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 read this, I thought to myself “wow, is this why things are not moving for me the way I’d wanted them to?” Outwardly, everything looked good, but beneath that flashy surface was a lot of fears, heartaches and unwanted pressures which were mostly self-inflicted. I had to learn to start decluttering myself from these unwanted ‘entanglements‘. Its a journey, I’m not yet there, but a lot progress has been made and its worth every effort. Have you read the book “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins? In my opinion, this is one book every reader needs, if you are keen to break loose from self-limiting thoughts and develop a mental toughness needed to defy odds and rise to become the best you can be. (You can get an audio version by clicking on the image below).
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. Over the years, I have become selective of 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 might seem like 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, it will eventually show 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.
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”. They spend time reading and listening to the wrong things with no significant value to their lives. Early in the morning, they instinctively grab their phones, go to social media, watch videos, news and gossips about other people’s lives. They spend major part of their waking hours doing the same thing over and over. They neglect the most important thing – feeding their minds with the right nutrients to start the day. Repeat this process every day for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years, the result? Your guess is as good as mine. Poor thinking habits keep most people poor, not poor working habits. This 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!