Don’t run from your problem, run towards your goal.

Where is your focus as you work towards your goals?

 

Do you know someone that seems to always be fighting with a certain issue? Does it seem like they can never quite get past it, no matter how hard they try. They have attacked the issue from five different directions and yet, they never seem to get beyond that issue.

It could be because their focus is on the issue.

Have you ever looked through binoculars? How about turning them around and looking through them backwards?

Focus: A point at which rays of light or other radiation converge (to come together to a point) or from which they appear to diverge (to branch out)

Your personal focus can be a lot like this. If you have a particular goal in mind, if you are moving towards something you are focused on, then that one thing grows bigger in your vision. It pushes out the things around it that would distract you from achieving your goal.

However, if you are focused on getting away from something, if you are not moving towards a goal, but rather running from some thing, then where you really want to be can get lost in the surroundings. Where you want to be seems small and insignificant.

The difference is subtle but critical.

If you want to achieve a goal, you must focus on that goal, not on what you don’t want! If your focus remains on what you are moving away from then you will easily loose sight of your goal.

If it is cold and snowing and you go to the nearest airport and your only goal is to get out of the town you are in, you have many options, but don’t really know where you may end up. On the other had if you go to that same airport and find a flight to Maui that leaves in the next couple of hours and has available seating, well then you will end up right where you wanted to be.

When you teach a child how to ride a bicycle for the first time without training-wheels, you tell them to look up, at the horizon. Not down at the ground. Where they look is where they will go. Just watch Americas Funniest Videos and you’ll see what I’m talking about. When someone on a bike focuses their vision on a pole or car or wall, that is exactly where they end up.

A personal example of this is when I was working as a programmer and had a manager that had zero technical skills, and marginal managerial skills. I was trapped in a dead-end position and would have taken anything that the company offered to get out of that position. In fact, I did apply for another position that opened up just so I could get out from under that manager.

After my first interview I realized that I was running from a position and not to a specific goal. If I had continued to pursue that position I would have ended up in another job that I didn’t really want because I was running from my current situation.

Instead I decided to tough it out a little longer and really decide what I wanted. In doing so, I now have a specific goal that I am working towards and when I achieve that goal, I will be exactly where I want to be. Not just in a different kind of bad.

When you want change, first ask yourself if you are moving towards a specific goal, or if you are running from something. Forward progress is good. Progress from a bad place is a good start. Progress in this manner though will not lead you to where you really want to be. In order to do that, you must have a very specific goal to focus on. Only then will your effort, energy and momentum take you to your desired destination.

So, how is your focus right now? Is your focus pointing at a specific goal, or is it spreading out from something you are moving away from?

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2 Responses to Don’t run from your problem, run towards your goal.

  1. Cara Stein December 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    This is so true! I’ve done some autocross, and that’s exactly the advice I got there, too: look where you want to go. Don’t look at the ditch or you’ll end up there. I think the more clear you are on where you want to be and the more vividly you can imagine it, the easier it is to get there. That’s how it’s been for me, anyway.

    • Mike Routen December 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      Cara, Autocross sounds like a blast! I raced Motocross in High School and really enjoyed it. I quickly learned that when you are barely in control and headed for the berm, it is imperative to not focus on the berm, but to look where you want to go! It goes against everything that is within us, but it is what must be done to keep on track.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Mike