The first time I heard “Focus determines reality,” I was 23 years old and thought I knew everything. No one could tell me anything. I had just ended a long term relationship with a man who was quite controlling. I felt like a prisoner. I felt betrayed. I felt like I had lost everything I had worked hard to build. To be honest, I have felt this way many times…building my life up only to have someone come along and knock me down the stairs I spent years trying to climb, one by one out of the darkness and into the sunshine only to end up back down deeper in the darkness I was scrambling to escape.
So there I was, suddenly homeless with my 4 year old daughter, all of our stuff in storage and we were sleeping in my car. Luckily it was summer so it wasn’t too horrible…almost like camping minus the tent. We crashed on couches and spent the night at friends’ homes whenever we could. I was so stubborn that I wouldn’t go home to my mother’s.
So this person says to me, “Focus determines reality,” and instantly I was arguing that I couldn’t think my way out of my situation. But then I started putting the idea into practice. I learned to control my thoughts and focus on positive things. I learned to put my focus on what I wanted, rather than complaining about what I didn’t have. And things slowly began to change bit by bit. I built my life back up again.
So what is it about this idea that we can “think” ourselves into the things that we want in life? It is professed by so many to be the secret to success. Does it work? Can we think our way to success? Or is there more to it?
What do you think about on a daily basis? Do you think about your successes? Your failures? Do you sink down into despair or pull yourself up by your bootstraps? Do you complain about every single slight or inconvenience? Do you praise and appreciate the people around you?
The things we think about affect us. They affect our emotions, behaviors, decisions and actions. If I sit and think about how horrible it is to have to clean, the job becomes miserable. It takes longer. The energy is sucked right out of me. There is no joy. So of course, my thoughts have decided for me that cleaning sucks before I even get to doing the actual cleaning, and it definitely becomes a horrible experience. If I decide that I am going to have fun and make a game of cleaning….turn on some music and dance around the house in my undies like Tom Cruise….it becomes an enjoyable time. Before I know it I have finished what I set out to do. My thoughts determined my experience in life and made it more achievable.
Currently, I am trying to apply this towards my work on this blog and other online projects that I have. I enjoy it, and I make sure to keep in my thoughts how to make what I enjoy a profitable lifestyle rather than a wasted pipe dream. People always are going to tell me how something I want is a waste of time and can’t be done. Now I know that as long as I don’t let people affect my thoughts I am perfectly capable of proving them wrong and doing that exact thing successfully. I have done it many times. The quality of your thinking definitely determines the quality of your life, so don’t sell your life short with some short-sighted thinking.
Can you give me an example of how your thoughts have determined your reality? What is something you can do to change your thoughts to achieve your goals? Do you have a Negative Nelly in your life telling you that something just isn’t possible? What can you do to prevent their negative thought patterns from controlling your own thoughts? What actions can you take to make your thoughts reality? Let me know in the comments!