We had a fabulous dinner party last weekend where lively conversations and interesting perceptions were shared about relationships, friendships and new experiences. At the end of the wine, there was some agreement that the biggest obstacle facing most people who find themselves with a bit of bleak outlook is that they’re inviting in that perspective. They’re looking for reasons not to enjoy an experience (or certain individuals) rather than keeping their eyes open for magical moments and positive surprises.
People worry about whether they’ll be accepted or judged harshly rather than imagining that they’ll be warmly received and appreciated for their positivity and playful energy.
From Blue Monday highlights to Sears Canada closing to more U.S. President Donald Trump discussions, it’s obvious that there are plenty of conversations and situations to be discouraged about.
However, there are likely just as many fabulous moments in your life right now that we simply forget to draw our attention to.
Humans are goal-oriented; our neurology and physiology move towards the ideas (pictures, sounds, feelings) we hold in our minds. So it’s important to be selective about these ideas – you get more of whatever you focus on!
Yes, that means if you’re focused on all the turmoil in the world, you unwittingly might be inviting more turmoil into your life. Your thoughts are on a quest to bring about that which you’re spending the most time thinking about. It’s a bit like Aladdin’s genie in the lamp: “Your wish is my command,”
Don’t believe me? Look at the results showing up in your life. On some level, these reflect where you’ve been putting your attention and energy. Intentionally or otherwise.
Make a quick list of the results showing up in your life. If you’re experiencing material wealth, well done! You’ve created that by focusing on the abundance all around you.
If you’re deep in the hole, congratulations! You’ve managed to create that result by focusing on scarcity (or on spending your way into happiness). That’s how powerful your mind is.
Peek at that list again – you might find things on it that you’re happy about but don’t feel like you consciously created. Like great friends or an amazing relationship. Maybe your health is particularly good or you experience a deep sense of peace a lot of the time. Whether you’re aware of it, these are all a result of what you’ve been focusing on.
So now what?
Accept that your results reflect your reality. Your reality is the way it is but not necessarily the way it will be. Once you accept things how they are, it’s much easier to change them to how you’d like them to be.
If you’re single and want to be in a relationship, then that’s how you want it to be. If you’re in the red and you want to be in the black, that’s how you want it to be.
Pay attention to your thoughts. When you catch yourself focusing on what you don’t want or don’t have, stop and focus on what you do have in that area. Gratitude increases the flow of good stuff into you.
If you want to increase your wealth or financial stability, every time you catch yourself worrying about bills, shift your focus to the dollars you do have (no matter how few).
If you want a relationship, every time you find yourself moping about how you’re not in one, stop and think about the relationships you do have (or have had). Visualize yourself in the type of relationship that will bring you the greatest joy – what activities you’ll do together, etc. This primes the brain to start searching for just that sort of individual.
Sometimes the biggest upgrade you need to help you see what’s possible in life is to be ruthless about shifting what you’re focusing on most!
May 2018 be a year you become more disciplined about projecting what you want out rather than what you don’t want.
Troy Media Columnist Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.