A long time ago, long before the notion of coaches was around, I was working for a company that brought in a consultant from the USA for a day long "workshop" to "get all of the managers motivated". I don't remember much from that day except for a small handout she gave us at the end of the workshop that had a diagram on it with the title of "Where's your focus?". On the left hand side of the sheet it said, "DON'T HAVE, DON'T WANT" and on the right side it said "DO HAVE, DO WANT". I taped that piece of paper to the side of my fridge where, 15 years later, yellowed and splattered with grease stains, it reminds me daily of one of the fundamental keys to happiness.
Where we focus our minds and our energies in our lives is one thing that is completely in our control, completely our choice and has a monumental effect on our joy and well-being. Where do you place your
focus? Unfortunately, the "DON'T HAVE, DON'T WANT" side of the ledger is the default for many of us and leads nowhere. All it does is make you feel bad and there is no way out of that place UNTIL you flip over to the "DO HAVE, DO WANT" side.
For example, let's say you don't have any money and you are in debt. Okay - so you DON'T HAVE money and you DON'T WANT to be in debt. If you keep your focus there, what can you do with that? How can you make any movement out of debt? If you flip your focus over to the other side, instantly the possibilities open up. What DO YOU WANT? I DO WANT to have enough money to pay off my debt, pay my bills and have enough to live. NOW you have somewhere to go. NOW you can begin to think about how you might be able to do that, set some goals, and create an action plan. While you are focusing on the "DON'T HAVE , DON'T WANT" side you are paralyzed in the land of scarcity: scarcity thinking.
A simple shift of WHERE you place your focus can change your life.
But Jan you say, sometimes there is just crap in my life. I can't be positive all the time.
Absolutely... $)%*^ happens! No, you don't have to reframe that...yes, it is just crappy that say, well, you got laid off from your job. What I am talking about is the one thing that you DO have control over, and that is about where YOU choose to put your focus - even after something crappy happens. Sure, give yourself time to wallow - get mad, cry, whatever...but then you can make a choice on where are you going to continue to focus: on what you DON'T HAVE (ie/ a job) or what you DO WANT (a new job that you like even more that pays even better). Now THAT is something to work with.
This is about FOCUS. This has nothing to do with optimism, nothing to do with positivity. It has everything to do with possibility. It has everything to do with options. By focusing on what we want rather than what we "don't" want, we instantly get unstuck and free up our thinking. Remember, what we put energy to magnifies. What do you want to magnify? Where is your focus? What possibilities open up if you shift to "DO HAVE, DO WANT?" Action Steps
1 / Download your own AWARENESS GRID by clicking here.
Fill it out and notice where you put your focus in the various areas of your life.
2/ Think about what could happen if you shifted to the "Do Have, Do Want" focus... to the space of unlimited possibility
3/ Choose an area and consciously make that shift.