Changing Focus

In the most practical sense, what we focus on becomes our life. For instance, if we focus on our failings, we’ll be a failure to ourselves despite any success we achieve. If we focus on our pain, we’ll experience nonstop hurt. If we focus on the feelings of loneliness, we’ll feel alone. If we focus on what annoys us, we’ll fill with anger. If we focus on what scares us, we’ll be perpetually anxious. If we focus on everything we don’t like, we’ll dislike life.

Yet we so often say: I’m not purposefully focusing on the negative aspects of life, that’s just what’s in front of my face — horrible happenings keep grabbing and holding tight to my attention. But really, we’ve just developed a bad habit of focusing on negativity — this is often termed “pessimism”. Life doesn’t magically get better at some mysterious point. Life gets better the second our focus is on something that elicits delight. And it is most certainly within our power to alter our focus.

Like any habit, our focus will drift back to the negative, but it’s our job to catch it and redirect toward something that delights. Once engaged in this continuous game of catch, we win. Practice pays off when we’ve taken the reins, directing our mind to wherever we want. From now on we purposely steer toward what’s pleasing. With our focus on the goodness of life, life becomes a constant source of enjoyment.

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