5 Ways to Go from Fried to Focused
Updated: Jun 3
I believe most of us have heard wherever our focus goes, energy grows. Meaning the thing you concentrate on will expand, good or bad. Even though I believe most people have heard of this saying, I don't believe many practice it. It's a tool that you can develop to make great changes in your life.
Attention is an underrated, however, powerful phenomenon. This is why there are a lot of proponents for gratitude. The idea is not to focus on what you lack, and don't have, but to appreciate what you do have. From my and other people's experiences with it, you receive more through a grateful and abundant mindset than you do a scarcity one. Take Oprah for instance, she has a daily practice of listing all the things she is grateful for. It seemed to serve her well. :) This said, I realize Oprah's success is due to other factors, not just gratitude. Also, I do not agree with using gratefulness as a way to not move towards something you desire, or you feel would be a better fit for you. Yes, you can be grateful for having a job, but you can also be grateful for knowing you have more to offer in another position.
I was discussing this attention/focus concept when a client of mine was saying he was feeling out of sorts. I asked about his habits and he said he watched a lot of news. I said it was great he wanted to be informed but, most likely, that was causing his low mood. Sure enough, after changing that habit and watching or doing other things he felt a lot better. He still keeps in touch by reading news from time to time however he no longer immerses himself in it.
Although I intellectually knew this phenomenon, I allowed myself to get sidetracked for a bit at a school where I used to teach. I -and many other colleagues- focused on what was not great with the school, mainly the administration. I got sucked into a negative-mind loop about the management and it didn't help matters. I did provide feedback to the administration when and where I could, so it was not all venting among colleagues. Once I found out they weren't really interested in change, however, I made a decision to leave. That and my ultimate fit was underway: coaching.
Once I decided to coach, all my focus and attention went there and, guess what? It grew. Six years later and, thankfully, it continues to grow.
If you are in a similar boat as me at my last school or my client, here's some things you can do:
Take a moment for pause and reflection to get clear of where you want your focus to go and where you want things to grow. Remind yourself of your needs and values.
Start practicing the tools of focus and attention with being fully present when you eat or take a shower (another word for this is being mindful or mindfulness). Start with small increments.
Switch the channels literally or metaphorically. Stop "feeding the beast" (anything that brings you down). You can look at your habits to see if you are "feeding the beast."
Reduce distractions when and where you can. You can focus better when things are managed and not in your way.
Track your progress. What we monitor and measure also grows because, yup, you got it, we give it attention.
With these suggestions, what's one thing you can do to get you to where you want to go? What' s one thing you want to grow?
Reply here to let me know.