Mental Health

Focus on What You Want

Focus on What You Want
Published: 2021-07-05
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I would imagine that the things you don't want are things that would make you feel miserable or unhappy in some way. You don't want to bomb in training, lose the game, or be defeated in the competition. You don’t want to miss that great opportunity that you’ve worked so hard to be given. You don’t want to feel like you’ve disappointed your coach, your family, your friends.

Or maybe you’re afraid you’ll lose your job because of the obvious consequences of not having an income—on top of feeling like a failure. Or you don't want to lose your relationship either. Or, or, or...there can be all kinds of miseries on your mind and dozens of reasons why you don’t want it to happen, whatever “it” is

According to the Law of Attraction, like attracts like. In other words, what you think about, you bring about. Positive or negative, whether you want it or not, if you keep thinking about something over and over again, you will attract it to yourself.

But if you don't want to believe that there is such a law in existence, look at it this way: If all you think about is what you don't want, and how very desperately you don’t want it, it'll be harder for you to see opportunities for you to get what you do want. It's that simple.

Imagine this: Your training hasn’t been going well. You're having a dreadful day or a dreadful bunch of days. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get your body to do what you need it to do. You wonder if someone has been slipping you clumsy pills.

Or maybe you’re just plain tired. You can’t seem to crank up your motivation like you usually do. Get up at stupid o’clock in the morning and train? Are you kidding me? Not a chance.

Then you feel guilty. You start dwelling on it. You wonder what’s wrong with you. Maybe you’ve lost your mojo. Maybe you really weren’t meant to do this after all. Maybe your dreams are just a waste of time.

The more you go down this road, the deeper you slide into a big hole of negativity and feeling completely stuck. The further down that hole you go, the more you have those dismal thoughts, and the less likely you are to see or hear anything to the contrary. You won’t see any of your previous wins or times that you overcame bad days or other challenges. And the downward spiral gets worse.

Here’s another way to look at this:

Think of a time when something significant was bothering you. Perhaps a troubled relationship (those can really do your head in…), or you wonder if you’ll be among the unlucky ones who are about to get cut at work. Remember how it feels to have these kinds of issues weighing on you. And because you’re upset, you're not very hungry, don't really care about food or meal planning but your fridge is empty and it's getting a little skinny in the cupboards, too.

So, you drag yourself off to the supermarket, get a trolley and aimlessly wander up and down the aisles. You're thinking about those relationship problems, the arguments, the hurt feelings, the question of whether or not to separate and what that might entail.

You're wondering if you could get another job but probably not in the current economy and oh, no, then what would you do? You're tired and your back hurts and your head aches and you’re fed up with yourself but wherever you go, there you are.

So, you’re in the shop and not giving a rat's @$$ about the groceries and you're wandering up and down the aisles, not caring what you buy. You’re staring blankly at numerous tins, packets and boxes on the shelves but not seeing them. Occasionally, you grab something familiar and chuck it in the trolley, but your mind is only focused on what you don't want—i.e., what you're worried about.

You are not seeing all the opportunities for great meals that are right there in front of you. You're not even thinking of the simplest ones, let alone the ones that take a little more time and effort but are so worth every bit of it. You're not seeing the possibilities that are fairly leaping off the shelves at you, because you're so distracted and preoccupied with your worries, you can't see anything else around you.

So, you'll grab a box of biscuits or a tin of soup, maybe a frozen dinner. Just some boring and uninspiring foods that reflect your state of mind and your complete and utter lack of interest in eating. They reflect how you feel about your life.

And to make matters worse, not only do you bypass a million fantastic opportunities during your time in the supermarket, once you're home, you discover that you still don't have much to eat besides the minimal selection of boring and uninspiring foods you chucked into the trolley because you couldn't be bothered to open your eyes, look around and give your attention to the thousands of products that were right there in front of you.

It is the same with Life. If you're only focusing on whatever it is that you do not want, and that do not make you happy, you will have no appetite or enthusiasm for the possibilities and opportunities that are all around you. In fact, you won't even see them. If you start focusing on the training days that sucked, or what you see as your perceived “failures” and you believe you’re not worthy of those great opportunities that you’ve been working so hard to achieve, you are unlikely to see one, even if lands right in front of your feet.

It's like going through life wearing blinders. You will only see what is directly in front of you, and if you don't believe you will see anything good, then you won't, full stop.

It’s the same with your thoughts. If you feed yourself a steady diet of thoughts about your fears, inabilities, bad days, and losses, then you will just get more of the same. Law of Attraction or not, that just makes sense.

It is essential to keep your thoughts on where you want to be and the more you do this, you will find the determination to keep focusing on it. You’ll find that your intentions become sharper, stronger, and you will begin to see the opportunities that will help you get to where you want to be.

You want vegetables. Okay. Think about vegetables. Which vegetables do you want? How do you want them prepared? In a soup? In a stew? A sauce? A salad? With which herbs? Or dressing? Or other foods to complete a meal?

Focus on those vegetables. And as you do this, you will begin to see the possibilities, an idea or two, a recipe you haven't made in ages. The ideas will begin to come to you. Keep shoving away your worries because worrying is just a prayer for the negative. It wastes your time and energy; it accomplishes nothing, other than to derail you and keep you stuck. You won't even be thinking about vegetables at all, much less thinking of ways to prepare them and what else you need for that recipe. Instead, you'll be staring at a months-old tin of tasteless chicken soup with noodles so soggy they'll fall apart when you look at them sideways.

Life will keep throwing stuff at you that you don't want. Whether it’s an off period at the gym or the track, at work or in a relationship, it's your job not to let it knock you off balance. It's your job to steel yourself against it by focusing on those vegetables—so to speak—and the countless opportunities that are right there just waiting to be noticed. If you keep thinking your life is boring and uninspiring, that's exactly what it will be. It's your job to make it be interesting and inspiring. If you think you’ll never achieve your fitness or performance goals, you won’t. It’s your job to believe you will.

It's also your right and your privilege—and it is well within your power, whatever your circumstances, because the one constant about life is “change.” It is inevitable. But how you respond to those changes is entirely up to you.

Focus on what you want, and not on what you don't want. Refuse to be derailed. Refuse to give the negatives your attention. Insist that you will have, be, or do whatever it is your heart desires. In doing so, your eyes will automatically be opened to spotting the opportunities that are available to help you achieve your goals, just as they will automatically be closed to them when you are not remotely receptive.

You've got the power and ability to change your thoughts and refocus—because every one of your those thoughts is controlled by you. And if you allow them to knock you off course, simply refocus. Again, and again and again. With practice, it becomes second nature.

Keep your eye on the prize. Then watch for the opportunities that will help you win it.