focus on expands.

I’ll leave you with this thought from Regina Brett that has always cheered up even the most dismal of days…

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”

Are you intentional about your focus? Share your tips or struggles and let’s start a conversation!

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5 responses to “The Power of Picking Your Focus

  1. terryshen

    March 14, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Absolutely, in fact, I will share one of my favorite quote that echos the power of what we choose:

    “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” – Lin Yutang

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      March 14, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      That is a fantastic quote and one I have actually not heard before! It fits my philosophy very much. Now if only I could practice it a bit more often 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

       
  2. donnaanddiablo

    March 21, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Ahhh yes, the law of attraction. I, too, have seen it work in my life, and you’re right, you can ‘push’ it either way. At the start of 2016, I decided to ‘weight the fight,’ so to speak, in favor of positivity. So each morning, I write down three things that I’m grateful for to get my mind in a positive state. Amazing what an impact that simple action has. I think of myself as an optimist anyway, but this little action seems to help to ‘seal the deal.’ And I LOVE Terry’s quote!

     
  3. ramakrishnan6002

    March 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.

     

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