What we focus on grows. So we need to notice what we’re focusing on. That way, we can decide if we’re growing what we want and need. And if we are not, we can change our focus and redirect our life. Sound simple? Well it actually really is.
The following 5 steps can help you change your direction and transform your life:
Step 1: Take notice of your focus
A great way to notice your focus is simply to keep track of your thoughts for a day. You may even want to write down any strong or recurring thoughts, or points of focus as they come up. The important thing with this exercise is to leave judgement aside, otherwise you risk changing your natural thought patterns and you will be unable to get a real picture of what’s going on. See if you are able to simply be an observer of your thoughts for a day or two.
Now look at your results. In all likelihood you will notice a correlation between your main focal themes, and where you are today. Your focus will not only determine where your life has taken you – it will also reflect where you are heading. You see, your focus drives and directs us like a motorised rudder through life.
Step 2: Look at what you want from life
Next, think about what you want out of your life, both in the near and distant future. What would you like to achieve? How would you like to interact with people? What kind of relationships would you like to have? What lifestyle do you aspire to? Where would you like to land up? What impact do you want to have in the world around you?
You don’t need specific answers to these questions. We are working with unconscious as well as conscious processes through this exercise, and often when we are too specific about an expected outcome we inadvertently block opportunity. So, responses like, “I want to make a difference to underprivileged people” is fine – allow the “how’s” to unfold as life presents you with opportunities.
Step 3: Compare your focus to your goals
Now go back to your focus in Step 1, and look at whether or not you feel it is taking you to Step 2. Try to step out of your own self judgement here, and see it objectively, perhaps you could imagine you were looking at your life as if you were watching a movie observing where the focus of the main character is taking them.
Step 4: Change your focus
Next, decide what parts of your focus are being of service, and which are presenting a disservice. Replace any aspects of your focus with something that will drive you where you’re going. So, for example, if a recurring thought is, “I don’t know if I’m good enough” you can be sure that’s going to stall you – so replace that thinking with something like, “I will keep trying different ways until I make it happen”.
Step 5: Watch your new pathway unfold day by day
Now put your new focus into practice, remembering that it takes 3 weeks to create a new pattern of thinking or behaviour. Each time you catch yourself going down that old disempowering train of thought, catch yourself and replace it with the new empowering thought.
It's important to remember not to engage in a “fight” with the old thinking – that simply gives it your focus, and thus empowers it. Instead just see old thinking or behaviour as an old habit you have decided to let go of. You can let old thoughts come, and then go, like a passing signpost along the side of the road that you choose not to read or engage with. And you can choose to replace time-wasting or destructive behaviour with doing something productive or inspiring.
Remember, life is a creative process of change, and we drive it.
Repeat these steps every day, and watch your life literally take off.
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