We Only See What We Focus On
Have you ever heard the expression, “what you focus on magnifies?”
It’s interesting that many people have an immediate resonance when they hear this statement, as if they intuitively know it to be true.
Certainly, this saying is one many innate truisms of life. But how does this work in reality?
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you have a headache starting to form, and you can’t stop thinking about it. Would you expect the headache to get better, or worse?
Likely, the headache is going to get worse at least partially due to the attention you are paying to it.
But the question is… would the headache have gotten that bad if you hadn’t been focusing so much on it? How much power does our focus have?
Our Attention is Our Power
Human beings can shape their reality with their attention.
But most of the time, as we go through our days, we may find ourselves wired to pay attention to things that are negative in nature.
It’s not entirely our fault - human beings have evolved over years to screen for dangers in our environment. As a result, we’re wired to sort out negative experiences so that we might better avoid them.
Our good old brain sees it as more valuable for us to take extreme note of where there could be a jaguar or a snake, instead of memorizing the location of a beautiful sunny meadow.
In the modern day, this translates into our negative response to situations like:
1. The line at the coffee shop that was too long
2. The boss or employee at work that made an inconsiderate remark
3. The perceived LACK of money in your bank account or cash flow
But how would our lives be if we inverted this, and began to see things in their equal opposite of positivity?
Our perception of these situations might change to...
1. How lucky we are to enjoy a morning cup of coffee
2. The constructive things that your boss or employee has provided recently
3. The ABUNDANCE of money that you have in your bank account
Adopting such a mental discipline causes your feelings towards these situations to change, and you can slowly watch as your day-to-day reality begins to change as well.
Paying Attention to our Weaknesses
Truly, one of the hardest things to pay attention to are our weak points as people.
There’s another saying in business, “The numbers you’re most afraid of are the ones that you need to see.”
We sometimes avoid paying attention to things that make us feel like failures, underachievers, shameful, or worse. For example, the fear of looking at your credit card balance after a long month of spending.
This tendency can be damaging when it comes to our own personal weaknesses. Because we strategically avoid paying attention to them, we miss out on key opportunities to make changes, and grow as people!
It’s helpful to remember that you are never weak when you look your weakness in the eyes and resolve to be better. Paying attention to our weak points and taking steps to be better each day gives us a chance to grow as people.
What should you focus on?
If your attention has this much value and impact upon your world (and believe me, it does), then what else is worth focusing on?
Likely, you’ve probably also seen the experiment that proves people cannot walk in a straight line without their eyes open. We need our eyes fixed on a given point in order to stay on course.
With this in mind, it would be advantageous to orient your attention upon your ideal destination.
Where do you want to go? With all of your limitations put to the side, where would you really like to be?
It’s common in thought exercises like these to be modest, “realistic.” I’d like to encourage you to stretch beyond your ordinary capacity for imagination and really envision where you’d like to be with your goals, whether personal or business.
The more energy that you can channel into this focus, the more clear that image will begin to appear in your mind.
Your attention feeds that image like sunlight to a plant, and it slowly blooms into something tangible that can be reached out and touched.
Focus on that Which Serves You
With the power of your focus, you can choose to shape your reality in any way that you please.
This is not limited just to yourself. The next time you encounter an individual that you usually find frustrating, try and focus on the aspects of them that have merit and value. It may surprise you to watch your perception of them begin to morph.
Entrepreneurs are known for having lofty goals and strong ambitions. But their attention is a vital resources that should not be spread too thin, or worse, allocated toward an attitude of failure.
Choose today to focus only on that which serves you, your family, your teammates, and the dream that you have for your life!