Tag Archives: Focus

Focus On What’s Important, Not What Isn’t

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

When I was a kid I played little league. One of my problems was watching the ball hit the bat. I remember my coach was always saying to do just that, but I kept looking up to where I wanted the ball to go, or where I expected it to go I swung and connected correctly. It seemed a lot easier to “watch the ball hit the bat” when you were supposed to bunt, but I never really liked bunting. Something about sprinting towards first base and always worried you were going to be thrown out.

I must rather enjoyed hitting one into the outfield, and thinking of second base on the way to first base. Rounding first, slowing up a bit and checking to see what the ball was doing was a great feeling. A mixture of success, control, and possibility for more. A bunt, on the other hand, is pure danger. Like you are challenging the pitcher to a race. Of course, when you bunt, you aren’t supposed to bunt it right back at the pitcher, you’re supposed to bunt toward the first baseman or the third baseman, providing they haven’t read your signals and are playing way up.

They say baseball is a game of inches, and when you’re talking about bunting, they are certainly right. But it’s much more fun to blast away and hit the ball as far as you can (or at least intend to), so you don’t have to run very fast towards first.

I finally figured out way to drastically improve my batting, and start to hit it out of the infield on a consistent basis. It was just a small addition to how I usually practiced.

I used to date this girl in high school. I guess it was your normal high school relationship. Nobody really knows what you’re supposed to do. You’re lucky if you can get a car. Being in high school, I never had much money, so going out on dates was always a challenge. Drive somewhere, sit around, and hopefully make a move of some sort. I found the best dates were the ones where I didn’t worry about the little things along the way, when I was able to focus on the big picture, so to speak.

When there was something big going on, (and free) like a county fair or some kind of event, it was much more fun. I was able to look forward to something large, rather than focus on every single nuance of the conversation along the way to just parking somewhere and hoping something “happened,” if you catch my drift. Those dates were always worrisome, as I felt I needed to maintain every little change in the mood, and keep the interest level up.

But when we went to some carnival or something, I didn’t even worry if my date was having a good time or not. I just kind of assumed it, as I was having a pretty good time myself. Those dates were always much easier, and ended much better (ahem.)

Once with a couple of friends, we decided to go skydiving. It was the tandem kind, where you strap yourself to an instructor. You get to pull the cord, but he is there, strapped onto your back in case you black out or something. That is perfect for first timers, as it only requires about fifteen minutes of instruction. It’s pretty idiot proof. The alternative is to jump with two guys on either side of you, but that takes several hours of instruction and drilling.

One thing the guy I was strapped to said just before we leapt out of the plane. He said not to look down. At first I thought that was the regular advice given to people that are afraid of heights. If you look down, you’ll freak out, and lose your nerve. But he was referring to the minute or so after we jumped out of the plane, and was free falling.

That was without question, the most exhilarating minute of my life (except the obvious exception). And it was also the quickest minute (except the obvious exceptions). The reason he said not to look down is that you tend to find some spot below, and try to focus on it, or “fixate on it,” as he said. And when you do that, you miss out on the feeling flying. When you are free falling, you only actually feel like you are falling for the first couple seconds. After that, you hit terminal velocity, which is when you stop accelerating. And you feel like you are literally floating on air. If you look down, you’ll miss out on the fantastic feeling, and spend your brain energy staring at something that isn’t important. If you keep looking forward, and enjoy the experience, it will be much more memorable, much more thrilling, much more extraordinary. So when he said “don’t look down” he wasn’t trying to keep me from getting scared, he was trying to make sure I got the most enjoyment out of the situation.

And the funny thing about learning to consistently hit the ball out of the infield was to practice doing the thing I hated the most. Bunting. I’d go to the batting cages, and stand there like I was going to swing, and then at he last minute, lay down a bunt. I must have looked pretty foolish practicing bunting in the batting cages, but it really trained my hand/eye/bat coordination.

Pretty soon I moved from simple bunts, to short, slow swings, to bigger swings, and to full motion full power swings, all while keeping my eye on the ball the watching the ball hit the bat. Pretty soon I was smacking them all over the place.

Just changing where you place your focus can make all the difference.


