Your Focus: Is it Your Friend or Foe?

Jack Canfield once said, “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”

things-we-control-jade-goodhueNo matter who you are, where you come from, young or old, rich or poor we all have some sort of inner demon or inner struggle we deal with. No one is immune. This, coupled with challenges we may have with people we love, colleagues at work, or conflicts in our career that we feel as if we’re spinning our wheels and stuck in the muck.

The problem is that if we are not vigilant, we can easily be distracted by this inner turmoil which is why we may find ourselves being inconsistent with our personal and professional goals. This happens because we unknowingly find ourselves focusing on the things that are out of our control. Because what we focus on expands, it’s no wonder how sometimes we can feel out of control.

So what’s the solution? When I was training in advanced level martial arts, one of the things we practice is how to handle multiple attackers. The answer, one at a time. We maneuver and position ourselves to handle one opponent at a time. Using the most immediate threat as a shield to block ourselves from the other opponents. As you can imagine it takes finesse and many hours of practice.

So step one is to prioritize. Prioritize your list of issues in order of importance. Identify the most immediate issue that needs to be handled. Handle the issue then move onto the next.

Step two is our focus. We can’t control what others do or don’t do, however, we can control what WE do.

  1. We can choose to focus on our past failures or on our past successes.
  2. We can choose to focus on what steps others haven’t yet taken, or the steps we can take.
  3. We can focus on blaming or assuming the worst of others, or giving them the benefit of the doubt until we know the whole truth.
  4. We can focus on where we aren’t, or on our level of effort, priorities, and actions we take to get where we want to be.
  5. We can focus on what others say about us and take it personally, or we can focus on being the best we can.
  6. We can choose to wallow in pain, or find reasons to be grateful, laugh, smile, and be happy.
  7. We can choose to let our inner demons and struggles get the best of us, or we can choose to prioritize and focus on what will serve us in the long run.

Remember, what we focus on expands. What are you expanding? This type of thinking doesn’t happen overnight. It takes PRACTICE!



Jade Goodhue

Jade Goodhue

Jade Goodhue has served in the United States Marine Corp as a company commander, a logistics officer, and a black belt martial arts instructor, as well as completed two combat tours to Iraq. In 2008, she earned her Six Sigma green belt while running Battalion-level Logistics in Iraq. After transitioning from the Marine Corps, she gained a myriad of financial sector experience. She worked her way up from a trader to the director of operations at a financial trading and education firm. During that time, she specialized in trading psychology. She now coaches on leadership development, as well as changing, developing, and sustaining an organizational culture. Jade holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Minor in Japanese from the United States Naval Academy. She is also earning her Master of Liberal Arts in Organizational Psychology from Harvard Extension School.

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