February 27, 2021

What you focus on, you see more of

I was recently reminded of this very simple truth. People in my neighborhood were sharing on social media how upset they were that people didn’t clean up after their pet.  I thought to myself: What are they talking about? I never see what they are seeing. I mean there was a whole thread talking about messes left on our sidewalks, on my street. I haven’t noticed anything like that. To me, my neighborhood is beautiful, and I often find myself being so grateful for the place I live in. Different perspectives . . . . Realities.

I was reminded of this one simple truth: What we focus on, we see more of. As you believe, so it is.

Where is our focus? Is it on the problem or on the solution? And more importantly, which one do we want?

I mean it’s a serious question.

Some people really like focusing on problems. So much so that they sometimes go looking for them. Maybe their lives are so dull that they need to shake things up. They need to find a cause to champion. They need some sense of Purpose. Maybe there is some truth to Thoreau’s quote about “living lives of quiet desperation.” No judgment here!  I, for one, believe we are here for the experience so maybe that’s the experience they want?

If, however, we really don’t want the problem, the next step is to focus on a solution. You might wonder, well how can I focus on a solution if I don’t know what it is?

A little over a year ago, I was in a financial bind. I kept trying to figure it out myself and I was getting nowhere. I decided to affirm over and over that a solution comes to me. 

That became my focus.  

Well, my son and I needed to take a trip. We stayed at my sister’s house. While we were there I mentioned my dilemma. The ideas they shared with me ended up being the solution I needed.

We can’t always see the big picture. Letting go of the problem and affirming that a solution will come, opens us up to all sorts of creative ideas, chance encounters, and opportunities that we might otherwise ignore or miss. 

The solution then becomes our focus.

We can use this in all areas of our lives. What do we wish to see more of? Focus on it.  Give thanks that it is in our life. We will start to see more of it.

I have shared this story many times and it is worth repeating. Not only because it can alter our life and make it better, but our focus can bring about the changes we wish to see in our world.

I was taking a Foundations for Living class in my late twenties. Our teacher gave us a homework assignment. She told us, without explaining anything, that our assignment was to count how many Mercedes cars we saw for the whole week. The following week, when it was time for class, she asked us how many Mercedes cars we saw. We told her we saw a lot and gave her our high numbers. Then, without expecting this, she asked us how many old junky cars we saw that week. We looked at each other, then turned back to our teacher, and told her “none.”  Our next assignment was to report back how many old junky cars we saw. As you may have figured out, we reported a high number. When she asked us how many Mercedes cars we saw, we couldn’t remember seeing any.

This bears repeating. We see what we expect to see. What we focus on, becomes our reality. 

If we don’t like our reality, change the focus.

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