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Eyes On The Prize


Once I had this friend of mine that came in to stay with me from out of town. I never really understood this guy, as he had quite a bit of money, but whenever the traveled, he would stay at friends’ houses. You’d think a guy like that could afford hotels. I know that I much prefer staying at hotels than with friends, but that’s just me. You never know when you are going to get yelled at for raiding the fridge in the middle of the night. At least at a hotel, you know the price of everything on the inside.

The reason this guy was in town was that he was at this inventor’s convention. It was a convention for people that were struggling with getting their inventions the patent stage and into the production stage. Most people think that getting a patent is a great milestone, but it’s not really that complicated. All you have to do is prove that it’s a new idea, and you were the one that thought of it. It depends on the country, but usually showing something written down in a notebook is sufficient to show originality of an idea.

And the kind of originality is pretty staggering, and not in the way you’d expect. If all bicycles happen to be made with a certain metal in the chain, and you come up with an idea for a new chain with a unique metal, then that is enough to warrant a patent. I used to work for this biomedical engineering company, and the smallest changes in plastic molded parts that warranted their own patent was mind-boggling. Before, I though that getting a patent was some kind of genius level milestone. But if you can change the angle slightly on a barbed connector for medical tubing and get a patent for it, there can’t be much to it.

Some companies use patents strictly for marketing purposes. They get as many patents as they can, useless as they may be, just so they can use them in their marketing literature. Product X has seventeen patented parts that you won’t find anyplace else.

There’s even companies that have a business model of creating ideas, and filing patents for simple household items, and then doing nothing except to wait for another company to independently come up with the idea, and start selling the product. Then the original company simply has to show that it was there idea, sue them, and forever collect a percentage of the profits.

It would seem that there is more to it than simply building a better mousetrap and waiting for he world to beat a path to your door. I suppose if the world you happened to live in was infested with disease carrying mice that ate your eyeballs while you slept, and your particular idea for a mousetrap would guarantee a mouse free house with little cost, then maybe you might have something. But when you come up with a patent for the new design for that little plastic thing that goes on the end of your shoelaces, then you’ve got some marketing work ahead of you.

Which was basically the gist of the seminar my freeloading friend was going to. It was primarily for people that came up with patents that they thought were marketable enough to invest some time and money in, but hadn’t picked up any kind of corporate sponsorship. Even if you come up with the greatest idea since sliced bread, you’ve still got to figure out a way to market it and manufacture it on a large scale.

If you have a product that is very similar to other products, and it is an improved version, like a bicycle tire that will never go flat, then it may be a little easier to sell. All you’d need to do is create some fliers, mass mail them to bike shops, bicycle manufacturers, etc, and hope they buy enough of your product to make it worthwhile. If you can get enough pre orders to pay for your production, so much the better.

But if you come up with a new environmentally friendly way to cook bacon, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

My friend has been doing this for quite a while, and he does pretty well. He has about twenty patents, three of which were picked up by large manufacturers. Two of them he got paid a nice lump sum, and the other one he got a really good deal where he gets a certain percentage of every sale. This of course gives him plenty of motivation to keep thinking and trying to figure out how to come up with new ideas.

He said that the hardest part is the time when he has an idea, that he is sure will eventually make money, but he’s been working on it for a while, and poured in a significant amount of time and money, and hasn’t seen anything yet for his efforts. He said that all three of his big money makers were like this. He had a great idea, asked a few of his friends, and asked a few people in the particular industry he was targeting, and they all enthusiastically agreed that he had a winner. But each one took more than a year of effort, and lot of time, money, and many, many rejections.

But he said that once he gets one that works, and a company either buys it outright, or pays him per sale, it’s all worth it. He said that is the biggest cause for failure among all the other inventors he meets at these conventions. They all have great ideas, but they give up way to easily, and way to quickly. If they would only try a few more weeks, or even days, they might get a break that would make all the difference. But he said that most people still believe in that old mousetrap myth. They think just because they have an idea, somehow the population at large should get some telepathic message from the gods, and each send them a dollar or something. They don’t understand that coming up with a good idea is not good enough. You’ve got to come up with a good idea, and then convince everybody else that it’s a good idea.

I asked him how he was able to push through those early days when all he had was an idea, and no money, and he said it was his imagination that pulled him through. He would imagine himself in the future, already successful, and looking back on his tough startup times with fondness. He created a vision of the future, and focused on it above all else, and never let anything distract him.

