Whatever you do in life, whether you are shopping, at a party or exercising – your whole experience of the situation is based on what you are focusing on.
The interesting thing about this is, there are so many things that we could give our focus to at any one time. To elaborate, you are probably not focusing on how your feet feel on the surface they’re touching right now or the way your eyes feel as you blink. There are so many things beyond comprehension that you could be focusing on at this present moment that having nothing to do with looking at your screen and reading these words. What new sounds are you aware of as you sit there and focus on what you can hear right now? …Interesting isn’t it?
This is true of every situation. Let’s use a friend’s house warming Party as an example. Once again there are hundreds, if not thousands of things that you could focus on. You could focus on the fact that your ex is there, the fact that they don’t have any of your favourite drink and there aren’t many people there. Do this and you are guaranteed to have an evening of negative feelings and boredom.
If you started to focus on how many interesting people that were there to talk to, how much fun you could have by being there, how much you deserve to enjoy yourself and party because you have worked so hard for the last month; you’re going to have a truly positive, fulfilling evening!
If you start thinking that the people there are gossips and they will be abrupt and have no interest in talking to you, the chances are they will be just that. You will prove yourself right and you will be surprised at how ‘short’ people are being with you. You will begin to presume that people are talking about you as you stand there having a bad time. Turning your focus in this direction will only mean one thing. An awful experience! Look hard enough and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
The phenomenon that has changed my life is: what we focus on is OUR CHOICE.
There is only ever one way that you can have a bad time at party or at a bar, a restaurant or anywhere and that is focusing all of the things that are negative (in your opinion). What you are doing by living in this way is actually removing your ability to notice all of the great and positive things that are going on.
The reverse is true if you have an amazing time. You are not putting yourself in a position to notice any of the bad stuff when you have an unwavering focus on the positive stuff because all of the potentially negative things are effectively being ‘deleted’.
Unfortunately, as I type these words (and indeed as you read them) there are thousands of terrible things going on all over the planet. People are being murdered, mugged and lied to. People are seriously ill, people are living in poverty and people are dying tragically. Just turn on your News Channels and you will see most, if not all of these things being reported on in a 24 Hour Period. As I was writing the previous words I noticed my state start to drop, and you did too. Why? Because we began to have images of all of the negative things going on in the world on the screen of our minds.
The amazing thing is; there are thousands of fantastic things happening in the world right now. There are people doing amazing charity work, caring for children, making people laugh, achieving goals, starting businesses and even winning lotteries! There are people miraculously recovering from illnesses and there are people conquering difficult challenges. You feel better now right?
It is easy to see that the quality of every one of our experiences is controlled by what we focus on. And this really is OUR CHOICE! So choose to leave any experience feeling wonderful about yourself and great about the fact you had an incredible time.
This is one of those situations where people say to me “Yea, that’s easy for you Jermaine, you’re so positive”. Now this may be true and it can also be true for you by doing exactly what I did. I had to re-condition myself to focus on the good things and make them even better in my mind. I had to train myself to find the good in any situation. It may take practice but it is certainly worth it.
The way that I did this originally was through using ‘Empowering Questions’ as advised by one of my inspirations, Anthony Robbins. Ask your brain a question, it is like Google; it has to find an answer. Imagine you asked and answered these questions during every challenging experience.
- What’s the best thing about this situation?
- How can I learn from this to make my life better?
- How can I use this situation to feel better about myself?
- What is the funniest thing about this?
You can use the questions that I use and you can use any others that create positive empowering response. As you become better at this you will find yourself ‘happier’ more often, you will achieve your goals faster and you will inspire other people with your attitude.
You may not be able to control what is going on in the outside world but you can be certain that you can control your response…