If you don’t know how to focus your mind, you can never live the life that you want. You will be unable to achieve anything of real value and you will be always plagued by the self sabotaging thoughts and voices in your head that are an essential part of normal everyday life. How you focus your mind, the way you control your mind is the key to getting all the abundant things that can flow freely in your life. You’ve just got to let them flow. So, you’ve got to develop your ability to focus your mind, for becoming an expert ‘focuser’ is the ultimate self improvement.
Focus simply means paying attention. Some people will tell you that you must focus on your goals – but your goals will only be achieved in the long run if you learn how to direct your energy in the present. Focus is a now thing. How you do what you’re doing in this moment doesn’t just influence if you’ll achieve your goals, it determines the very course of your life. I’m not exaggerating – because if you don’t focus your mind on what you’re actually supposed to be doing right now, not only will you not do it to the best of your ability, more importantly, your mind, and it’s just the way it works, will focus on stuff that not only is completely irrelevant to the here and now but stuff that constantly constrains you from being all that you can be.
You must understand that the normal default state of mind focuses on what psychology calls our ‘stored knowledge’. This so-called knowledge constantly informs our minds in relation to what’s taking place in the world and how we should accordingly behave. The only problem is that all of our most important stored knowledge was learned during our formative years – some of the most important stuff was learned before the age of three! So, if my dream is to rise to the top of some multi-national, or launch my super-duper software to an eagerly waiting world, or to settle down in my villa in the Caribbean, what has what I learned when I was three years old got to do with the adult me?
Not only is it irrelevant, it is negative. Think about it, all our feelings of inadequacy bubble up from our stored knowledge. So, you must deliberately stop your mind focusing on that out-of-date stored knowledge – and the only real alternative is to focus on the real world – the here and now. It’s not just the only time and place where we all actually live, paying attention to now makes everything simpler and makes you better at whatever it is your currently supposed to be doing. But such focus does not come naturally – so you’re going to have to cultivate it. And as the word, cultivate, suggests, this is something that you must do constantly and consistently.
And your best starting point is right at the start of each morning – the old Irish proverb that a good start is half the work is oh so close to the truth. If you don’t turn your mind on from the get go each morning, you’ll be on that slippery slope that’s just too easy to slither down. Why? Quite simply because you’ve become accustomed to it, that’s how you’ve been sleepwalking throughout.
So, starting right now, take five or ten minutes to turn off the constant noise in your head. Sit down, somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, shut your eyes and experience your own breath. Feel how it is to be sitting in the chair. Hear what it’s like to really and truly hear all the background noises that your normal mind ignores. Take a few minutes out a couple of times during your daily routine as well to do much the same thing. You could sit on a park bench and see what it’s really like to simply look at what’s actually happening, you could hear the birds, smell the roses.
The secret to your happiness lies in your ability to focus – not on the future, not on your ambitious plans and dreams, but on the only place and time that’s real.