In response to those who requested more information on how to focus deliberately:
In Exercise Your Focus (part 1) and also in The Joy of Focus, I talked about the powerlessness of needing existing circumstances alone to focus upon in order to feel good. (" I got praise at work today," "My boyfriend sent me a card," "This show is funny," "This vacation spot makes me feel relaxed," "I lost 3 pounds," "I got a new client...")
All those thoughts are positive and wonderful and are tuning you to the vibration of who you really are. That's all very good. But what happens tomorrow?... when your boss criticizes you, or your boyfriend leaves you, or there's nothing on TV, or your vacation is over, or you gain 7 pounds, or you lose your job?
What about the rest of your day when you're filling your brain with passive, responsive thoughts.... reading or watching TV or listening to the radio or talking to someone or focusing on accomplishing a task .... Nothing wrong with any of those things. Unless it's the only way you focus.
Not to mention the powerlessness of observing circumstances that don't feel good and then staying in that state (replaying a conversation you didn't like, thinking about how to control someone else's behavior, regretting something you did....)
If you believe you need existing circumstances to observe in order to make you feel good, you will try to control circumstances. And that can't be done from a physical/action point of view.
Also, just observing circumstances and responding to them sets up a passive, not powerful, way of life.
And, as you focus on problems, regrets, irritations, you are attracting more thoughts that match those thoughts. And you're attracting more situations that match those thoughts.
In that frame of mind you are at the mercy of (seemingly) random circumstances.
Your real joy lies in the intentional direction of your thought toward appreciation (of anything or anyone) and love (you feel about anything or anyone) and fun (you have had or plan to have) and adventure (you have had or plan to have) and dreams (of future experiences) and happy memories.
Throughout your day, many times a day, when you're going to sleep, waking up, taking a shower, driving, cooking, doing the dishes, taking a walk, taking a break between clients or TV shows, sitting outside, sewing a hem, working out, waiting on hold, vacuuming, walking the dog, taking out the trash, .... or, oddly, sitting still doing nothing....
That valuable time is the time to intentionally think of something nice. Think of a fun conversation you had, or an experience that felt good, or an experience you want to have, or the current absence of pain in your body, or the reasons you like someone, or the reasons you like your house, or the reasons you like your job, or the reasons you like your relationship, or the reasons you like the book you're reading.
That little bit of intentional direction of positive thought is more powerful than any merger or any business deal or any action you could take about anything.
The way to focus deliberately (and to create your life deliberately) is outlined in the following way:
(I've said these things before, but this is a never-before outline of a day-to-day plan)
A good head start is to wake up feeling good. The only way to wake up feeling good is to go to bed feeling good.
1) When you go to bed and you are lying in your bed, focus on something to appreciate. The easiest thing is the most general, like the softness of your pillow or temperature of the room or the sound of something soothing.
And/Or, focus on something that feels good. A memory, a fantasy, a person, an event.
Or focus on words that feels good. Start with "A" and think of a good-feeling word that starts with "A". Go through the alphabet. Do any or all these things until you fall asleep.
2) Also, before you fall asleep, state an intention to remember your dreams. They're so amazing!
3) As you awaken, ask yourself if there were any dreams you remember. Regardless of the content, ask yourself how the dream felt. If it felt good, revel in it. If it felt bad, revel in the excitement of revealing it's secrets later! (make some notes if you're not sure you will remember later). If you have no memory, revel in the fact that there are no big issues to examine.
4) Stay in your bed, stretch, make yourself comfortable, and focus on appreciative thoughts for a few moments. Think of anything at all in the present moment or in your life in general that you can appreciate. In a state of appreciation, you are in the vortex. Intend to enjoy your day.
5)While you brush your teeth, listen to the sound of brushing your teeth. That moment of absense of thought atunes you to what a naturally high vibration feels like. Often the thoughts that come to you now are great-feeling thoughts. Or original ideas!
6) During your day, when something occurs that you do not like, (called 'contrast,') your immediate goal is to look at the problem from another perspective and make yourself feel better. Feel better by ignoring the unwanted circumstance, OR by telling yourself something soothing about that subject.
You will encounter something ('contrast') that spits you out of the vortex (the state of feeling good) a few times or several times or many times in one day. Don't be surprised or alarmed by this!
Making yourself feel better, either in general or about a subject in particular, is much simpler than you may imagine.
Let's say you're at work and you get a call from a crucial client who is unhappy and demanding a meeting to resolve a seemingly unresolvable issue.
That spits you out of the vortex. Of course it does! That's what 'contrast' is supposed to do!
What to do now: Tell yourself that whatever happens will benefit you. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do. Let go of any outcome. If the account goes away, it wasn't a match to you or your company. That's enough. It will be immediately replaced by a better account. If the account stays, that's fine too.
Let's say you get a flat tire on the way to work. Not only that, your cell phone is dead. You immediately feel a variety of worries:
The people gathering for the meeting you are headed to will be angry that you are late. They came from out of town and will not be here for long. You can't call to let them know.
You can't call to get the auto service to fix your tire without a phone.
You think if you miss the meeting the opportunity for their business will be gone.
You're in a skirt and high heels and you don't know how to change a tire. (No judgement, guys.)
What to do now: Tell yourself that "what is happening just is. No amount of worry will change that. Everyone will understand. If this meeting doesn't happen there will be others. Someone will eventually stop and lend me a phone. Business is not going to collapse because of one missed meeting. I'm fine. This is not such a big deal."
Just then a motorist pulls over to offer help. He changes your tire for you and you have the funniest half hour of conversation on the side of the road. You even exchange phone numbers to get together another time. You think, "What a nice guy! I'm so glad I met him. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to see what real people and real situations are like when I miss a meeting!"
Follow these basic intentions to feel good; One, after exposure to contrast, and Two, during as many quiet moments as you can make during the day.
The result will be that you feel so much better! And then the things that you attract into your life will be better and better.