“What you focus on determines how you feel.”
~ Anthony Robbins
Yesterday, I was listening to an Anthony Robbins audio CD program on the “Power of Focus”, when one particular exercise really caught my attention. I was instructed to very quickly notice everything around me that was brown. So my eyes rapidly scanned the room, taking in everything I could see in that color, as fast as I possibly could. I noticed a painted brown beam, a brown wooden door, my brown purse, my brown eyeglass frames. Almost before I could blink, I was then told to close my eyes. Anthony Robbins’s voice then asked if I could recall everything in the room that was green. Ha! “Gotcha”, he said. “You thought I was going to ask you to name everything that was brown!” Green, I thought? I hadn’t noticed anything green, blue, red or white for that matter; which were the other colors I was also asked to bring to mind. I was so focused on looking for brown, that I overlooked almost everything else. And that was entirely the point of the exercise.
Whatever we focus on becomes our reality.
Now it isn’t like I hadn’t heard this before, yet I really got it yesterday. A lot of great things went unnoticed: like the beautiful red tulips in the white ceramic vase, with the leafy green stems, or the vibrant shade of blue in the framed print on the wall, and much more.
The point Anthony Robbins was making was that the brown items could have just as easily been our problems, worries or fears. When we focus exclusively on them, we miss out on a lot of other great stuff. We could instead choose to focus on what we’re grateful for, such as good health, or a wonderful family and friends. Refocusing our attention on what’s good, what’s working in our lives is really easy to do. I realized that yesterday. Yet it requires a conscious shift of our focus. It’s a choice!
This month’s practice:
Notice where you predominantly tend to put your focus. Does your mind gravitate more towards what’s great and what’s working in your life – or do you find that you often fret about things? When you find yourself worrying about something, see if you can consciously choose – even just momentarily – to stop and pause for a moment and reflect on what you’re doing. Name it. “Ah, look at this! I’m worrying again.” No judgment. Just notice.
Then see instead if you can bring to mind something that you’re grateful for, something that makes you happy. Maybe you can recall a time you enjoyed a laugh with someone, a beautiful smile on your child’s face, or a sunset. Then notice if there is a shift – even a slight one – in how you feel. This action alone should be enough to break the link between your negative thinking and your emotions. With practice it gets easier. And you may soon find that the reality you’re creating is far more pleasant than the one you’ve been used to!
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