“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.” ..Winifred Gallagher
Winifed Gallagher, author of the book “Rapt: Attention and the focused life;” elegantly summed up the theory of life in the following quote “who you are, what you think, feel and do, what you love is the sum of what you focus on.” In other words, whatever you pay attention to, will determine your actions thoughts and feelings.
In my experience, most people focus on”what they don’t want.” for eg; ” I don’t want to be fat,” “I’m not going to be like my mother,” or ” I don’t want to be in a bad relationship.” So when people are focused on what they don’t want, they start looking in all the wrong places and shut down to all possible solutions to getting the life that they want. For example, there were two friends who I will call ; Poppy and Olivia. Poppy and Olivia wanted to travel the world and would spend many evenings talking about the places they wanted to visit. However, only one of them would make her dreams come true because of where she chose to place her focus.
Poppy not only wanted to travel the world, she also wanted to get paid to travel the world. As they began to do their research, Olivia became disheartened. She began to focus on the cost of traveling, and how she was going to pay to get to those destinations. Then her fears would slowly start to take over. “This is never going to happen,” ‘This is Impossible,” “What will happen if we run out of money, etc?” “No one is going to pay us to travel.” Thus, she started looking in all the wrong places and fulfilling her belief/focus.
However, Poppy’s focus was different. She acknowledged that at times it may be difficult but she kept her focus on how she could get paid to travel. This focus opened doors for her, took her in directions she never anticipate. With this focus she started to research the people before her who got paid to travel. She learned that she could become a nanny or work on a cruise ship or become a camp counselor in another country. With this information, her thoughts changed, her feelings changed as did her actions. Poppy was able to travel the world and get paid because of where she placed her focus. While her friend Olivia created her worst fears because of where her attention and focus was placed.
All to often people just wonder on the treadmill of life and have no idea where they are going or how they got to where they are. You need to get clear about what you want. Poppy knew she wanted to travel, but she also wanted to get paid. She didn’t stay in the most luxurious of places and she had to compromise. In order to get paid to travel, she had to work.
So here are some tips to focus on the life that you want?
1: Ask your-self where you are currently putting your focus?
It’s really that simple and is that focus getting you where you need to be? You will probably find that your focus has been on surviving, what not to do wrong etc. How is this focus helping you achieve your dreams. So y
2: Make a list of all of the things that make you happy.
All to often people focus on what doesn’t make them happy and spend a lot of time trying to avoid these things/feelings. In order to create the life you want, you have to know what makes you smile, gives you energy, motivates you etc..Do rainbows make you smile? Do you like to snuggle up in bed on a cold dreary day, does talking to a friend energize you? how about when you put on make up? Get to know your-self. You are going to be surprised at how long that list is.
Ahh the power of writing is amazing. Keep writing about you want. It make take a couple of times to get clear about you want. The writing will help you with this process. Get very detailed about that would be like. How will you feel? How will you know that you are living that life? Who is in your life. What can you smell, feel and touch. Keep writing and readjusting until it feels right.
4: Dedicate about 10-30 minutes a day to focusing on what you want?
So turn of your phones, email and any other distractions and dedicate 10-30 minutes of focusing on what you want. When you learn to do this on a daily basis, your are strengthening the neural pathway in your brain to look for solutions to help you create your dream.
But most importantly “be kind to your-self during this process.” You are learning something new, and this is probably the first time that you are learning to discover what makes you happy:-)