Most people spend major time on minor things, and spend minor time on major things. They do this repeatedly and over time wonder why their lives are the way it is. Learning to focus on what really matters is essential to a life of peace and fulfilment. I must confess it took me a while to get to this point. After several failures, heartaches, stress and disappointments, I finally came to a point where I had to take a decision about what to pay attention to and what to ignore – focusing on what matters.
Know this: whatever you focus on expands. The first time I saw this statement, I thought to myself “perhaps this is why I keep getting the type of results I was seeing in my life” I had to learn to start decluttering myself from these unwanted ‘entanglements‘, learning to say ‘NO’ was one of the most difficult but vital decision I had to make too. It’s a journey, I’m not yet there, but a lot of progress has been made and it’s worth every effort.
A big part of being able to navigate from spending major time on minor things to focusing my energy on what really matters, stemmed from taking stock of my life and the direction it was going, paying attention to people who were seemingly living the kind of life I only imagined in my head. Added to that was paying attention to the kind of information I fed into my mind. I became selective on programs I watch on TV and things I listen to. Believe me, you become what you eat. When you keep putting the wrong stuff into your body, the first day it seems nothing happened, but a process has begun. The feeling might be good and pleasurable, but do this repeatedly for one week, one year, perhaps 6 years down the line, then it shows up in your body. If you’re lucky and it’s diagnosed early, then you have a chance to rectify the problem, but imagine the cost in terms of time, money and mental stress.Explore 1600+ online courses from top universities. Join Coursera today to learn data science, programming, business strategy, and more.
So be careful what you feed on mentally. Whatever you feed will grow – don’t forget this! Also, it is not just enough to eat food, the quality of what you eat also matters. Those who have suffered from kwashiorkor while growing up will tell you better. For those who live in Africa, the real impact of hunger and malnutrition is seen all around us everyday. When you travel to the village for example, you might be surprised to see a 12-year-old child looking 5 years or more younger than his or her age both in terms of size and physiological development.
The same applies to those who feed on what one of my mentors calls “mental candies” – feeding the mind with garbage from social media and so on. You’ve got to feed the mind with balanced and rich information, and one of the best sources of these information are books, conferences, seminars, radio programs, webinars! Look around you will find them. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; chances are whatever you’re trying to do, someone else somewhere has done it. For example, if you want to improve your communication skills, look for books, seminars, experts in this field. Invest that money in your personal and mind development. I learnt early that if you want to make profits, you’ve got to invest. While free stuff is good, sometimes you need to make some investment. When I pay for a program or course, I am more motivated to focus and finish it than when it is free. Thankfully, most programs and books today are online or digital and affordable.
Poor thinking habits keep most people poor, not poor working habits. These poor thinking habits emanate from what occupies the mind. The human mind is like a mental factory, so whatever you think about all day long pours ingredients into this factory, and that’s what builds the economic, social and financial fabric of one’s life. Want to change your life? Start by changing your thoughts. To change your thoughts, start by feeding your mind with the right information every day. Success starts with few simple habits and discipline repeated every day!