How To Adjust Your Focus.
Regardless of how good or how tough things get in life, the one thing that is always in your control is your focus.
Where your focus goes is entirely up to you.
In a previous edition of Ideal Insights, I spoke about “Adjusting your focus” when it comes to going through a negative experience in life.
In this edition, let’s discuss how to adjust your focus when it comes to what you wish to achieve in your life.
Where your focus goes will be critical in whether you make it or whether you break it.
There are two types of people in the world:
- Those who focus on the outcome.
- Those who focus on the process.
Let me tell you a story, which I told to a group of Year 9 students when I delivered a presentation (on Life Skills and Bullying) at their school last week.
When I was at high school, I used to be a track athlete.
Our sports teacher would take us (athletes) to the football oval at the school for training, twice a week from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
If you have ever lived in a colder part of the world, you will realise that during winter, it gets pretty cold at around 4:00 pm.
Melbourne (Australia) is known for its cold wintry winds.
Do you have any idea how many times, I stood in the middle of that football oval (with the cold wind blowing in my face), asking myself one question – “Why am I doing this?”
I would think about my friends and what they would be doing at the time – sitting next to a heater, sipping on hot chocolate, and watching Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.
I absolutely hated training, and thought about quitting many, many times. On training days, my mood would change and I would start to feel down as soon as lunch time came. I knew that I was only hours away from training in the cold conditions.
You see, my focus was on the process, not on the outcome.
My focus changed when I started winning (trophies, medals, and certificates).
Then, my focus turned towards the outcome, and turned away from the process.
After winning at athletics events, I would come back to school with a trophy in my hand, and my friends would marvel at the trophy. I would then think about how I would rather be training in the cold than be sitting next to a heater and watching TV at home.
Once I started winning, my focus became fixed on the outcome. I realised that in order to get to the outcome, I needed to go through the process.
During my speech at the school, I described how I was feeling during training (cold, moody, and unhappy), while standing on the right of the stage.
When I described how I was feeling after winning (ecstatic, joyful, and proud) I moved to the left of the stage.
I stood there and said “When you focus on this (pointing to the left of the stage), that (pointing to the right of the stage), will not matter much.
Please take an inventory of where your focus is in life at the moment.
Which type of person are you most of the time:
- The one who focuses on the outcome?
- The one who focuses on the process?
If you focus on the process, you may get side tracked and dis-encouraged.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am not insinuating that you should totally ignore the process. You have to go through the process and you have to validate your feelings.
The point is this – don’t let your attention get fixed on the process.
Let’s just say that you are on a mission to get in better shape. You may need to lose weight or put on weight.
The process might include eating accordingly, exercising accordingly, and being disciplined with other choices in life.
If you think about the exercise regime that you must stick to, you may feel like quitting.
What you can do is create acceptance about the fact that you must stick to the exercise regime, in order to get the body you want.
When you are exercising, and things get hard, focus on the outcome. Picture yourself in the body you want. That should be motivating enough.
As you evaluate your progress, realise that you are one step closer to the outcome, and that the exercise regime (the process) is one of the main reasons for that progress.
Yes, I realise that this is easier said than done. Believe me, I am a fitness fanatic and I still dread training when my friend (a former professional boxer) calls me to join him for a boxfit session.
The main point that I emphasise in this article is this – you have the liberty to control your focus instead of letting your focus control your mentality, your emotions, and your actions.
Quote: “Focus goes where energy flows”. Tony Robbins
I hope I have given you a simple insight into adjusting your focus in order to be more productive in life.
Inspiring you towards your excellence,
PS: I have just launched a series of personal development videos called Welcome To Your Life. Here is Episode 8 (How To Enhance Personal Growth) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrXFQ-EB4Rc