Maybe that’s why he likes staying at his friends’ houses instead of hotels, because it keeps him grounded or something. Because he is as creative and energetic as ever. Every time he visits, he talks about his new ideas as if they are his first one, and he is as hungry as ever. You would never know by this guys clothes that he’s worth several million dollars, but I guess that’s what it takes to keep pushing ahead.

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The Long And Storied History Of The Turtle And The Ostrich


Once there were these two friends, a turtle and an ostrich. Now, people aren’t aware of the close relationship between turtles and ostriches, because they don’t go around advertising their mutual endeavors. They are the kind of people that like to quietly get things done behind the scenes without drawing too much attention to themselves.

It wasn’t always that way. They used to advertise and let everybody know whenever they would embark on a mutually beneficial endeavor, or at least an endeavor that they hoped would turned out to be a win win situation.

But the coconut incident changed everything. That was a watershed incident, that proved to near disastrous for them. Had it not been for the intervention of the rabbit community, they would have split long ago, and could have perhaps evolved to become bitter and mortal enemies. Of course, that’s not the way I turned out.

There was this great big coconut tree, in the middle of the jungle. The turtles have long know to use the shells of the coconuts to decorate the inside of their homes, while the ostriches have long used the coconut meat as source of energy, for both short bursts and long term lasting energy.

As they were hanging out next to the coconut tree one day, the ostrich and the turtle noticed each other. After a few minutes of cautiously eyeballing each other, they finally approached one another. When they discovered that they wanted different parts of the coconut, they struck a deal. The ostrich, with its long neck, would push the trunk of the coconut tree, and the turtle, with its deep digging ability, would dig underneath the tree and gnaw away at the roots.

After they hammered out their agreement, they were very proud of themselves. Up until that point, there hadn’t been any cross species agreement of any animals. They went back home, and bragged to all their neighbors of their negotiation skills. What they saw the next day shocked them.

There was a crowd of other animals gathered around the tree. Some were looking on with curiosity, some were gossiping about how an ostrich could stoop so low as to work with a turtle. Still others were wondering why the turtle would share what was rightfully theirs with somebody as silly as an ostrich, who is prone to stick his head in the sand whenever trouble comes around.

Pretty soon the turtle and the ostrich couldn’t concentrate on the task. All the attention started to create frustration and anxiety. What if the other was secretly trying to con the other? What if this whole thing was a trick to make the other look bad in front of all these people?

It didn’t take long for both the ostrich and the turtle to focus more on watching their respective backs than doing the job that they had agreed upon. Pretty soon, the work came to a stand still, and the turtle and ostrich confronted each other.

You are trying to steal from me!

No! You are trying to steal from me!

There was almost a war between the two societies.

Turtle vs. Ostrich.

The other animals were quickly taking up sides. This threatened the very peace of the jungle. Just as they were about to come to blows, the rabbit stepped in. Actually, several rabbits stepped in. They had yet to choose sides.

They took both the turtle and the ostrich to a secret location, where they engaged in dialogue. There, a funny thing happened. Once the turtle and the ostrich were removed from the gossiping crowd, they remembered their purpose. They remembered what they had set out to do.

Just to make sure, the rabbit asked each one, in turn, and in great detail, what they were after. He asked the ostrich to describe just how he wanted to use the long burning carbohydrates of the coconut meat. He asked the turtle, in great detail, just how he was going to use the unique structure of the coconut shell to decorate his house. After much discussion, the turtle and the ostrich found themselves giving each other helpful advice on how to use their respective part of the coconut.

Then the rabbit spoke.

“Why did you forget what you were after? Why did you let a crowd of people whom you do not even know, change the focus of your intention? Are you so concerned with their opinion of you, that you would forsake your own desires for their approval? Do you not realize that it is their own lack of conviction, their own weakness in not choosing their own paths, which gives them the need to find pleasure in the hopes that you would fail?”

Both the turtle and the ostrich laughed.

Before long the turtle and the ostrich were busily back at work, and before long, they had the coconut tree toppled, and their bounty was great. After separating out the meat from the shell, they both returned back to their respective communities.

Soon after, they had a feast to celebrate their successive partnership, and vowed to always work together whenever the opportunity presented itself. And strangely enough, other jungle animals started doing the same.

