President and Founder of FOM Coaching Kim Ades wrote this article eight years ago, but it’s just as relevant today. What you focus on grows, and Kim’s story is proof of it.
My parents are Egyptian Jews with deep seeded cultural beliefs and customs. I am the baby in the family who decided to make an appearance 13 years after my brother and 15 years after my sister – I was the pleasant surprise. Between the food and the guilt, and the intensely over protective parenting approach, you can just imagine the loving cocoon in which I was enveloped as a child.
While I grew up believing that I was everyone’s favorite, I instinctively knew that given the huge generational gap with my parents and the cultural disparity, I had to move away from the nest in order to maintain a tight relationship.
I now live in Toronto, and they live in Montreal but the distance does not impact our communication. I am very close with them – I speak to them nearly every day on the phone and visit them several times a year. Having not been to Toronto in over 2 years, they decided to come for a visit to make sure my life was in order.
That’s when my mother informed me about the robbers:
“Don’t leave the door unlocked when you are in the house, there are robbers.”
“Lock the doors in your car, and don’t leave your purse in the back seat, a robber can open the door while you are at a red light and steal it.”
“Don’t open your sunroof. A robber can jump in over the top and attack you.”
“Zip up your purse and keep it on your lap when you go to the washroom in a public place because a robber can reach over the door and grab it if it’s hanging on the back of the door.”
So apparently my mother is afraid of robbers. She means well and she is unquestioningly trying to protect me from the evils of the world. It’s absolutely a sign of love but…
WHERE ARE ALL THESE ROBBERS???
My mother looks for them. And guess what? She finds them – in newspapers, on TV, on the radio, in conversations with her friends, in conversations she overhears, and even in her dreams. She expects to find them and she does. That is her reality. It’s what she pays attention to.
Your world is composed of what you focus on and your “reality” is very much a function of what you expect. If you expect bad things to happen, they do. If you look for drama, chaos, and volatility, it just appears. Even when you don’t look for it, but wish it were gone, you are still focusing on that very thing and so it remains a factor in your world and it often grows. If you focus on what’s missing in your life, like money for instance, you get more of what’s missing – no money. If you focus on the fact that you are overweight, you stay overweight.
Imagine spending all that energy focused on the things you want, like generating wealth, health, and happiness, and imagine expecting it to come your way. The likelihood of it appearing is significantly magnified when you can envision it and almost experience actually having it. The more you can see, taste, smell, touch, and emotionally feel what it’s like to obtain what you want, the closer you are to reaching it. In fact, it starts to head your way.
The most incredible thing is that you can choose what you want to focus on everyday. Just like brushing your teeth in the morning, it can become a habit to wake up in the morning and choose the thoughts that you will focus on for the day. Thoughts that bring you closer to the things that really matter in your life. Good thoughts, happy thoughts, thoughts of gratitude, excitement, anticipation, love.
It’s really all about your Frame of Mind. What thoughts will you choose for today?