Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Although it may sound simple there is a deeper meaning that lies beneath these words of wisdom.
In each moment we are making a decision on what to focus on which will determine what we believe and how we act. Let’s use baseball for example. A pop fly is hit to center field and like several times before the outfielder gets into position to make an easy play. Just before the ball begins to drop the sun blinds the player which affects his ability to make the catch. By the time he recovers the ball is lying on the ground and two base runner have score putting the other team ahead by one. The inning ends and the players return to the dug out ready to reclaim the lead. Meanwhile, the center fielder continues to focus on how he screwed up such an easy out. Too much in life people focus solely on all that is wrong and focus so little on what they can do to correct the actual mistake. In this situation, the baseball player is choosing to focus on the fact that because he dropped the ball and because of that they lost the lead. Yes, all of this is true, but what he should be focusing on is the next opportunity to get his team back in the lead. By doing this he understands what he did wrong while also focusing on ways he can help his team get back into the game. Ironically, he is the next batter up to hit. Besides the fact of what just happened, he steps up to the plate confidently ready to make a big play. With a runner on first base, the pitcher throws the ball. CRACK! He crushes the ball into left field
soaring over the outfield wall.
The home run puts them in lead and they win the game. This is the result of him making the decision to focus on the present rather than in the past.
It doesn’t just apply to baseball, this concept pertains to every aspect of life. Whether it’s choosing to focus on a certain mood, emotion, or relationship all of it contributes to our actions. Furthermore, how we act throughout our life determines the quality of lifestyle that is adopted. Continuing to focus only on the bad will cause frustration which flows into anger leading to depression.
On the other hand, focusing on the deeper meaning in any particular situation and then using that to move forward will create more opportunities to succeed.
In a sense, we are what we believe we are. There nothing in the world that is more powerful than the internal focus of one’s mind which if mastered can open doors you’ve never imagined. The idea of choosing what to focus on may seem quite easy but the complexity comes from within. As a matter of fact, the level of difficulty it takes to learn internal focus is entirely up to what we want it to be.
Above all, do not get confused with the idea that there is a specific way that all people should focus or think. In my opinion, I believe that everyone has their own way of thinking and dealing with circumstances in their life. For some, it may be helping the poor. For others, it could be violence.
Now, I DO NOT believe violence is the way to solve a problem but it doesn’t matter what I believe, people will act out of violence no matter what.
Ultimately, I don’t have to accept the lifestyle of others but what I must do is respect the reality they have decided to live in. Meaning the way we choose to live each day of our lives doesn’t have to be determined by those of another. At the same time, being able to respect someone else’s lifestyle allows one to perceive how they want to live their own life and how they do not. This is known as bridging realities. Bridging the reality between two individuals lets us take the time to reinvent beliefs while also adopting new standards for the way of life we wish to live.
Above all, it’s the ability to bounce back after a failure that shows a person’s true character. Roy T. Bennett said it best, “the one who falls and gets back up is much stronger than the one who never tried at all. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” That being said, if you haven’t taken anything away from this just remember one thing. The single most important decision we are constantly making is what to focus on. Choosing to master the mind can allow us to begin living the life we’ve always dreamed. The faster you can learn internal focus the faster you can change your life.