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Determined and (then) Focused

Flip It! The order does matter!

That cliché of staying “Focused and Determined” just wasn’t jiving for me. I was not too sure why, but for months now, I don’t feel driven to stay “Focused and Determined.” What exactly was I supposed to be focused on? I felt stuck and like I didn’t have a clear path. In conversation with a loved one, he said to me, “It will come when it is time.” I realized, I had to Flip It! I said to myself aloud “Determined and then Focused,” and the light switch came on.

Accept the things I cannot change, but changing the things that are unacceptable.”

I realized right then; I had to be determined FIRST to make a move or change. The determination is accepting the things you cannot change, but the desire to change the things that are unacceptable. In my mind, these were items like confusion; second-guessing myself, frustration, unhappiness, complacency…did I say confusion and frustration? As soon as I flipped it, I felt the fire, the burn that no matter the challenges or opposition you face, the fire, that determination still flickered and could not be put out.

So now, to stay focused on this determination made perfect sense. Staying focused on the reason for such determination. Focusing on changing the items that were unacceptable in my personal life and my work life was made very clear once I flipped it.

Sometimes you have to look at things differently to truly understand the meaning. Flipping a cliché statement lit a fire in my belly. It helped me know that I had to have my determination before I could have my focus. Many times, we tell individuals (even children) “to focus.” But what is their determination? Do they have the fire burning? If so, the focus is going to be the wood, the lighter fluid that will keep that fire or determination burning.

I have to admit, there are moments when there is no fire. At times, you have to step out of the race, find your lane and be Determined and then Focused to win. I took the cliché and flipped it to help me to understand how to proceed, how I could change that which is unacceptable and continue to have that fire burning in my belly. I took a little cliché, something that has become overly familiar or common in our society—it is used every day I bet—looked at it a bit differently, and made it my own, giving me a renewed sense of purpose.

“She silently stepped out of the race that she never wanted to be in, found her lane & proceeded to win.”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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