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Pay attention to what you pay attention to.

27 May

My journal offered me a phenomenal breakthrough today. I’d like to share how it all precipitated.

I went through my sketchpad the other day and tried to pull a theme out of what’s been going through my head and my life lately. The answer wasn’t immediately obvious. I realized there was no theme because… there was no theme. I was doing too much.

We call this retrospective process ‘paying attention to what you pay attention to.’

Knowing I was spreading myself too thin, like too little butter on too much bread, I decided I should make some serious choices in my life, and focus my energies. Here is how I represented my thinking on what I needed to do:

I was thinking about focus all wrong.

I thought I had figured it out. I would slowly cut out the diffusion in my life. In the end, I would be laser focused on what I really needed to accomplish in my life. Wrong.

After creating the original representation of focus… everyone around me was suddenly talking about focus! I was paying attention to how people focus, and pulling lessons out of this.*

In hearing so much more about focus, and pulling a few life stories from friends, I realized there was a hidden crutch buried in my original sketch: a need for comfort, security, and a fear of making tough life choices.

While reviewing my original drawing, I realized making a choice to focus your life is more like what I represented below. You need to make the tough choices you’ve been putting off, and commit to follow through on those choices.

The most successful people I know made difficult decisions and focused their effort on their top priority.

For example, John Traynor, made a commitment to follow classical painting when he was growing up in New Jersey, against the advice of many educators. He could have gotten a business and art degree at Skidmore College, with something to fall back on if art didn’t work out. He realized that lack of focus was setting himself up for failure. Instead he committed and persisted at the Paier College of Art. Today he is phenomenally successful.

The process of creative journaling offers me an opportunity to dissect my own thinking, and how focused it is.** The journal serves as a nest of ideas. It proves to be a very valuable tool as we all search for ways to live our life to the fullest and make our business a success. I’d love to hear how journaling and creative work fits into your life!

* We call this ‘The New Car Phenomenon.’ When you buy a new car, magically, you notice hundreds more on the rode than you ever noticed before!
**
We call this Diversity of Thought… words, text, and graphics all help you analyze your life and business from multiple angles, multiple forms of logic. You become your own critic, your personal sounding board.

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