How Changing Your Focus Changes Your Life
Life is full of surprises, unexpected things that can easily alter the path we’re on. Sometimes the surprises are small. Sometimes they’re huge. Sometimes they help us and sometimes they set us back. Regardless, they can alter our life’s course in ways that either improve our lives or not. It’s up to us because the way these things change our lives depends on how we interpret the events, on the meaning we give them.
For now, let’s talk about the unexpected things that set us back. They’re the ones that can derail us if we allow them to.
It’s a simple concept and maybe because of that it’s one of the things we—as humans—have the hardest time grasping. We get to choose what we do with our lives. We get to choose whether unexpected setbacks are small hiccups—spiritually, psychologically, emotionally—or whether they’re roadblocks.
Understand, the difference between a hiccup and a roadblock isn’t in the surprise itself. The events don’t change. They’ve happened and cannot be undone. It’s how we see them, feel them, hear them, the way we internalize these surprises and what we decide they mean makes the difference. That’s what impacts how they shape us.
That might seem odd. Think of it this way. We choose how we interpret events. The choices we make shape our perception of life. Our perception of life shapes the choices we make which in turn shapes the way we choose to interpret events. If we regularly give disempowering meaning to life’s surprises, the pattern creates a nice negative-feedback loop.
If we’re unaware of this we can easily fall victim to learned behaviors and steadily spiral in the direction of the loop we’re stuck in. Each cycle then reinforces the last. We release our ability to consciously shape our lives.
Living with the belief that we’ve no say in our lives is a sad state indeed. But what happens when we stop the cycle?
When We Break the Cycle of Negative-Feedback and Start Choosing the Meaning We Give Events, We Truly Step into Our Power because We Start Choosing Our Life Instead of just Accepting It.
Here’s an example of how powerful it is to change the meaning we give something.
When I was in high school I was a mediocre student. I got A’s and B’s in the classes I cared about and Cs and Ds in the classes I didn’t like. I loved science and disliked math. That’s an odd disparity perhaps, but it’s where I was at the time.
When it came time to pick my senior year classes I wanted to take Physics. I got an unpleasant surprise when I found that a pre-requisite for Physics was pre-Calculus. I’d never taken math above Geometry—and I’d failed that because I never did the homework or studied.
It seemed I was stuck.
At that point I could have started beating myself up mentally for not doing better in math. I could have complained about how unfair the system was. I could have felt sorry for myself and blamed others for my situation. In truth; those were behaviors that were normal for me back then.
But I really wanted to take Physics! So instead of doing those things—and reinforcing those patterns—I did something unusual for me at the time. I took action!
I mustered my courage, went to the teacher, Mr. Jose, and I pleaded with him to let me try the class. I told him I knew I could do it and that I’d transfer out if I wasn’t cutting it.
He agreed to make an exception and let me enroll.
I had to study and get some help in the beginning because the higher math concepts were new to me, but overall, once I discovered how math was applied in Physics, it came easily to me. I ended up with an A in Physics for the year—quite a feat for someone who’d never had the pre-requisite math before taking the class!
As you understand, when our desire for something is great enough, we’ll step outside our comfort zone and take unusual action. When we change our focus it changes the meaning of things. When my desire to take Physics overrode my pattern of self-defeating behavior, I viewed the fact that I didn’t have the required courses as a setback instead of a roadblock. That’s what helped me have the courage to speak to Mr. Jose about taking his class.
As you go through the day today remember that you choose the meaning of the events in your life. Do your best to discover the positive in all situations. Do this. Make it a habit and you’re life will change dramatically.
You Are the Master of Your Destiny!
#Success #ChangeYourFocus #MasterYourDestiny