And that is how all the animals of the jungle learned to work together.

Divide Your Differences to Combine Your Resources

Once upon a time there were two communities of rabbits. They had lived near each other for a few generations, and they had a truce that had not been broken for several years. A truce because they had a long history of fighting behind. They lived on two separate sides of a small river. The river was large enough that it supplied both of them with water that they needed to live, but not big enough to keep them for crossing when the level was low.

On the east side of the river, there was an abundance of blueberries. Both rabbits loved blueberries. One the west side of the river was a huge crop of naturally growing lettuce. Rabbits love lettuce. Before the truce, each side would war agains the other side to try and take all they could before crossing back safely into their own territory. Every time this happened, there were many deaths. Finally they agreed that they would only send a team of six rabbits across, at the same time, but only when the river was low enough to cross, and only for a total of four hours. And most importantly, only at the same time.

Every time the river receded, two teams would gather one each side. One team, containing the six rabbits that would go and collect the food, and another, much larger team that would observe the “visiting” group to ensure they didn’t take more than they were allowed. After the allotted four hours, they would meet and ensure that each team had taken an equal share. They both agreed that this was the best method, but deep down they would love nothing more to destroy the other side’s community completely, and take all the resources for themselves.

Then one day, as they were gathered along the shores of the lowered river, preparing for their respective incursions, there was a huge, and long earthquake. The ground shook for what seemed like hours, and the distant mountains trembled, causing huge boulders to tumble down the mountainside. When the earthquake was over, they were shocked to see the river had completely change course. Not only had it completely changed course, it was nowhere to be seen. Both teams of rabbits immediately squared off, unsure of what to do. They were both terrified and excited at the same time. Each side saw this as a clear opportunity to demolish the other side once and for all, and take all the resources for themselves.

Finally, cooler heads prevailed, as they realized they had a much more pressing and potentially devastating problem. There was no water. Without any water they would surely die. They decided to form a survey team, a team that would go out in search of water. The two teams went back to their respective councils to choose team members. They smartest from each tribe were selected, and they met at the site of the old river. They agreed to share whatever they found, the threat of their mutual extinction overshadowing any hatred that they used to have.

The team set off. They searched for days, until they made a startling discovery. The river had split in two, about four miles upstream. The river had forked, running down the valley, encompassing an area containing both rabbit tribes.
At first the two tribes were perplexed. How would they manage? They survey team continued to search all the area between two rivers, which now contained both rabbit tribes, instead of separating them. They determined that not only was there an abundance of lettuce and blueberries, but there were various patches scattered all through their new mutual home. The two councils decided to merge into one, much larger council, and the rabbits quickly found that by combining their efforts, they could easily build a better community. After a time, they began to celebrate the day of the earthquake, as a time that split not only the river, but also their differences, and joined the two tribes into a powerful and abundant community.

Choose Your Focus And Attract Help From Others

The other day I was talking to a friend on the phone. Actually we were talking through Skype. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this before, but it really is a great way to communicate with somebody. Especially if you are the kind of person that likes to make friend with a lot of people from around the world, Skype is a great way to stay in touch. I don’t have a camera hooked up, but my people talking with both voice and video so you can actually see the person you are speaking with. I remember reading an article in a sales magazine a while back and it said when you speak face to face, there is much more information passed on than just through email or even through the phone. When you can pay attention to facial expressions and body language it can be really easy to communicate well with others.

My friend was telling me about a problem that she was having. She had recently taken up photography, and was really interested in taking many photos. She was really intrigued by a modern artist who takes photos mainly of people. She was greatly inspired by his work, and really wanted to increase her skill in that area. There was one problem though. She was told in one of her photography classes that it is in extremely poor taste, and in many cases illegal to take peoples photographs without their permission. For her this was a huge problem, because she is naturally shy and can’t really find it easy to see an interesting person and then just approach this person to ask if she can take their picture.

She had all these wild imaginations of bad things that might happen if she just approached strangers and asked to take their picture. She was having problems with this, so she decided to approach her professor and ask his advice.

