Monday, January 4, 2010

What are you FOCUSING on?

Hi all,

My apologies for a late post this week. Between a pulled muscle in my back and one of the longest colds in recent memory, my FOCUS was not where it needed to be. Although the muscle is still a pain (literally!), the cold is winding down and it's time to get my focus back to where I want it - a positive look at the new year ahead.

It's so easy to get sidetracked from what we should focus on, isn't it? I try to be a very positive person, so I refuse to focus on the news, violence on TV, etc. Yet everyday happenings such as colds, pulled muscles, car repairs, sick loved ones, cranky co-workers, etc., can take our focus off the joy I mentioned in the last couple of blogs. That's natural and we certainly don't need to beat ourselves up over it. I've never known anyone who added joy by beating themselves up for not focusing on it! What we should do, though, is be aware of how long our focus is distracted or distorted.

For fun (and because I love words!), I looked up "focus" - "a center of activity, attraction, or attention." I'm not a big believer in "attracting whatever I think about" when it comes to tangibles like cash (I wish!), a new car, etc. I am convinced, though, that making the negatives in our lives "a center of activity, attraction, or attention" produces more negatives. If I'm in a bad mood and choose to share that with others, guess what happens? All of a sudden, they are in a bad mood too and now I've multiplied the negativity and REALLY made it hard to get my focus (and theirs) back on a positive note.

I even go so far as to suggest to participants in my "Returning Balance" classes that they should hang around with "YouBet" people instead of "YeahBut" people (can't remember where I heard that years ago, but isn't it a jewel??). You know what I mean - you say, "Isn't the weather beautiful?" and they say, "Yeah, but we need rain." You say, "We really need this rain." and they say, "Yeah, but it's been raining too much." Pretty soon, every thought is followed by "yeah, but" instead of "you bet!"

I don't want to discount the fact that some of us have BIG issues that cause us to lose focus - I have certainly been there/done that, especially over the past 5 years, and have the tee shirts to prove it. I just want to encourage you to take a moment and "reset" your focus now and then. Have a great cup of coffee (Keurig coffeemakers are the greatest!). Watch the snow softly fall (and try not to think about the cold that goes with it!). Read a few pages in a book that brings you pleasure. Have one exquisitely delicious piece of chocolate - and enjoy every moment. Pet the cat (if you can!) or hug the dog (or your significant other - or your child - or a friend - or someone who just needs a hug!).

So here's my question for you this week: What do you find yourself focusing on? Do you focus on what brings you joy or do you focus on all the little things that can so easily keep us in a negative mindset? Are you a "yeah, but" person or a "you bet!" person??

In other words, take time today and every single day to focus on what brings you joy...


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