Are You Stuck when it comes to identifying your goals and taking actionable steps to achieve them? Consider finding your focus and keeping it foremost in your mind!
If you sometimes feel as though you’re caught in life’s quicksand, you have a lot of company. We work, we struggle, we try to do everything we possibly can to move on to a higher level of well-being but it seems like the harder we work, the more stuck we get. If you’re approaching a Category 5 frustration level, you might want to try finding your focus.
I realize that it’s important to watch out for number one – ourselves. We need to set goals, lay out plans and then do those things we need to do so that we can at least make some progress toward our goals. However, what frequently happens is that we become so overly obsessed with ourselves and our own personal well-being that we wind up building huge walls. We lose the ability – or even desire – to see the bigger picture and the possibilities that life presents to us. We become so caught up on “me” that we sometimes begin scrutinizing even the most insignificant events to determine their potential impact on our personal lives. We become victims to ourselves. And to be really honest about it, we sometimes just become so busy being busy that we lose track of where we thought we wanted our lives to wind up in the first place.
One possible solution is to identify our focus outside of ourselves and focus on “others”. Move from being the receiver to being the giver. And no, I’m not even implying that this requires any major change in the things we do every day. It may eventually lead to that but it’s not a critical part of the initial process.
Here’s what I mean. No matter what you do to earn a living or keep the household moving in a logical direction, somewhere down the line a real person will probably benefit from what you do. So, if you are caught in the quicksand, take a few minutes to really think about the people – the individuals who will be better off, healthier, or happier because of what you do. Think about how you are giving of your time and talents so that others will profit in some way from your efforts.
When we identify our focus in relation to how what we do benefit others rather than just ourselves, our work – the things we do every day – starts taking on a new significance. We are now a giver. Our life honestly is meaningful. We know that what we do is truly important to someone else.
Don’t Zone Out! Find Focus with A Theme
Our lives are constantly flowing forward over and around the highs and lows of our everyday experience, like a river. As humans we often try to minimize those ups and downs: We plan for the future, we dwell on the past, and thus avoid experiencing the emotion at this present moment. As a result, we dampen our aliveness and sort of zone out. No wonder we suddenly “wake up” to realize minutes, even days or weeks, have passed us by an we are still stuck.
What does it mean to be present in your day-to-day life?
It’s quite challenging to focus all your attention on this moment. Try it: As you are reading these words, slow down. Experience the action of reading one word at a time. What sounds do you hear in the room around you? How comfortable are you? How are you breathing? Recognize that you are alive, right now, in this moment. What was that like for you?
You have probably heard all kinds of other advice for becoming present in the moment – breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and so forth. Now broaden the concept: how can you stay present and focused for a project or goal in your life? I suggest that you find focus with a theme.
Here’s how it works: As an example, my theme for my business this year is “fun and inspired action.” This theme serves a filter. Each month, I review my business goals through the lens of my theme and prioritize those that will be the most fun and give me and my clients the most inspiration. Brainstorming projects to undertake, I look for those that best match my theme. My theme gives me a sense of exploration when choosing new opportunities.
When we have a focus with a theme, in every step we take we must ask ourselves, “does this forward my action toward my goals?” The answer to this question will help us to stay on track and remain focused.
What is YOUR theme?
There are a bunch of people who could really benefit from your talents. Think about what you do well – what you enjoy doing that could help others have a better life. Find your focus with a theme centered around this concept, then go do it. You’ll be out of the quicksand before you know it.
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