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Where is Your Precious Focus Going Today?

Where is Your Precious Focus Going Today?
Image by pasotraspaso (license).

“Our thoughts create our reality – where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.”
Peter McWilliams

“Loving people live in loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
Wayne Dyer

What are you focusing on today?

Are you dwelling endlessly on the negative or irrelevant details in work or people or are you appreciating the positive aspects and what you have in life?

Are you focusing on your most important tasks or goals or are you filling up your time by doing the usual busywork or stuff that might be easier mentally and emotionally to get done?

Are you focused at all? Or are you interrupting your focus by checking your Facebook or inbox a dozen times today or splitting it as you try to get three things done at once?

Are you using your focus in the best way you know?

It is tempting to think of life and the improvement of it as something your do over a long time by for example achieving big goals sometime in the future. But creating a happier life for yourself is about today too.

What you keep your focus on most of the time tends to expand in your life. Stuff like misery. Or stress. Or gratefulness. Or openness. And what you keep your focus on most of the time tends to become your mental habits. And your habits have a huge influence on the actions you take – or don’t take – and how your life develops.

How to better make use of your focus.

Now, it’s easy to say that you should make better use of your focus and keep it steady and on the useful things in your daily life. But how do you do it (besides by having goals you really, really, really want to achieve)? A few of my favourite tips:

Exercise.

Maybe not the most surprising or exciting answer in the world. But since I started to exercise more – by for example using body weight circuits for cardio training – of the last few months I have noticed two aspects. Things feel lighter. And I have more energy to use. By lighter I don’t mean that I am more powerful when I try to lift weights. I mean that life tends to feel lighter to handle. The things and tasks that felt heavy to handle before become lighter and easier to manage.

I find that I naturally feel more energetic and positive without having to do anything mentally. It’s kinda automatic. And I just have more energy to use through out the day. I don’t get bogged down in negative or irrelevant stuff later on in the day- when fatigue used to set in – as easily anymore.

This won’t make a difference today but if you just start getting in better shape by exercising you will probably notice these effects within a few weeks.

Ask yourself helpful questions.

Be alert. Ask yourself questions throughout the day. Questions like the ones that begun this article. Or a questions like:

What’s awesome about this situation?

Is this useful?

Will this matter 5 years from now?

Whenever you feel like you are heading down a path of irrelevant thoughts, distractions or a negative thought loop slow down. Be still. Reconnect with the present by taking a few dozen belly breaths and just focusing on your breath. Or use your senses to focus on what’s in front of you and around you. And stay there for a minute or two. That might be all you need.

If you need something more, try asking yourself a question like the ones above to snap yourself into a better headspace.

The more your use things like these, the more your gain control over what you are focusing on. It might not work splendidly the first time. You have to get used to it and your mind has to get used to it too. As inner resistance fades, as you become more skilled and as you gain more understanding of what you respond to the best it will be easier to keep your focus where you want it to be.

Journal.

Use a journal. Write down what you have been thinking. Where your mental dialogue has gone today. How much mental dialogue you have had and much time you have been in it. And how much time you have just been present and not focused on the past or future.

You might not remember everything you thought about. But this can give an idea of your overall tendencies, just like a food journal can keep things real and inform you about what you are actually eating in a day (rather than what you think you are eating).

Use a cone of silence.

As best you can, create a cone of silence around you as you work. That means unplugging stuff like your internet cable – this will make you focus and stop all that forum/email/Facebook stuff – and phone. Shut your door to decrease noise and interruptions. You can also unclutter your desk for example to create a cone that is even nicer and filled with less mental distractions. Yeah, you might not be able to do all those things where you work. But do the best you can.

Be careful. What you focus on – both in the long term and in your daily life – makes a world of difference.

Keeping your focus steady and on the right things can help you improve your effectiveness and lower your stress levels. But it’s also important on a large scale for all your todays and your overall life. And not just to help you make more money or getting in even better shape. For example, the Wayne Dyer quote at the start of this article is pretty accurate. Your focus is one of the most precious things you have.

If you like this article, please share it on Stumbleupon and Twitter. Thank you very much! =)



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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Darren Scott Monroe May 8, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Hey no surprise I tweet you all the time! Hey great article! The exercise part is probably my main achilles heel! LOL! also I agree about asking questions what a man think he becomes.

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 7:57 am

      Thanks for the kind words and for your tweets! And good luck with your Achilles heel. :)

  • Clinton Skakun May 8, 2009, 5:17 pm

    Great post. Lots of time is wasted by people who aren’t focused on long term goals.

