My eldest son would literally eat anything you put in front of him from day one and the younger somehow survived childhood on cheese and chicken. When he finally decided he actually liked salads and lettuce and tomatoes on his burgers… we practically had a party.
Turns out I’m kind of picky too these days but not about what I eat (though I probably should be!) I have become very picky about what I give my attention to. Here’s what I notice: The things I focus on seem to multiply, expand, and grow… either in sheer numbers or in my awareness and experience. Likewise, the things to which I do not give my attention, I am blind to. This works both for and against me.
For example, I’m really enjoying coaching higher-level speaking, training, and communication skills in corporate environments and I’ve wanted to do more of that kind of work. I’ve thought about it, studied it, and spoken about it a great deal lately… and guess what? Yep, requests for this kind of work are showing every week in my business where they did not just a year ago.
But here’s where the phenomenon does not work in my favor. I want to lose some weight before I slide into my wedding dress at the end of May and take gobs of pictures to look back at and hand down for all eternity. Yikes. I recently realized that all my attention has been on how unhappy and frustrated I am with my weight gain as well as my seeming inability to be consistent with my exercise and healthy eating habits. And guess what? Yep, it just seems to get harder and harder, week after week.
I know the answer already and it lies not in focusing on what I don’t want and don’t like (because I’ll just notice, reinforce, and get more of the same) but in focusing on what I DO want and what I do enjoy. Such as how much I enjoy certain types of exercise over others, how fantastic it feels to zip up those jeans, and how good I feel when I’m in the rhythm of a healthy lifestyle. What happens is a higher awareness of opportunities to workout, an inclination to take advantage of them and a renewed energy and enjoyment of making good and healthy choices.
Another example for me is when I forget to put my attention to all that is good and right and working in my life. By not turning my attention to those things, I become blind to them. It can quickly seem that the world, and my world, is filled with problems, dead ends, and inept, rude, and damaged people. It can feel at the end of the day that life is unfair and unkind. From a big picture view and a perspective of gratitude, my life is anything but that. But it’s easy to become blind to the richness of my life, if my focus is off. Professional speaker, Kevin Elco, calls this “Inattentional Blindness.” I love that term.
So, this week… get picky. Picky about what you focus on as well as what you are not focusing on, and are therefore blind to. What you focus on and think about, grows … and what you are blind to, shrinks. Be appropriately selfish and become super picky about where you place your attention … and watch the scales start to tip in your favor.
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that prayer would suffice.“