With the recent federal election and current events like the Syrian refugee crisis, the economic climate, and the terrorist attacks in Paris, I have become even more aware than usual of people’s propensity to focus on all the things they don’t want. They don’t want certain political leaders; they don’t want to lose their job; they don’t want to allow refugees into the country…the list goes on. What many people don’t realize, or seem to forget during periods of stress, is that whatever you focus on is exactly what you’re likely to get. Prefacing the subject matter with words like “no”, “don’t” or “anti-” doesn’t change the fact that your focus is still on the things you’re afraid of or opposed to, and therefore, likely to generate more of those things. The wiser and more productive approach is to focus on what you do want.
Anything you focus on adds energy to that thing. Focusing on something causes it to grow in your mind and in the public consciousness, making it seem more prevalent. You are more likely to notice information that supports the things you focus on, and less likely to notice any counterbalancing information. Adding energy to something produces more of it and takes resources – time, money, physical and mental energy – away from creating other things. Whether positive or negative, what you focus on builds upon itself and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.
With that in mind, why not shift your attention to what you want? It’s easy to do. Underlying everything you don’t want and are afraid of is something that you seek and want to protect. For example, one of the things underlying your opposition to accepting refugees may be a concern about security (both physical and economic). So rather than spending your energy protesting refugees, refocus your attention to the ways that your security is protected and can be enhanced. If you’re afraid of getting cancer, focus on promoting health rather than preventing cancer; if you’re afraid of layoffs, focus on being a valuable employee and how you are an asset to your own or any other organization; if you’re afraid of debt, focus on building wealth and the ways that you can create efficiencies in your finances. Be proactive in the direction of the things you want rather than preventative in the direction of the things you don’t want.
Focus is a powerful force and you’re using it every day whether you’re aware of it or not. Be careful how you wield it.