    Will retweet:)

    Clinton

  • Laura May 8, 2009, 5:19 pm

    Thanks for this. It’s just what I needed today! :)

  • Roger - A Content Life May 8, 2009, 5:34 pm

    Great advice!

    I really like your “cone of silence”. I use daily meditation to create my ultimate “cone of silence”.

    Today, the sun is out for about the first time in 6 days, so I’m going to go focus on a walk right now!

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 7:59 am

      Yeah, meditation is a great way to create inner silence and clarity for your cone too.

  • Matthew May 8, 2009, 7:06 pm

    One thing I like to remember is that focus, and attention, is really all about loving. What you focus on with all your attention is what you bring love to. And this act of loving helps promote positive change.

    I like http://www.polarisrising.com/the-perception-of-love.html to remind me of this.

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 7:59 am

      Thats’ a really interesting point, thanks for sharing!

  • Positively Present May 8, 2009, 9:11 pm

    Wonderful, inspiring post! I don’t give nearly enough thought to where my focus is going on a daily basis and, you’re right, it IS precious. I need to be more conscious of this and I think you’ve provided some great tips for doing so. I really think journaling would work well for me and I’m looking forward to getting started. Thanks for sharing your insights. Also, thanks for the reminder that our thoughts create our reality. SO true!

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:00 am

      Yes, it’s really easy to the focus slip on a daily basis, it just sorta happens and then the day is gone…

  • Jeff Lee May 8, 2009, 10:20 pm

    Great post, Henrik.

    I think it’s very easy to let “life” take us over. Being mindful is the first step in taking an active stance in life and focusing on what is important.

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:02 am

      Very true, being mindful and conscious of what is happening and what you are doing is essential to control your focus hour by hour and day by day instead of slipping back into unconscious habits once again.

  • ssj May 8, 2009, 10:32 pm

    I found this to be a spectacular and real article. I think most people feel that you need to multitask to survive today’s age. But i’ve noticed that when i focus on a single thing at a time… i get more done, faster and i remember the process more.

    Thanks for this article :)

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:02 am

      I have noticed that too, the tricky part is to remember that each day. :)

  • Sun-shine May 9, 2009, 2:40 am

    I agree.
    I am already at it .
    It takes WORK. Most of all my mind fills up with pesky thoughts of petty lazy people at work annd the games they play . But slowly and surely I am – liberating myself.

    I listen to wayne dyer talks as I drive to work-I feel relaxed.
    Slowly and surely I am getting there

    Focus comes naturally to some-I admire those who shut themslves out from petty people and FOCUS

    ThreE cheers to all and happy ‘TRANS-FORMING’

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:04 am

      Sounds like you are improving then. Good choice on Dyer, he can be a very positive influence both for advice and daily moodboost.

  • Scott May 9, 2009, 11:19 am

    Thanks for the great article Henrik:)

    Being more focused is one aspect that I’ve been working on lately, whether that is in my studies, or my hobbies.

    It is true that you can create, this negative thought pattern in you mind that plays out this sort of fantsay reality. But I’ve learned from experience that this can become reality if you in that mindset too long.

    And I agree that a quiet mind is a creative mind.

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:06 am

      Thanks! Yes, that is very true, we often walk around in fantasy scenarios. That can become selfulfiling prophecies.

  • Cody Dream-Life-Coaching May 10, 2009, 1:56 pm

    Where the mind goes, energy flow. Focus is everything.

  • Vincent May 10, 2009, 6:30 pm

    Hi Henrik,

    We can waste lots of time on things that don’t matter. It is just like worrying about something that does not really matter. Being aware of our focus can help us to focus on things that really matters instead of things that don’t. Great article!

    Cheers,
    Vincent

  • Lisa May 11, 2009, 7:04 am

    Focusing on the ‘here and now’ makes life fuller, richer and ultimately more successful. As Cody said, energy flows where attention goes. We truly can create our own experience.
    Thanks for a good post.

  • Laurie | Express Yourself to Success May 11, 2009, 12:35 pm

    Good post, Henrik.

    Asking myself helpful questions gets me back on track. One that I’ve been asking myself lately when I see that my focus is shift is “Am I choosing to do this right now or am I doing it because I’m not focusing on what I really want to do?” When I realize that pretty much everything I do is a choice, I can usually refocus myself.

    • Henrik Edberg May 15, 2009, 8:08 am

      Good question, thanks for adding that one.

  • hamid May 20, 2009, 4:31 pm

    Happiness cannot come from without.
    It must come from within.
    It is not what we see and touch or that which
    Others do for us which makes us happy;
    It is that which we think and feel and do, first for
    The other fellow and then for ourselves.