Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Focus Your Energy

Do you see the rain or the calm in the distance?
Both are true, but which caught your eye?
I asked two people about a vacation they shared. The first told a story filled with disappointment, mishaps, and borderline misery. The second gave an animated story that centered on her gratitude for being able to take a vacation. Even though they were on the same trip, they gave differing accounts because their experiences were painted by their perceptions.

Life is filled with a variety of experiences. There are things we plan for, occasions we can't plan for, times for a plan b, high highs, low lows, and everything in between. We overcome hardships, create new realities for ourselves, adjust to new normals, love, laugh, lose, and learn to fully live. What differs between us is how we interpret life and live within the framework that it provides.

When I kayaked for the first time I was in Honduras. I expected gorgeous sun rays to warm my face. I expected gentle waves to lap the side of the kayak. I expected peace. What I got was a tropical deluge. What I got was drenched. What I got was a totally unexpected story, one far more enjoyable to tell and remember than what I envisioned. Just as with the kayaking experience, I could focus on the times when I expected sunshine, peace, and ease yet received cloudiness, downpours, and hard work. Instead, I prefer to focus my energy on being grateful, strengthened, and learning to use wisdom.

Listen to your conversation. Reflect on your thoughts. Do you focus your attention on the mishaps, delays, downpours, and disappointments? Or do you share and remember the beauty, the time spent with those you love, the outcomes that were better than you expected, and appreciate that you are able to influence the quality of your life?

You already use energy, whether purposefully or not, to interpret your life and what happens in it. Why not use that energy to your benefit? Why not use that energy to live better? This does not equate to being delusional or irresponsible with your reality. Life does deliver difficulty. However, the way that you cope with hardship and express gratitude for fortune is greatly impacted by how you focus your energy. Invest in yourself and the quality of your life by taking the time to be more purposeful in focusing your thoughts.

Read last week's post, Give Back the Burden.

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