What her professor told her really surprised her. He told her that all she needed to do was to get clear in her own mind first, why she wanted to take the other persons picture. Did the colors of their clothing match well with the background, was their a unique couple, where they sitting in nice environment, did they have a particular friendly expression that would create feelings of happiness when people saw the photo? The professor said that all she needed to do, was to ask her self these questions, then simply to go and introduce herself, explain that she was a photographer, describe why she wanted to take the persons picture, and then ask their permission. He told her that it would also help of she created some business card with her name and email, so in case they had any questions later on they could contact her. He also made sure to instruct her to ask for parents permission if she wanted to take pictures of kids playing in the park for obvious reasons.

She thought about this, and then tried it. She was amazed at the response she got. While a few people said they didn’t really want to have their picture taken, most people did. And many times when others saw her taking pictures of couples, or children on bicycles, they asked her if she was working for a magazine. And something really interesting happened. Because got into the habit of giving out her business cards, many people started contacting her for actually business purposes. When she first started, all she wanted to do was to take some pictures that would be nice to look at. Then she created a web site, and put up many of the pictures on the web site. Pretty soon she started getting many offers to take pictures for birthdays, retirement parties.

What started out as a hobby, turned into a lucrative business for her, all because she figured out exactly what she wanted, and just approached people and asked them if they wouldn’t mind participating.

Choose the Positive to Erase the Negative

I remember when I was in Junior High school. I used to play golf with my friends after school at the local nine hole course. It was around seven bucks, so we could afford to play once a week. The first four holes were pretty easy. Big. Wide. I could slice and shank the ball all over the place and not worry. The sixth hole was where I had problems. I was a water hole. I could never figure out why I almost always plunked the ball in the middle of the water. Sometimes I could even catch any air, I would just burn if off the tee straight into the drink. I never had that problem on other holes. I could always hit monstrously long towering drives if I had a big patch of green in front of me.

Some grass, of course, is greener than others. I had to help my friends put in new grass, or sod as they call it, in their backyard once. I never knew deciding on a grass was so involved. You can choose based on the weather, how much effort you are going to plan on putting into it, how much money you have, how much money you want the neighbors to think you have. I never knew that there was so much choice. I guess when you don’t put yourself in situation where you realize that you can choose, you don’t notice all the choice that is around you.

My friend was telling me that choice is a funny thing. You can choose which direction you want to drive, you can choose where you want to sit, and you can choose where you place your focus. Some people only place their focus right in front of them, which can cause problems, while others tend to take a longer view of things, placing their focus off in the distance or the future, to see things they hope to create instead of focusing on things they fear. Because usually, whatever you place your focus on, becomes your reality.

I guess the only real good thing about helping out friends with home improvement projects is you usually get treated to a really nice meal afterwards. He bought some really good steaks that he barbecued on their new barbecue. Rib eye’s. And she makes this secret recipe which is mouth wateringly fantastic. She gives me bottles of it sometimes, but she’ll never give me the recipe. It was the thought of that which kept me going through the whole sod planting ordeal. And all this time I thought grass just kind of grew on its own.

My friend had  really good idea. He told me, and I’ll never forget this, that just before I tee off, to close my eyes and imagine that the lake is really a big green fairway, and I wouldn’t have a problem. I tried it, and much to my surprise, it worked. Metaphysical advice in junior high school. Its always good to realize that when you focus on a postive outcome, the negative has a way of disappearing.


Crystalize Your Focus

I was listening to an interesting radio show the other day. It was one where people could call in. I don’t think it was live, as I was listening over the internet. It’s a pretty major market in the U.S., so they have a fairly large internet presence.

The topic was “free or all Friday” or something like that. I think normally it is a politically themed talk show, with the kind of slant you’d expect from a politically themed radio talk show. But because it was “free for all Friday” they had abandoned their normal programming, and let callers talk about whatever they wanted to. They had some interesting debates between two and even three callers at a time.

So one guy started talking about how you are capable of really improving your life with this new technique he was talking about. I’m not sure if he was selling something or not, because the other guy kept interrupting him. Anyways, the guy kept saying that because you are paying attention to this, you can really start to become aware of the fantastic opportunities that are around you, every day.

Now this started sounding a little new-agey to me, so while I was listening I started surfing around, and looking on other websites. And I happened across a web site that specialized in crystals, among other things. I guess that’s what happens when you click on the ads on a page about new age thinking.

