Where's Your Focus?
February 9, 2021
Where’s your focus? Whatever you focus on you move toward. That’s important because every day of our lives we are faced with a choice: We can look for what is good and right, or fix our eyes on that which is lacking and wrong.
When you see things that are deficient or wrong, you can complain, or you can always choose to perceive things differently. You have a choice. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right in your life. If you focus on all the things that could go wrong, then you will miss out on all the things that could go right.
The natural disposition of all of us as humans is to choose the negative and get sucked into all the drama surrounding us. The news is 24/7 and we can hear the bad news every moment if we choose. How often do we focus on what’s going right in the world? Not often. We seem to be wired the opposite direction. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can flip our natural tendency on its head. We can make a paradigm shift. We can choose to focus on what is going right.
When you consistently do this, you create a new habitual pattern for your brain that sees situations in life as opportunities instead of problems. You begin to find yourself filled with ideas and opportunities instead of feeling stuck in a situation.
Take a few minutes and think about where your focus is in all the areas of your life. Don’t be afraid to challenge your thinking. If you look at today as if it is not just another day, but a brand-new day filled with opportunities, you will find them. Of course you will have some obstacles from time to time, but you will begin to view them as new opportunities and possibilities.
You must wisely use your free will, your power of choosing. Free will means that we can make conscious decisions that are not determined by any past conditionings. This freedom is necessary if we are to become fully functional human beings. Free will gets its power from motivation to realize your own maximum potential and possibilities. This occurs when a person is able to take full advantage of their own skills and talents while aware appropriately of their limitations.
Free will is the ability to do wholeheartedly what you must. Know that you do have a choice and know that your response triggers the environment. When somebody asks you “what’s wrong?” it automatically invites you to deliver a list of complaints or to explain why you are not okay in that moment.
Great teammates and leaders know that the quality of our life, and our leadership, is determined by the quality of the questions we ask. So, we can help ourselves and others by choosing questions that encourage the right kind of focus. One of the most common ways we help the focus go in a wrong direction is asking the question, “What’s wrong?” When a teammate is having a tough day, or is noticeably troubled, it is helpful to have tools that can assist them in sharing and overcoming the feelings and challenges that they may be dealing with and focus in a helpful direction.
There are two powerful questions that can help us direct thoughts toward the right focus:
QUESTION ONE: “What happened?”
There is a massive difference between asking “what’s wrong?” and “what happened?” “What’s wrong” assumes a bad situation and sets up the conversation for negativity. It also puts the person being questioned in a defensive posture, or in the role of a victim.
If instead you ask, “what happened?”, the person has an opportunity to tell a story that you can relate to. Then you can help them reframe the experience as an opportunity instead of a negative and destructive circumstance.
We all experience challenges. If we discipline our focus and refuse to label them as bad or good or right and wrong, we are able to see possibilities that otherwise might have been lost.
QUESTION TWO: “What’s right with you?”
There is ALSO a HUGE difference between asking “what’s wrong?” and “what’s right with you?” We might as well own it—some of us tend to focus on the negative. This question is a terrific opportunity to shock both of you into a very helpful consideration of what is going right in their life or in their circumstances.
Wayne Dyer said, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at begin to change.” This is so true. Our perception of the world at large, our perception of our current situation—these are always determined by the focus and filter we have. If you focus on the bad, you will find plenty of it. If you focus on the good, you will begin to train yourself and your team to intentionally focus on what’s right and good, and you will see your world become a better place.