Oh the brain. That soft, grooved, and spongy organ looks like it belongs nestled in a coral reef rather than in our heads, operating our human minds and bodies. The brain controls a lot–thoughts, feelings, and body mechanics–but it also gives us the power to process and shape these functions. Thoughts are extremely influential because they guide our decisions, which have consequences, good and bad. What plays out is our reality. So the words that we tell ourselves matter. If we focus on the negative, we tend to see more negativity. If we focus on the positive, we view the world through a positive lens. Here are strategies to make your focus your reality:
I’m not suggesting to view everything with rose-colored glasses. You can’t just wave a wand and transform into Mr. Rogers. I’m encouraging you to be positive that you can reframe your way of viewing things. If our omniscient brain generates thoughts and feelings, it also gives us the power to process them and react. When nine out of ten things go right in your day, celebrate them versus dwelling on the one that didn’t. This can help lift your mood and inspire a more positive outlook.
Use Your Imagination
Imagine if you could create your own positive story to your day, week, or heck, even your month. You can! Writer Napolean Hill refers to imagination as the workshop of the mind. Synthetic imagination, he says, rearranges existing ideas into new concepts, and creative imagination creates something from nothing. The ideas that come from imagination are the forces that cause things to come into being.
Picture this: it’s Sunday evening, which means tomorrow is school. I know, Monday is usually nothing to look forward to, but hang with me here. What if you used your imagination to design a great day? Rather making the dreaded Monday the negative focus of your day, you can look forward to seeing your friends and participating in school activities you enjoy. Granted, your day may have some bumps, but you still have the power to make it a good one by planning ahead.
Show Your Worries Who’s Boss
Let me be clear about something: your life is not going to be all positivity all of the time. Nor is that the goal. You’ll have bad days, and worries may dominate your mind at times. That’s okay. The key is to own bad days and worries by examining and addressing them. As I’ve discussed previously, my best practice is to conduct a worry worst-case scenario to lay it all out. You’ll find that a) your Doomsday scenario likely won’t happen because that’s magical thinking, and b) if it does, you’ll still be okay.
What’s Next For You?
Change can be difficult, but if you’re reading this, that means you’re willing to give it a shot. Whatever your approach, I encourage you to find what works for you to set yourself up for success. I highly recommend practicing and using reminders like vision boards and journaling. Knowing that you can reframe your thoughts, use your imagination, and address your worries are powerful tools to help you discover your potential.
How do you stay focused? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.