Focus on Your Good Bits…


fokusIf you are like me and I prefer to assume you are because then I will like you more :-), you have learned to focus on those few areas that you need to improve rather than all of the things that make you awesome! It’s sort of like a sickness isn’t it? You spend 16 of your waking hours doing what you are supposed to do and 5 minutes saying something you shouldn’t have said and then spending another hour ruminating on why you said it and that you really shouldn’t have said it. Sound familiar? Wouldn’t it seem reasonable to applaud yourself for 16 hours of solid effort and to pay little attention to your one mistake? Indeed!

The world we live in, rife with media input, has done a masterful job of tricking you and me into obsessing over anything that may hint at imperfection. “My belly is too fat!” which discounts  the fact that the ideal “belly” belongs to a 16-year-old with the metabolism of a racehorse. Or my hair or my eyes or my feet are too large or my cankels etc., etc. Whether it be physical imperfections (assuming there is “physical perfection”) or problems with our character or a propensity to sin (so-called) or just plain ol’ ability to actually make mistakes, we have universally bought into a gigantic scheme that gets us to focus on what’s wrong with us instead of focusing on our good bits…

So you might be asking, why does it even matter? Well, it matters because incessant focus on what is wrong with you leads to one perpetually long, unhappy existence. “I’m no good” “I’m not okay” “Why can’t I be like such and such” all presume a condition that may not actually exist. What if you are very, very similar to most human beings? What if the things you think and say and do are remarkably like the things most people think and say and do? What if, huh? What if that hour you just wasted obsessing over the “dumb thing” you said at the staff meeting was forgotten by everyone at the staff meeting 5 minutes after it ended? Pointless me thinks…

But here is another thing to consider that trumps even a wasted unhappy life. If it’s true that what you focus on expands, then focusing on what is wrong can only lead to more and more of “what is wrong!”  Chew on that for a moment… If, unbeknownst to you, the things you focus on in life are conspiring to come your way, then it seems focusing on what you don’t like can only produce more and more of “what you don’t like.” Are you beginning to see the large-scale scheme I was referring to earlier? Let’s say you are a pretty good person, according to your own estimates, but you have a few weaknesses. So you spend inordinate amounts of time working on your weaknesses. Sure, it seems noble because you are, after all, working on them. But, here’s a thought, have you ever known a successful person that spends more time working on their weaknesses than what they are good at, who remains successful? Probably not, right? Successful people, while fully aware of their weaknesses, choose rather to focus on the things in which they excel. Obsessing over weakness serves only to exemplify weakness. How many good-hearted people have you met that can’t go 5 minutes into the conversation without telling you something that is “bad” about themselves? Or conversely, how many people have you met that even dare to mention something they are good at? World-wide sickness, my friends.

A wise man named Eric taught me long ago in a conversation about child rearing, that the way to get your child past their problems is by highlighting the things they do well! Think about that for a moment. Your child is sitting there quietly watching TV and you don’t say a word, but as soon as they get rambunctious, you want to give them a lecture, thereby reinforcing the behavior you don’t like!  What works for children works for adults, except adults no longer have their parents to guide them in the way in which they should go.

So the solution, weary travelers is to decide to stop focusing on what is wrong with you. The Good Lord, who knows everything, is well aware of your imperfections and loves you just the same and always will! He’s not unhappy with you, so you owe it to yourself to follow suit. Focus on the best parts of yourself. Focus on the good things you have in your life. Focus on the miracle that is your life and in so doing can begin to appreciate what you do have and not obsess on what you don’t have.

If you will become determined to focus on the good, then you will find the good has actually been pursuing you all along. Let that good catch up to you by being so grateful for the life you already have.  And for an added bonus, try focusing on the good in other people as well. Shoot, you may just find yourself surrounded by a lot of wonderful people.

Focus on your good bits!

Just some good thoughts…

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One thought on “Focus on Your Good Bits…

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