You Get What You Focus On
I just finished Reading Pre-suasion by Robert Cialdini.
This book is an amazing collection of research on how your focus and attention can alter your state of mind.
And if you own a small business, lead a team or raise kids, there are some amazing nuggets of information that will change the game for you.
One of the aspects of the book that really resonated with me was the impact that focus and attention had on achieving happiness and fulfillment in your life.
“Nothing In Life Is As Important As You Think It Is While You Are Thinking About It”
This is a quote from world-renowned psychologist researcher Daniel Kahneman, who specializes in judgment and decision-making .
Doesn’t this ring true in almost every aspect of your life.
When you are on Amazon, you realize how important getting that new James Patterson novel is.
When you are in front of salted caramel, double-chocolate cake, getting that cake is critical.
When you are listening to your friend talk about how she lost 50lbs, losing weight becomes goal #1.
The premise behind this quote is this:
Anything that draws our focused attention to that particular thing can cause us to overestimate the value of it’s importance.
And here’s the beauty in all of this:
We can choose what we focus on and therefore make important.
We can put stuff to the forefront of our mind in order for us to get more of the stuff we want and less of the stuff we don’t.
It’s really your choice.
Happy As An Older Adult
Cialdini talks about how, despite the obvious implications of aging, older adults seems to be happier than the younger, stronger, healthier versions of themselves.
The explanation is that older adults have DECIDED they do not have TIME for negativity, as in TIME left on this planet.
They actively decide that those things that bother them off should not be of primary concern. The things that make them happy should be.
They recall positive memories
They entertain pleasant thoughts
They seek out and retain favourable information
They look for happy faces
They have DECIDED to focus their attention on the good things in their life. They are in control of their focus and attention and therefore are in control of what’s important to them.
In fact, older adults with better attention management skills that can orientate their thoughts to positive ones are more happy than older adults with poor attention management.
I know some of you may be thinking about old man Goldstein that brings everybody down by his mere presence,
but this is likely an issue of poor attention management and perhaps focusing on the wrong stuff.
Either way we can learn a ton from the way older adults live their lives.
So, what can we do today to be as happy as a senior:
1. Write down 3 things you are grateful for
2. Choose beforehand to look on the bright side of situations
3. Deliberately limit time spent dwelling on problems or unhealthy comparisons to others
Then do it tomorrow and the next day and the next…
This concept of attention management is so universal that you can use it in nearly every aspect of your life.
Take relationships for example.
You can choose to focus your attention on the meal that your spouse just made for you, or you can choose to focus on the wretched mess that he just made in the kitchen.
You can choose to focus on the way your husband volunteers his time to coach youth in your community – instilling in them life skills and valuable lessons they will use to become better people, or you can choose to focus on how he is never home.
In both examples, one of the choices will put the positive aspects of your partner as most important and one will put the negative to the forefront.
Can you figure out which ones they are??
Change you to change others
There is another way you can use this attention hack to improve your relationship.
It involves changing YOU in order to change others.
I am a pretty strong believer that almost any two people can be in a relationship with each other if they so choose to put in the work.
Do you wake up in the morning and ask yourself “how can I be of benefit to my partner today” because, really, if you don’t benefit your partner, what the hell are you there for?
You can choose to be a better partner, you can choose to do stuff for your spouse and it’s pretty crazy how much better your partner looks, how much nicer they get and how much more you enjoy their company when YOU make the choice to be a better partner.
Like my man, Zig Ziglar used to say, in order to change others, you need to change you first.
Nonetheless, what’s going on here?
You are just doing a bunch of stuff for your partner and not expecting anything in return – what’s up with that?
Well, you are choosing to focus on your partner.
And when you focus on something, it becomes important.
The more you focus on something, the more important it gets.
So, choose to focus on your partner.
Choose to make them important.
I just want to talk about one way (there are many) that this applies to health and fitness.
We’ve established that what we focus on becomes most important.
That’s a given.
Think about that salted caramel, double chocolate cake…
But, how do you make focus and attention work in your favour for getting in the best shape of your life?
You do so by choosing the people you surround yourself with.
To paraphrase personal development pioneer, Jim Rohn, you are composite of the 5 people you frequent with the most.
So, if the people you hang out with the most want to eat cake and candy and sit around and bitch about their spouses – guess what your focus becomes?
You guessed it – eating cake and candy and bitching about your spouse.
And as we know, the more we focus on something, the more we see it as important.
Now, all of the sudden husband-bashing and delicious treats become what’s important in your life.
Conversely, let’s say you join a fitness class and you hang out with the ladies afterwards. You discover that they enjoy eating healthy, they prefer walks instead of coffee when meeting with their friends and they share with you the nice things their husbands have done for them.
Now, all of the sudden, you are focusing on exercising, eating well and the good stuff your husband does.
Health and fitness now comes to the forefront as important – just simply by hanging out with the right crowd.
Your mom was right when she warned you not to get involved with the those bad-ass kids on the corner with their backwards hats and baggy jeans.
It seems crazy that a fitness guy is giving you relationship and happiness advice but the truth is I think this all goes hand in hand.
Having a fit and healthy body is nice but if you don’t actually experience the happiness and joy of being fit and healthy, what good Is it?
Also, achieving a great life requires all aspects of your health to be on point -not just one.
Our overall health relies on psychological, spiritual, social and physical factors – to neglect any of these is to leave opportunities for happiness and fulfillment on the table.
Having Trouble Surrounding Yourself With The Right People?
We certainly see the value of surrounding yourself with the right people when getting into shape.
So much so that we built a business around it with our 12-month fitness coaching program.
The program is designed to make fitness and nutrition work in the context of your busy life.
No more impossible dieting.
No more 2-hour workouts.
No more life-overhauls.
We give you the flexibility to get in the best shape of your life on your own schedule,
on your own terms
and even in your own home (if you so desire).
All while having the support, accountability and guidance of a caring, compassionate and effective coach.
To learn more about our program, sign up for our no-obligation VIP list and we’ll hook you up with some additional information.