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Where is Your Focus? On Things That Discourage or Motivate?

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What are you focused on?

I love to take pictures. Cameras of today make it so easy to point-and-shoot. In fact, cell phones are the cameras of choice because they are instantly available.

There are times, however, when I want to do more than just snap a quick picture of friends. I want to capture the beauty of the countryside or zero in on a hummingbird or reveal the intricacies of a spider’s web. At such times, I want a camera whose lens I can adjust to take in more features or narrow the scope to pinpoint a particular point of interest.

If you are a serious photographer, you continue to adjust your focus until you capture exactly what you want. Everything is taken into consideration: the lighting, angle, depth of field, and nuances that give some pictures a timeless quality.

You are the camera of your life. You adjust the focus every day.

Every day we focus on something. If our lens remains stuck in only one position, we miss the highlights of the things that make our heart rejoice, the people who enrich our lives, or the timeless beauty of sunsets and sunrises. We miss the chances to try new things or experiment with ways to make life enjoyable and positive. We can get stuck on hate and resentment instead of developing an emphasis for love and happiness.

Each moment offers something new – a  depth of understanding or new way to look at what’s in front of us. Within each, there are opportunities that are gone in a second if we don’t stop, consider, and focus on them.

What amazing things we could accomplish if we allowed ourselves to actually see the world that surrounds us.

Our focus becomes the attention we give anything – what we do, how long we do it and where it will take us. It can have either a positive or negative outcome. We can allow our lens to remain fixed on problems or the injustices we perceive.

Or we can adjust our focus to search for the answers we need. We can broaden the focus of our camera and see the good in people. We can focus on God and build a relationship with Him; relaxing in the comfort and love He offers us.

There will be times when we need to quickly adjust our focus.

A family member has become ill or injured, or someone is experiencing chest pains. It may be as simple as an overdrawn bank account that demands immediate attention. But whatever the crisis or difficulty, at such moments you don’t care if the sun is shining, the birds are singing, or the daffodils are blooming. What you care about is the emergency in front of you that takes center stage and requires your full attention.

Life can be challenging. We will struggle with problems we never imagined we would have. We will experience losses of loved ones. If we focus on what we can’t do, however, we will worry, suffer anxiety, give up and become hostage to anything and everything that isn’t working.

Your focus sets the tone for your life – it sets the direction.

It will either motivate or discourage you. Every morning when you get up, you have a choice as to how you will meet the challenges of that day.

  • How will I use my energy?
  • Will I remain focused only on the mountain of problems facing me or on how I might reduce that mountain to manageable molehills?
  • I can focus on my weaknesses or limitations, or I can confirm my abilities.
  • I can remain depressed about what I don’t have, or feel I can’t do, or I can look for and find all the blessings and bits of gratefulness that are visible when I look for them.
  • I can adjust my focus on my assets and abilities, and then thank God for His faithfulness and assistance in helping me use them.

The Home page of my website states, “Your focus defines who you are and who you can become.”

This reminder represents our ability to become the best we can be. We can focus on developing our talents and skills and on all the choices and possibilities that lie before us or hang back in fear.

We can focus on God and let Him lead, helping us develop the core principles and values we will live by, or we can drift from one socially accepted belief to another.

Your focus will ultimately determine who you become.

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2 Responses to “Where is Your Focus? On Things That Discourage or Motivate?”

  1. Reply Deb Gorman

    Hi Marlene!

    This post was very timely for me. I’m caring for my elderly father, and his situation is challenging.

    One thing I’ve been doing all year long is creating “My Gratitude Journey” posts on SM each and every day. I look for something for which to be grateful each day, keep a Word journal, and find apropos photos to illustrate each one.

    The discipline of gratitude, sometimes for the most mundane of items (like rocks, for instance!) keeps my focus where it belongs, as you so beautifully state in your post.

    Live long and prosper, my friend!


    • Reply Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

      Thanks Deb, Its amazing how such a simple thing as focusing on gratitude can make such a difference in our lives. It reminds us that life isn’t just uphill battles but beautiful resting spots as well. Blessings, Marlene

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