Many of us wait for life to happen to us and hope we get what we want. We don’t take responsibility for our lives and our experience.
Now, of course, things happen to us and around us that are out of our control. We can’t control the weather. We can’t control other people. And we can’t always control whether we get sick or not.
Minding your own business is getting clear on what you want and steering in that direction. Most of us don’t really know what we want and we’re just reacting. We tend to be reactive vs proactive.
Consciousness is the key
I’ve talked about minding our own business before, and this is a big part of that: proactively knowing and creating what we want in life.
Recently, I was reading the book Becoming by Michelle Obama. In her book, Michelle describes her thoughts and feelings when she first met Barack Obama. She said that he stood out to her because he was so focused. He didn’t do things the way everyone else did. He wasn’t the type to go to happy hour. Barack spent his money on books and his time thinking about how he could have the most impact. He knew what he was interested in. He didn’t waste time or money. Instead, he spent his time organizing communities, reading, and gaining knowledge.
Now that’s focus. Everyone has lots of opportunities to get distracted. Successful, impactful people know how to focus. You can accomplish so much more when you’re focused.
Michelle’s description of Barack is a great example of someone consciously taking steps toward what they want in life instead of reacting to every little thing that comes their way.
How to Focus
Know what you want
The first step to focusing is knowing what to focus on. A lot of us have no idea what we really want, and finding out what we want requires that you take the time to think about it and ask yourself. If you know what you want in life, excellent. You can start taking those steps right away.
If you don’t know what you want, start paying attention! Notice what you enjoy and don’t enjoy, what you like and dislike, and what you currently find satisfying in your life as well as what you’d like to change. Pay attention to what brings you a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
Develop a “focus filter”
When you know what you want, ask yourself “will this choice help me create the life I want?”
When you run your decisions through your focus filter, it will help you discern what will and won’t help you create that life. If we don’t apply that filter, we end up doing what others want us to do, accepting every invitation, and wasting time on activities that don’t fulfill us.
Realize that your life energy is finite. This is your only life, your one chance to shine your light, which is why it’s so important to choose where to put your focus and energy. You’ll be glad you did!