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How Your Mind Governs Your Focus


I watched in amazement as a helicopter rescued a couple from a flood. It took several attempts before the swinging rope and the rescue worker could grab each one. As the rescuer held the person and the chopper started rising, the rescuer said this: “No matter what you do, don’t look down.” I thought a lot about that statement.

Think about what the couple had just gone through: their house, belongings, bodies swept along in a torrent. There were surely feelings of panic, fear, disorientation. Then they spot the helicopter, but the chopper can’t quite reach them because their position keeps changing, thanks to the torrent of water. Ironically, for several attempts, the rope and the rescuer are present, but unattainable.

Finally, the connection is made and this time, drained and exhausted, the person is caught up swinging from a rope with nothing but the arms of the rescuer around him or her. And, in that moment, the rescuer gives the instruction: “Whatever you do, don’t look down!” Now, in spite of any fear of heights, exhaustion, trepidation, each must make a decision to make a good mental choice: look in the right place.

How appropriate is this analogy when we are seeking our goals. Sometimes I look at how far I have to go and I get discouraged. Sometimes I look at the hurdles in between me and the goal and I feel frustrated. Sometimes I look at the slow progress I’ve made up to that point and I feel impatient. All of these emotions are created by my poor choices of where I look. I don’t know about you, but I realized when I saw that chopper rescue, that I needed to make better “look” choices.

After that, I made more efforts to start seeing myself accomplishing my goals. When I have been tempted to look in the wrong direction, I intentionally shift my focus to “see” what I want. I don’t dwell on what I don’t want: long goal attainment, lots of obstacles or slow progress—all brought into focus by where I look! Regardless of our emotions, let’s concentrate on looking in the right direction and choosing to not look in the wrong direction.  Achieving your goal is attained by the simple tip of redirecting your focus.



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