Key to Success: Focus on what you want vs.what you don’t

Would you like the key to happiness and success?  It’s very simple really and can be summed up in one simple question:  Where’s your focus?  The focus of your attention determines all of your life’s experiences.  Whether you say you want certain things or not, wherever you put your focus, you place your attention and energy.  And because the Universe is so generous and wants you to have everything you desire, it will give you what you choose to put your energies into, consciously or subconsciously.

Now I said this is very simple, but it’s not so easy.  We are conditioned as human beings to be clearer about what we don’t want in life vs. what we do want.  Do you ever notice that?  For instance, all throughout my life into my early 30’s I said “I want to be married and have kids”.  However, what I was focusing on was all the ways that my relationships weren’t working.  When I was dating I was focusing on all the qualities that I absolutely did not want to have in a mate. Guess what I attracted?

Early on in my former professional dancing career, I consciously desired to be a success, but my focus was on all the ways I might fail, or that I may not be good enough.  I focused on my competition and how they might be better than me.  Placing my focus on what I didn’t want to happen had me putting all of my energies there.  Guess what I created in my life?  More and more of what I didn’t want!  The Universe doesn’t decipher between positive and negative, good and bad…it simply delivers.

Being that many of our desires and thought processes are subconscious, how do we know what thoughts are running us?  Simply look at what you have in your life.  Our results simply show us what our most intimate thoughts are.  It’s a definitive, clear picture. So if you don’t like what you have in your life, then change your focus.

Focusing on what is great in our lives is a learned process.  It’s so easy to focus on what’s not working.  It’s an entirely different practice to focus on what is working.  In relationships, this can be tough as human beings are complex creatures and we certainly aren’t perfect.  And our tendency is to focus on how the other person falls short of our expectations or how their actions have us feeling hurt, disappointed, or frustrated.  Choosing to focus on what’s great about them and realizing that people’s actions are not who they are, they are simply actions, right or wrong, is the key. 

For instance, my 4-year old can’t help doing things that are naughty.  But I know that HE is not naughty, he is brilliant and loving and wonderful.  His behavior may be naughty in that moment, and undesirable, but who he IS is still fabulous and wonderful.  Who do you need to view in that way?

Sometimes it’s easy to make the connection with our children, but much harder with our spouse, or our business partner, co-worker, employee, or boss.  With these relationships, we run the greatest risk of getting hurt, or losing something.  And so our tendency is to retreat and blame when we feel hurt, or to lash out.  Choosing to see that person’s actions as separate from who they are is an important step in having lasting relationships that work. 

Here’s a great way to put this into practice. Think about a person that you have a difficult relationship with. At the end of each day, journal 5-10 things about that person that you appreciate.  Try this for a week and see how it alters how that person shows up in your life.