Intentional Focus: Your Happiness, Your Success
By Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D.
What have you been focusing on lately? On how well life is going for you? Or on how much business you've been doing compared to last year, or how well your superiors have been rating you? Or on how much your partner loves you and how much you revel in the relationship you're having? Or on the excellent state of your bank account? On your ever-present good health and slim and trim physique? Or on the joy you experience each time you sit down to dinner with your teenage children? On the wonderful vacation you came back from recently and the even more exciting one you are planning for the near future? Or on the good way you feel about yourself and all the things you are creating and doing with your life?
What You Think is What You Are
I can just hear you spluttering, "What kind of romantic thinking is this? Where do these ideas come from? I don't know anybody who thinks like that."
True. Most people don't think like that. In fact, most people think the exact opposite of that. Most people concentrate on all the things that are going wrong with their lives. Most people spend much of their time thinking about their problems and wondering how they are going to solve them. Most people think about all the things that could go wrong with their lives or about the people or events that stand in the way of their success. Most people think and think and think about whatever it is that worries them, because they believe that that is the way to resolve the problem. The fact is that most people focus so much on what they are afraid of, or what bothers them, or what stresses them, or what they don't know how to solve, that they are giving all or most of their conscious and subconscious energy to a negative outcome - the problem.
What Kind of an Outcome Do You Want?
Consider this: the more you give your energy to one thing, the more that thing has a possibility of coming into being. If you concentrate on getting a university degree, you will most likely achieve that goal. If you concentrate on writing a book, you will again probably achieve that goal. But what happens if you continually tell yourself, while you are concentrating on getting the degree, that you are not intelligent enough to pass the exams, or that you simply are incapable of understanding the course material? And what happens, if you continually tell yourself while you are concentrating on writing the book, that you will never be able to write well, or that your story is not good enough? Obviously you are not only undermining yourself and sabotaging your desired outcomes, but you may also be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Focus and Intention
So what can you do? Let's assume you are convinced that you lack the intelligence to pass the exams. Or that you are convinced that you will never write well. You have a goal, and that goal is to get a degree or to write a book. In order to focus on that goal, your mission is to ensure that your thoughts are aligned with - or intentionally focused on - that goal. Therefore, whenever your thoughts stray from the goal into negative territory, you need to pull them back into the arena of positive results.
Goals and Fears
But focusing on a desired goal is very hard for a very simple reason: we are far too used to focusing on the fears surrounding the goal (I am so afraid I will never have a great relationship, rather than imagining in your mind's eye the great relationship in the way you want it to be; or how will I ever get that promotion rather than imagining in your mind's eye the way you will feel when you do get the hoped-for promotion).
How to Focus
So how do you focus? When you worry, and your mind goes around and around a problem, or some stress in your life, you are very focused on the problem. It is exactly at that moment that you need to re-focus and see your desired goal or outcome in your mind's eye, rather than all the problems you associate with it. The more time you spend on whatever it is you want to have in your life - whether this is a material goal, a professional goal, a relational goal, or whatever makes absolutely no difference - the more you will be in a position to achieve it, to attract it into your life. The more you think - and focus - on that goal in a positive way, the more likely it is that you will attain your desired outcome. This is the Law of Attraction.
Intentionally Re-focus on the Positive
Remember: the time you spend worrying about the desired outcome is time spent focusing on the opposite of what you want, so become very aware of all your thoughts and focus them in the right direction. Do this consistently each time you catch yourself thinking the negative version of your goals until intentionally re-focusing on the positive becomes second nature.
This habit is like strengthening a muscle - if you do it every day, it will happen more and more frequently, and soon you will find that not only do the majority of your thoughts and feelings focus on the positive direction of your goals, but that those positive goals become part of your reality.
As A Man Thinketh
Make time to read James Allen's classic As A Man Thinketh and begin to understand how your thoughts and your feelings contribute in immeasurable ways to the fulfillment of your goals and dreams. How they create the very fabric of your life. And how you - by taking charge of your thoughts and feelings, and by focusing with clear intention can make a very different life than the one you may currently have.