How to Change Your Focus

10 04 2010

Many motivational, performance, productivity, self-help and personal development gurus tell you what you focus on is what you get. If you focus on problems, you get more of them. If you focus on solutions, you get more of them. If you focus on the positive things, you get more of them. If you focus on the negative, you get more of it.

However, they fail in one specific step: They don’t tell you how to direct and change your focus. Actually they do, but in a generic way: “To reach results, just focus on what you want”. Right. For many people, that is enough. However, for some, that is not enough. For someone who uses specific strategies, for a runner that has specific timing schedules and nutrition guidelines, for a worker who has specific work strategies and timeboxes, inserting a vague mental construct is not that good for them.

I focus only on results, and it’s result-orientedly that I studied how to change my focus and how to direct it.

So in sum, this post will be about how to get more of whatever you want. Do you want more happy experiences? Do you want to be surrounded with better people? Do you want to perform excellently instead of in a mediocre way? I will tell you how to do this right here and right now. The only thing I need to ask in return is that you read this seriously and apply it instead of doubting.

First of all, your focus is an idea you have in your mind, and you identify more in the world related with that idea. You live in a city where most people are ugly (no judgment, just an objective fact). However, you watch a movie about fashion and beautiful people. Suddenly, the same people look different. Maybe you notice this person doesn’t dress so bad after all. Maybe that woman actually has prettier eyes than you thought. You start to see everything in your life through a new light.

Part one: How to change your focus

The first thing you need to understand is how to change your focus. Your focus, as I said, is that idea you have in your mind. How do you change it? If I have an idea in my mind people are ugly, how do I change it so I think people are beautiful?

You don’t need to change your identity

Many strategies exist. Some experts defend doing affirmations and positive thinking. Some, as Anthony Robbins, go a little deeper and tell you to change your rules and your values. Which do I use and recommend you to use? None of these. I actually realized you don’t need to change yourself to change your focus. What do I mean?

If you have an idea in your mind you can’t get pretty girls and you want to create the idea you can get pretty girls, using one of those strategies you would try to change your values so you value beauty over safety/honesty/adventure/others. Using affirmations you would say out loud thirty times a day you can get pretty girls until you believe it. Basically, they’re not strategies to change your focus. They change your identity so your focus is changed automatically. They’re not making you think you can get pretty girls; They’re changing your identity to someone that can get pretty girls, so that the thought comes automatically.

This is a good technique but it’s too complicated for me. First, because I might now want to change my personality. Imagine I’m a lazy guy and I want to get pretty girls. I can change my identity so I don’t value laziness anymore, I work as hard as I can until I almost die working, and other values so I can feel I’m not lazy anymore. I change my identity and therefore can get pretty girls. That can work, but imagine I don’t want to change my identity. Imagine I want to continue being lazy and still get pretty girls. How do I do it? How do I just all these identity-changing methods and just think about what I want?

Let’s look at the mechanics of a thing. Having focus on something is just thinking about it all the time, so if you want to focus on getting pretty girls, just think about that all the time. You go to sleep, and how do you rest? Do you lie with your body straight? Is that how a guy that gets girls would lay down? You change it. You see a girl passing by on the street you’d like to get to know, and your first instinct is to be a coward and not go talk to her, but that thought kicks in, what would a guy that gets girls do? And you correct it.

A basic technique is that. Just thinking about it all the time. However, there are certain details you can use to turbocharge it.

Detail #1: Add emotional intensity

Why do people that don’t care about world hunger suddenly change when they see a short clip on TV about it? It’s because they don’t see the little black children as objects. They look you in the eyes, you see them with those torn-up clothes, dry lips, and totally unhealthy aspect, and something inside of you wants to change.

You can use this for anything. Do you want to be the best in a sport? Imagine how would it be if you didn’t win. The misery. The disappointment. When you get emotional about something, you instantly take action, or at least change your focus.

Detail #2: Choose what you want

Many people don’t change their focus because they don’t fully believe that’s what they want. Imagine. You want to be better excellent at work. However, you’re not that good, and even though you want to become better, you don’t really believe you can become excellent. That’s something that’s still not clicking.

