Wisdom//

Shifting Focus—Move Your Lens

We create our own reality.

Courtesy of Jack Gisel/Unsplash

“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.”

—Anthony Robbins

Why do some people have such a great outlook on life, while others seem to be surrounded by so much misery? Why are there some who succeed at a much greater level than others and are fulfilled? Why do those few find inspiration everywhere and are always motivated, yet others find it difficult to come up with any ideas? The answer to these questions lies in the understanding of how life actually works. People say to me, “I know how life works; you wake up, go to work, and come home. It’s the same thing every day.” My reply is, “No, that’s how your life works.” The truth is, the more we think about the same thing, the more we repeat the same feelings and hence the same actions. Most people believe that things must change on the outside to affect their inner self. They believe that they must have a sense of achievement in order to feel great about themselves. If you have met anyone who is really successful, rich in all areas of life, you will notice they don’t attempt to live life backward. They live it the way it was intended, which is to feel great first, which causes them to act great, which results in achieving great things. The only way to make yourself feel great first is to be intelligent in the way you command your focus.

FOCUS AND FIND

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

—Alexander Graham Bell

All of our emotions arise from where our focus is being directed. Once we shift our lens over to something else, it’s going to pick up detail that once went unnoticed. It’s like getting a spotlight and moving it from one area to another. Once that is successfully completed, the areas of our life that once contributed to its destruction will be left in the dark. On the other hand, if we do not shift that light, these experiences and situations will keep happening, and the world as you know it will stay in check. We revolve many situations around this sense of reality, attach irrelevant things to it, and create scenarios that seem worse than they are; all to satisfy the stories we play in our mind.

Let’s take someone who is paranoid. They repeatedly focus their energy on someone doing wrong by them, being unfaithful, or trying to rip them off. They have focused on that idea so hard, they believe that everyone they meet is the same. Did it ever occur to them that the reason they feel that way is because they have trained their mind to believe that is the case? Could their intentions cause a situation to actually turn out in a particular way? Or is it that they are expecting it, so they will relate anything back to that scenario? Is everyone really trying to take advantage of them, or is it just a reflection of how they are feeling internally, which causes them to perceive it that way?

I vividly remember how excited I was when I bought my first car. The last thing I thought about was that this car might have any problems. I was rapt. In my eyes it was perfect—until it started breaking down and overheating. My perception totally changed from this car being perfect to me being doomed with cars. By the time I bought my second car, I believed I would never have a reliable car. Even though the problem might have been something as simple as the window not working, I would blame it on being doomed with cars and would just wait for the next thing to go wrong. I would freak out about any unfamiliar noise, forgetting that it was a metal box and they make noises. I would tell people about my curse and stress about it every time I jumped in the car. As I would start the engine, it was as if I expected something to just blow up. It was driving me mad and took up far too much of my energy.

This paranoia of my car breaking down continued until I got in my friend’s car one day and his window stopped working. I smirked, shook my head, and said, “We must be doomed with cars.”

I expected him to go along with the victimization, but he turned to me and said, “Relax, it’s just a window.” Was it that I was doomed with cars, or was it that I personalized the innate uncertainty of life to play the victim and feel worse?

Thinking about it, I realized there are people dying of starvation in the world, and yet here I am complaining about a window not going up. Further to that, it seemed okay to spend $400 on alcohol every week, but I would whine over having to spend $100 on fixing a window that would allow me to breathe. I guess it’s easier to blame external things than to take responsibility. My belief that I was doomed with cars diminished and I realized it was just a car. This might sound like a simple scenario, but when I tell people the story, I realize I’m not alone. How often do you focus on something so hard that it begins to consume your life? How many times does something then happen, and you realize you actually had nothing to worry about in the first place? Or you eventually get over it and it has no power in your life? That surely creates different emotions.

We create our own reality, and when it has its hiccups, we think it’s not living up to the high standards we have set and we start to doubt. We then shift our focus and believe that is the best life has to offer. Very far from the truth, but when we are moving our focus away from things that aren’t working, we have to find something positive to focus on instead.

Excerpted from WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T? YOU DO Copyright © 2018 by Daniel Chidiac. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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