To Live A Better Life, Focus On Better Things
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Have you ever heard a news report about someone driving along a desolate, deserted road but somehow ending up crashing into the only tree or telephone pole in sight? How do they manage that? We notice these things when we really start to pay attention in life. I mean put in the effort to become truly aware of your surroundings and day-to-day activities. You move toward what you focus on – just like driving or racing a car, you need to focus on where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. Your mind will steer you in the direction of your goals.
How many times do we all have something bad happen to us, and we focus on it like crazy? As the old saying goes “when one door closes, another opens – but we stare so long at the closed door we don’t see the new one open.” How true though. We’re all guilty of it, even though we often realize it’s self-sabotage.
If everyone reading this was aware of how powerful his or her thoughts and focus are, I’m confident you’d never have another negative thought again. Your mind will steer you where you need to go – the challenge is having the constant fortitude to avoid and not get stuck on negative thoughts or situations. Positivity and passion are the fuel of progress and you always need to keep your tank full.
There is too much negative we all come in contact with on a daily basis. People are miserable and it’s socially acceptable. If you’re happy for no reason, it’s “weird.” The news is all negative. When was the last time something truly positive and inspiring was reported?
We need to find a balance. While we need to be informed and educated in what’s going on in the world if we can ever hope to change it, we also need to be always be feeding our mind with positive fuel if we expect to get positive out of it.
Am I saying it’s easy or that I have mastered this task? Absolutely not. I am just as susceptible to depressing days or letting my mind run away from me as the next person – maybe even more so. But I do my best to always remember that every single situation every day, no matter how big or small, provides me with a choice to create my own quality of life.
There is a scene in a movie called “About Time” which I highly recommend. In the movie, a man has the ability to go back in time (it sounds cheesy, but trust me it’s not), and takes a life lesson from his father who encourages him to live every day as he normally would, but then go back to the start of it and focus on all of the small pleasures in life that he missed the first time around.
On his second trip through the day, he finds himself noticing the beautiful architecture of the room he rushed through before. He is nodding along to the music being played far too loud by the man on the train – which was an annoyance before. He is stopping, smiling, and quite literally smelling the roses.
The movie is inspirational, but it also prompts reflection. Reflection on the fact that unlike this character, we cannot travel back in time and do the day over. We get one chance. One shot. One time around. Every single day.
The quality of our thoughts really do govern the quality of our lives. Are we going to focus on how far we have come, or how far we have to go? Our failures, or our successes? What we wish we had, or what we already do have?
What could have been, or what already is?
Happiness is a choice, but it’s not just a choice we can make one time and expect it to last. We have to choose happiness all the time, every day. You can either (choose to) view this as a burden or as an opportunity. I believe we can easily recognize who makes what choice just by quickly looking around.
This is certainly not an article about accepting how things are and not chasing after your goals. That, of course, takes a relative level of discontent. The willingness to want and obtain more. To be more, to do more, to contribute more. There is no progress in comfort, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t earn some opportunities to simply enjoy the journey along the way. After all, isn’t that all we really have? The journey.
I know a man who always talks about the importance of “the dash.” The dash, the small etched line on a stone that will eventually represent all of us, forever. That small dash between two numbers, two years. But it’s not really just a dash, is it? It’s a life. It’s a series of accomplishments. It’s tears, and laughter, and love. It’s a family. A legacy. A chance to make it so much more than that.
What that dash really means is up to you, that’s one of the great things about it. The other great thing about it is that you’ve never quite missed your chance to make it what you want. You get to decide every second of every day. What will you choose?
Learn to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want. – Jim Rohn
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