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Leadership Thought #388 – Where Is Your Focus?

July 20, 2012

How to focus: The 5 key elements for attention management, focus, and flow

You get to decide what you focus on.  You can spend your time and energy on things that bring you down or lift you up.  I know people who are pretty blessed who can still find something wrong with about every situation.  On the contrary, I’ve been amazed by others confronting great difficulties who manage to keep their spirits up through positive thinking and proper perspective.  Life isn’t what happens to you, but what you think about it and how you end up responding to the situation.   You can go through life accumulating personal baggage because things haven’t always turned out as you had planned, or you can accept the difficulties as part of the journey – easier said than done I know.

I don’t mean to minimize personal tragedy because it is real, and it hurts.  When you are in a rough patch in your life it can feel overwhelming, especially as the issues seem to mount on one another.  For some reason, problems rarely seem to appear in isolation.  However, I’ve always liked the lighthouse metaphor.  No matter how dark it gets or how choppy the waters seem, we all have beacons of light and hope to help us navigate our way through (if we are only looking for them).  I don’t know who, what, and where the lighthouses are for you, but I encourage you to focus your energy on finding them and charting their location on the map of your life.

I am fully aware that training your mind to focus on constructive thoughts and minimize the negative ones isn’t easy.  I certainly don’t want you to repress how you feel.  There are no bad feelings, just bad actions in response to those feelings.  However, once you allow yourself to “feel” you need to figure out some way to cope with those feelings and move on in a constructive manner.  You don’t want to get mired in the “muck and mud” of existence for too long.  We get to decide what we focus on and how long we maintain that focus.