Focus: selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. (source)
While I found a few differently worded definitions of the word focus, I think the one that says it best is the one above. We CHOOSE what we focus on, and I think many of us waste a lot of energy focusing on things we can't change. Or focus on the outcome instead of the process. Surely we know the process is what is going to determine the outcome in the end. Constantly worrying about a number on the scale, a number in a race, the number in your bank acct., etc. isn't going to change the outcome.
There are several areas I found myself focusing on lately that are really a waste of energy. One is focusing on the past. I think it is important to look at the past to analyze what things could have been done differently to prevent some type of perceived failure. After all life is about learning from our mistakes. But, then we need to let it go. You can't change the past, so you have no business living there. I'll use the example of a race not going to way you wanted because I know most reading can relate. Take the time to learn what could have been differently. Take the time to be mad/angry/upset. Then move on. Sign up for another race and focus on that goal. One outcome does not define you. Focus on a new plan. And instead of one huge goal at the end set up a lot of small goals you can aim for that will all help lead you to the outcome that you desire. Like many lessons in running, this can be applied to many other parts of your life.
Another thing I know many of us focus on is body image. In a day in age where perfect bodies are portrayed everywhere it is not hard to get down on yourself. You want to look a certain way or be a certain weight. This can lead so many to make unhealthy changes. Instead of focusing on others and the way they look, focus on you. Are there healthy changes in your life that will make you feel better? Could you eat better, exercise more, sleep more, or drink more water? Again, small attainable goals can be set, and should be celebrated. Focus on living a healthier life. Make changes that make you happy. Life is too short to be miserable. Don't like to run? Don't. Find some other way to keep active. Don't want to worry about every morsel that goes in your mouth? Don't. Focus on making healthier choices and substituting better ingredients in your favorite meals. Also focus on what amazing things your body can do, and not on things you wish it did better. Focus on something you love about your body now, not on how you will love it after it looks a certain way.
With Thanksgiving well on its way, we should all try to make it a priority to focus on the things we are thankful for. (we could all probably do that a little more all year long) Things that we have, rather than don't. Things in our life that make us happy, not all the problems big and small that will
continue to come up day in and day out of our lives. This is my goal for the month of November.
Is there something in your life that you focus on a lot that maybe doesn't deserve so much of your time and energy?