David Bishop

David Bishop

Change Your Focus; Change Your Life

Do you struggle? Are you tired? Are there things keeping you down?
I get it. There is a lot of negative stuff that keeps us from making our life an amazing adventure. A change in focus can change a lot.
Fancy Shmancy
Have you ever noticed fancy restaurants don’t have hamburgers? They might have “mouth-watering angus beef topped with artisanal cheese on a buttery ciabatta roll” but they don’t have “hamburgers”.
Expensive theme parks don’t focus on “rides” but on “experiences”. Airlines offer discounts and then offer pricey options for “comfort plus upgrades” and “diamond medallion status”.
Why? Because words matter. They make us feel things, believe things, hope things. They change our belief in ourselves and our abilities as well.
Words Matter
Yesterday as I was walking down the street a man was walking with his son who was trying to learn how to ride his bike. As we passed I saw the boy take his foot off the pedal and put it down on the ground. As he did, his dad became frustrated.
“Don’t put your foot down! Do you want to be on training wheels forever? You can’t put your foot down! Forget it. I’m just going to have to put your training wheels back on.”
Wow! Talk about a masterclass in destroying confidence.
The father didn’t tell his son anything he could have done, only what he couldn’t do. He didn’t encourage his success, but berated his failures and threatened him. The boy was obviously discouraged and didn’t seem motivated to learn.
I wonder why.
A Change in Focus
Focusing on the negative is … well, focusing. We only have so much attention to give. At any moment there are scores of things begging for our attention, yet only one or two get our focus.
Don’t think about a pink elephant. I am pretty sure I know what you are thinking about. It’s funny how the word “don’t” doesn’t change what we focus on. When we focus on the negative, that’s what we get: the negative. Instead be like the fancy restaurant or expensive theme park and focus on the positive.
You don’t struggle. You overcome challenges. You aren’t tired. You have the energy to go for at least another hour.
This can even be applied to things that seem good. For instance, don’t say you want to quit smoking. You will be focused on smoking each time you say it. Say instead, “I want every breath I take to be of fresh air.” You’re not “getting out of debt”. You are “becoming financially free”.
The way we talk to ourselves matters. Be excited about who you are and your potential. Use positive and encouraging language. It’s just a small change in focus, but it can make a huge change in your life.

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