Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.
We made it!
For me, #2016 has definitely been a year wrought with distractions, discomfort, and at times — even disillusion. Clearly, I’m not alone, people worldwide are reflecting on the past year solemnly.
(The scene with the exploding cell phone roused some side-straining laughter the first time I saw it)
All jokes aside, with such a strange year now behind us, it is important that we take preemptive steps to make sure 2017 is our most productive year yet. As Canfield stated, we are only slowed down by dwelling on the negative aspects of past events.
This morning I’d like to dissect Canfield’s quote, and another by Mark Cuban. As a transient, easily distractable, full-time entrepreneur, finding focus is a task that I must prioritize above most others. In that, my perspective offers unique insight into reshaping your life to best accommodate your dire need to stay focused this year.
Maintain a Postive Focus In Life
Everyone has thoughts. These thoughts are generally packaged as either negative or positive. Occasionally, I’ll hear people say things like:
- “I’ve never had a negative thought, ever!”
- “I avoid any and all negativity.”
- “I stopped having negative thoughts years ago.”
Unfortunately, these people are usually full of shit —
Or Shaolin monks.
My money is on the former.
Rather than disillusioning themselves that negative thoughts can just be blocked out permanently, individuals who maintain a positive focus recognize the inherent reality of negative and positive thoughts. Everyone has them. I definitely do.
Positive focus entails maintaining focus primarily on the positive points, leaving the negativity behind them after acknowledging and accepting it.
Learning this lesson has been a lifelong effort for me.Having grown up as a constantly frustrated and underachieving smart-ass, negativity and I have built quite the long-running history.
As I’ve shifted my focus more towards positivity, I find myself complaining less often, appreciating life more, and actively seeking out the things that will bring positivity into my life.
Learn To Ignore Distractions
For me, the worst part of getting distracted is the sudden realization that you’ve wasted 30-minutes scrolling down a newsfeed that contains all of the same memes you saw an hour ago, the last time you spent 30-minutes scrolling down your news feed. (If you struggle with this, here is an application I recently downloaded that lets you block out websites that you find yourself wasting the most time on.)
Distractions can come in the form of unplanned family visits, overextended schedules, and trying to address the needs of other people. To get the results you want from your life this year, it is important to put down these distractions and stay focused on your goals.
Don’t Look Back
Leaving negative events in the past is the best way to maintain your focus. I had this lesson painfully drilled into my mind in 2016. I wasted countless hours worrying about past mistakes within my businesses, relationships, and overall life.
I got caught up in rumination, rationalizing it by assuring myself that I was actually being introspective.
Rumination can be compared to sitting down and listening to a broken record. Though there will be short periods where good music peeks through, most of your time will be spent listening to the scratchy and dissatisfying sounds of a broken record. With the potential to ensnare you in a loop of your own negative thoughts, rumination can be a dangerous habit to pick up.
The best ways to avoid it?
Keep your overall attention on your vision and —
Learn How to Really Focus on Being Focused
This is where I’d like to tie in my trump card. This awesome Mark Cuban quote:
What I’ve learned in these 11 years is you just got to stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.
I like this quote for several reasons. It implies that the key to staying focused is simply having confidence in your ability to elevate your goals above the constant distractions and detractors that life will throw at you. Focus isn’t natural, in that it is a function that must be actively maintained by the mind. If you lose it, you might not get it back immediately.
So keep educating yourself on how-to stay focused, it will keep #2017 from taking you by surprise.
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Categories: How-to Reinvent Yourself