Have you ever played the “spot the blue car” game with your kids on road trips? Ask restless kids to point out all the blue cars you pass, and suddenly it’s amazing how many blue cars there are.
We’re all familiar with the classic quote, “ We become what we think about.” Or the popular derivative, “What we focus on, expands.”
It’s not some mysterious force or secret that makes these quotes resonate with so many. We become what we think about or what we stay focused on because the very act of focusing implies a choice. By choosing to focus, we’re also choosing to leave other information out.
What do you do when someone says don’t look left? You look left. And as soon as you do, you are no longer seeing everything on the right.
Quick — without looking left or right, finish this sentence:
The main thing that is holding me back right now is that I just don’t have enough _________________________ /or/ I’m just not ___________________ enough.
As soon as you began focusing on not having enough of whatever you filled in above, you began leaving other information out. You notice more of what you’re noticing and less and less of everything else. You get into a flow.
One of my favorite new bloggers is Peter Shallard, “The Shrink for Entrepreneurs.” He writes about focus in a recent post:
You get a belief in your head and your brain starts deleting and distorting the evidence that might challenge that belief. From your point of view, the belief is proving itself more and more “true” – so your conviction grows. The more you believe in it, the more blinded you are to other possibilities. The limiting belief grows and grows.
The Power of Proactive Focus
The first time I tried out this kind of “proactive focusing” was during one of those periods in my life where I’d worried, struggled, drifted, or felt frustrated at every turn. I did not want to stay focused on the negativity and pain, but it had become my daily reality, and it seemed I just created more of the same. It had become my “flow.”
So, one day, I wrote down a few next steps, some clear intentions regarding what I needed more of in my life and my business at the time: I wanted clarity, focus, and direction.
And soon, I found I had picked up a book that was ideal for a situation at hand. It turned out to be exactly what I needed to read.
I also stumbled across an article with key insights for my situation.
I even ‘started’ getting emails from blogs I read that were made to order.
It seemed the more I noticed helpful things, the more helpful things I kept noticing.
Funny how that works.
What are you noticing, right now? Do you feel like resources are drying up, customers are thinning out, or money is not stretching far enough?
As our new blog-friend Peter Shallard asks at the end of the blog post I mentioned above, “How’s that working out for you?” Is that where you want to stay focused?
Why not try the “spot the blue car” game this week? If you filled in the sentence at the top of this post, you know what you think you don’t have.
So, what is it you do want? Start looking for it. If you can stay focused on that, you’ll probably find there is more of it around you than you think.