Find your shoes and find your way

August 28, 2016

 

My daughter was watching television as we prepared to leave the house one morning. I asked her to get her shoes. Upset that I even asked, she went away and returned in a huff to report that she could find them and they weren't where she left them. I went to look for the shoes exactly where she had, and there they sat.

 

The human brain is designed to focus on the things we label important. There's so much information coming our way from our environment that, to be efficient, it sorts through and filters what it considers important and leaves out the rest.

 

You'd think that my daughter's shoes would count as important, since that's what she went for. Au contraire, getting her shoes meant turning off the television and leaving. Not seeing the shoes and having mom look instead, buys her a few more precious moments of screen time.

 

It's quite similar to that project that stalled and can't seem to get restarted, or that book you talk about writing, but can't find the time to write. Though on the surface they may seem important to you, there's something in the background working just as hard to keep things just the way they are, and it's not what you might think it is.

 

If you want access to shifting your focus from 'the television' to focus on heading out and making something incredible happen, or simply to seeing what's been there all along, start looking at what you do instead. Then start looking at the thinking you do about yourself, the activity you're doing, and the activity you're not. These are the thoughts that direct your filters to throw out the truly important activity for the lack-luster substitute. Acknowledging the existing thought gives you access to interrupting them when you see them again. It's not enough to ignore, dismiss or interrupt the thought. As with all things in nature, a void screams to be filled. So, fill the now vacant thought space with the thought you'd rather entertain in its stead. 

 

Develop for yourself a set of thoughts you'd rather have that invigorate, inspire and elevate your very being. Think those thoughts often, and interrupt all undesirable thoughts with the ones you want. It's simple and it requires the discipline of maintaining the thoughts. Make them your new pets and watch how quickly you find your shoes when you are ready to head out the door.

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