When I first started in the sport of cycling about 9 years ago, I was very nervous about hitting things I didn’t want to – trees, holes, rocks, drainage grates, or pillars depending on whether I was riding on the road or on a trail. The thing I noticed was that if I focused on the obstacle by looking down at it, more often than not I hit it. Of course, this convinced me even more that I needed to be ultra safe or I’d be doomed (much like the mother in A Christmas Story who is convinced Ralphie will “shoot his eye out” if he gets the BB Gun), I continued to concentrate even harder on the obstacle. You can guess what happened. I hit more rocks, holes, and tree roots while narrowly avoiding the really painful obstacles like poles, trees, and cars (thank goodness). It didn’t take me long to figure out both by trial and error and by reading bicycling magazines that you need to look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go. Alas, the moment I started looking ahead of the obstacle and envisioning a clear, clean line to ride past the obstacle, miraculously I breezed by without incident. As I got more experienced I not only could do this consistently, I could do it effortlessly without a death grip and body tension fueled by fear.
While you may not want to ever put your behind on a saddle and pedal along on two wheels, you probably do want to move through your life in a manner that makes it easier to move past the inevitable obstacles along the way. And, when you find yourself in an unwanted situation where you’re temporarily in a bowl of pits instead of a bowl full of cherries, you can use this skill to keep the faith and move up and out of the hole.
As you can see from the bicycling example, your energy flows to the very thing on which you are focused. As a result, you get more of that particular thing; in the case of riding the bike, you get impact with a physical obstacle and an unpleasant ride. Conversely, if you look where you want to go and focus your energies there, you give more power to the very thing you desire resulting in a more effortless and enjoyable ride.
How this concept translates to your life and business is very similar. If you stay focused on your vision and goals while taking action to move forward, you are far more likely to make them a reality. Even when you find yourself where you don’t want to be and feel like you’re stuck in a black hole, the ability to focus on where you want to go versus obsessing about being stuck in the hole can mean the difference between progress and a dead end.
Since so many of the thoughts we think each day are unconscious and our minds are filled with chatter, it can sometimes be elusive to determine where our focus really lies at any given moment. Considering the fact that our focus possesses so much power, it really pays to become aware of our thoughts and where our sights are set at any given moment.
Consider the following questions:
* What do I think about most often? What is the ongoing chatter and broken record that keeps playing in my head?
* What do I spend my time talking about when I interact with others? Am I talking about what’s not working or am I talking about what’s right in a situation?
* Am I where I want to be with my relationships, business, career, physical health, etc.? If not, am I focusing on the problem or working to reveal the source and explore solutions?
* Am I looking where I want to go or where I don’t want to go?