That normally is just caused by you not choosing what you fully want. You’re presupposing becoming excellent can’t be done while you’re not that good. Then change your focus: “How can I become excellent, while not being that good to start with?”. Be specific. Choose what you want.

Sometimes you want to help other people. But you don’t focus on that because you’re afraid you’ll look like Mr. Nice guy too much. So instead of focusing on “being nice”, focus on “being nice but maintaining your integrity”. Sometimes you just have to get specific. Because general ideas bring presuppositions. And sometimes you want that idea, but you want that idea your way. So change the specifics you want to change.

Now you know how to change your focus, let’s understand how it works.

Second part: How focus works

Forms

First of all, things don’t change when you change your focus. They’re the same. You’re the one that changes. When you focus on negative people and you’re among 50 random people, you can see 30 or 40 negative people. When you focus on positive people you can choose among the same 50 random people and find 30 positive people. How does this work?

Easy. Things have different forms, and we see the way we want. Think of a friend of yours. A best friend would be ideal. Did you have good experiences with him? Naturally. And bad ones? You might think not, but if you think harder you can realize that you did have some.

Everyone has bad and good experiences. We just cut out the ones that don’t interest us. You have both good and bad experiences with your friend. If you focus on him as a cool guy, you remember the positive experiences. If you focus on him as a bad guy, you remember the negative experiences.

This is very important because everything has various “forms”. You have the people you usually see in your day-to-day. Whether you focus on beauty or ugliness, they’re the same. But when you focus on beauty you see their beautiful “form”, and when you focus on ugliness you see their ugly “form”. They’re exactly the same people, it’s how you view them that changes.

This is fantastic because you can change them yourself. Imagine you want to focus on excellent people, and you start seeing excellent people everywhere around you. However, there’s this negative guy that you can’t view as excellent yet. Some forms don’t change automatically. So just change them yourself. How would this guy be if he was excellent? Well, it’s hard to imagine. He’s always complaining, he’s always making fun of others. But force yourself to see his excellent form. Can you imagine him as an achiever? Actually having fun with people sometimes? And you think, well, I actually can! Sometimes it’s hard, you just need training.

Third part: Creating more

Third part and most important: How does creating more of what you want happen? Changing your focus creates more of what you want. By now you might be thinking: Well, now I understand focus, I understand that’s a lie. When I focus on beautiful people, I don’t actually create more beautiful people in my life. I just see normal people as beautiful. You might think that, but no. You will actually create more beautiful people in your life. And with all different forms of changing your focus. And you might think: How? Let’s find out.

The easy definition is: You create more by your actions. How? You act on the world and create certain stimuli. And you get things back. If you’re lazy, you sit down at the couch, you create that stimulus, and you receive back from the world something called not getting in shape! When you decide to exercise and create that stimuls, you receive back from the world better health and shape.

This happens with people themselves. Imagine the example above of excellent people. You want to see everyone as excellent people. And there’s that negative person. Before, when you thought that person was negative, you created which stimulus? You talked to that person without interest maybe, you didn’t give him that much attention, because you already knew he was going to be negative. And he, himself, received that stimulus so he acted normally.

Now, when you think people are excellent, you’re going to make some serious changes. When you see that negative person as excellent, and you talk to him excitedly, talk about happy and good things, that person is thrown off-guard. He’s used to being negative, and you just gave him a reason to be happy. So he might suddenly become positive too. He talks to you excitedly.

When you focus on something, your actions automatically create more of what you want. If you like sitting down and watching TV, you become lazier because you just like sitting down on the couch. When you like sports, you just sport automatically, and become healthier.

This works with specific focuses too. Imagine you want to become excellent at work. Now, depending on your inside, you might focus on “becoming excellent at work even though I think I can’t”, or “becoming excellent at work knowing I can do it”. And you will get more of that. If you think you can’t, you will get things in your world that would make you excellent, but that you just can’t use, and if you believe you can do it, you get more things in your world that you can actually use and create results for you. That’s why believing is so importantly.

I hope this helped you. Change your focus so you become better in everything!

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