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Your thoughts shape what you experience in life. That is, your thoughts determine your vision as well as your failures. You see what you choose to see.
Personal development expert, Jim Lutes believes that “…What is expected tends to be realized.” There are some people who are always looking at the ‘dark’ side of every situation. They are either pointing out what is already wrong in a particular situation or talking about what could or is likely to go wrong. I don’t know about you, but I cringe whenever I find myself in the company of someone who is like this and try my best to avoid conversations with him or her. It is not that people like me don’t want to hear anything negative coming from others, but if it is that these persons have not learned to channel his or her energy where they want their lives to go, then the ‘listeners’ will be regularly subjected to doom and gloom of others’ issues with no positive end in sight.
Then there are some persons who seem to be winning all the time in spite of personal and national crises. Sometimes we see them unbothered and smiling when the world is frowning. This is because even though they may be facing difficulties and challenges, they have learned from past or others’ experiences that if they focus on these obstacles, all they will see is more of the same. They have instead chosen to focus on their vision rather than the obstacles.
So how do we learn to focus on our vision and not the obstacles or situations? This is clearly not something that is easy to do and will require a combination of different factors. These are:
Know your vision: Have a clear idea of why you want to accomplish something and how you should go about doing so. Write down your most important goals and priorities and place them where you can see them regularly. Remember that what you focus on (regularly) is what will be realized.
Believe in the accomplishment of your goals: There is a popular Jamaican saying that goes like this: ‘…belief kill and belief cure.’ This is simply another way of saying what we have been discussing here; that if we believe something bad will happen, then we will only see bad things happening; and if we believe that good things will happen in spite of the obstacles, then we will see the good things happening, sometimes even before they happen. Did I explain that right? Let me allow the medical and psychological experts to explain it a bit better. The body can be significantly influenced by the mind, and in several cases, the mind can help the body to heal. The mind is powerful enough to trick the individual into believing that fake treatments have real healing results. This phenomenon is known as the ‘placebo effect.’ Researchers have found that the influence that placebos (fake treatment) exert is powerful enough to imitate the outcomes of using real medical treatments. You see what you choose to see. Go figure.
Make a plan to accomplish your vision: Start with a plan, even if you have to tweak it along the way to accommodate life changes. It was mentioned somewhere that Edison tweaked the light bulb invention plan many times, but today we enjoy the use of the light bulb because he was willing to change the plan to incorporate lessons from his failures. A lot of builders have started out with a plan and have come upon unforeseen obstruction or circumstances and the result is unfinished buildings here and there. Any good business or organizational expert will tell you that at some point, even in a well-organized plan, you will have to tweak the plan or the vision statement for the vision to be realized. It is at this stage you will find out how good and/or accurate your plan was.
Refuse the excuses: During the research for this topic, I read about this man who lost his eyesight just when smartphones and computers were about to saturate the world. He could have found several reasons to give up but these reasons, he said, were simply another word for ‘excuses;’ and excuses are for losers. He went on to say that he was able to run his household and have many options for pastimes and professional fulfillment with the huge amount of technological implements at his disposal coupled with a guard dog. He also stated that he will remain optimistic as with the current medical advances, he may be able to see again within his lifetime. The persons that make it to the top are the ones that are not willing to make excuses. You can read the entire story if you wish: Chad E. Foster (2018) Seeing Beyond Circumstances: A Lesson in Vision.
Remain focused and don’t give up: Many people who have won the battle against cancer or any other chronic illness have testified to the fact that they steadfastly focused on the expected positive outcome and pushed on in spite of the obstacles. It is a given that you will encounter challenges, setbacks, and experiences that you did not plan for, but focus on your destination; what you want your life to look like in a time period that you worked out prior to or in the midst of these obstacles.
Why is it so important to be aware that what you focus on is what shapes your destiny? Because religious enthusiasts and mindset change agents all tell us that an individual’s life is a reflection on what he or she focuses on. Therefore, if you desire the fulfillment of your vision or dreams, focus your energy on how to get there, rather than the obstacles that you are sure to encounter. Even if you choose to focus your attention on your obstacles or your lack, this will not change your reality. But instead of living your life in a continuous state of turmoil, it is more beneficial to focus your efforts and energy on what you are able to change. In addition, you cannot control the actions of others; what they do to and around you. However, the response to their actions is entirely within your control. When you stay focused on your vision, not your circumstances, you can be like the people who have a pleasant countenance and outlook on life most of the time, even when life seems to be falling apart.