I had a friend once who was really interested in crystals. She was always telling me that proper crystal meditation, or meditating when using crystals properly can really help you increase your focus on what you want to do in life. She even went so far as to say that the meaning of life itself was only realized when you fully pursue happiness. The reason that people have difficulties, is they tend to only focus on short term happiness, rather than long term happiness. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your focus on what will provide lasting results. Other people tend to focus on things that will produce happiness, but only in the short term.

Like some people like to eat fast food a lot. When they think about eating, then tend to think of what will taste good right here, right now. One thing my friend recommends that you do, when making a decision is to always pause. She calls it the one hour rule (at least when she applies it to eating.) She says imagine what you would feel like in what hour, if you ate what you wanted to eat, and then bring that feeling back into the now, and inject it into your decision making process.

She said that when you take the time to do that, you can’t help but to have a more informed choice, and that can easily turn into a better choice.
Of course, it takes time to get into the habit of doing this, but I’m sure that because you’ve done things before that you are proud of, starting a new habit is old hat to you, not like some people.

I actually ended up buying a crystal from that website, a rose quartz double terminated one. I don’t know if it will have any metaphysical effects, but it sure looks cool.


Powerful Focus on the Present to Create an Automatic Future

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just stopped thinking about the future? I don’t mean forget your three year plan for a while, or even take a break from your exercise routine. I mean totally, completely live in the present. I read a book on dating that said the best thing to do when you meet somebody for the first time was to walk up to them completely cold. That is, not have any clue whatsoever what you were going to say until you actually opened your mouth and started talking. Just make it up right there, and let the words come out however they may.

Sounds pretty terrifying, and it is, at first. Then something really strange happens. You start to get really creative, and think of wonderful things to say right there, right in the moment. It’s like by releasing all the worry and anxiety about what you think you should say, you open yourself up to really pay attention to what is going on right here in front of you. And when you are talking to somebody, and you really feel present here, you can really begin to feel something special. It’s hard to describe if you have never been able to experience this, now.

I was reading a novel once, I believe it was The Vanished Man by Jeffrey Deaver. In this book, these cops were talking to an expert on magic and illusions. And he was saying that there really is no past, because all the memories we have are fairly inaccurate. And the present is unknown, which really only leaves us with the present. And when you focus too much on a future, through worrying about something that isn’t likely to happen, you lose mental energy. And when you bring up stuff from the past, that you don’t remember correctly anyways, you also lose mental energy.

By focusing your energy on the present, you can really begin to notice the abundance that has been around you all the time. Waiting patiently for you to dive into it and let the world know what it is you want.

Of course you always need to have an eye on the future, so that you can plan to be successful in the way that you want. It’s just as important to keep learnings from the past handy in case you discover an opportunity where you can apply them to receive immediate benefit. The trick is to leverage learnings from your past into your future by choosing the right actions and thoughts to have and do now, in the present. When you can optimize your present thoughts and actions, your future will pretty much take of itself. All you have to do is show up and meet it.


The Power of Focus

Drifting aimlessly. Meandering here and there. Wandering up and down, back and forth, left and right. Not traveling in any discernable direction. Seemingly without aim or purpose. Reacting, rather than acting. Reacting automatically to an environment that is as unpredictable as the earth is old. These are your thoughts. And unless you learn to control your thoughts, your thoughts will control you.

Unfortunately if you allow that to happen, which all too many people do, you place yourself under the control of a infinitely complex feedback loop to which you have no option other than follow blindly, and hope everything works out.  You know too well that it rarely does.

And the worse part is that those times when it doesn’t work out, although it seems like the responsibility lies outside your wonderfully developed mind-body biological system, in truth, the responsibility lies with you. And only you. I believe it was Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin that said it best.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. God, Mother Nature, the wonderfully random process of Darwinian Natural Selection, whoever or whatever it was that created you, didn’t create such a magnificent collection of cells and bones and muscles, and your fantastically powerful brain to just wander aimlessly through life.

You were created for a purpose, a reason, a destination. You are a missile with a highly sophisticated guidance system that scientiests are just now starting to understand. And known to only a few people, and put into practice by even fewer, is one of the easiest ways to harness the awesome power of your mind. To develop the power of concentration.

Remember when you were a kid, and you or some of your friends would play with a magnifying glass? You could take a very inexpensive magnifying glass, even one made of cheap plastic, and use it to focus the passive rays of the sun into incredible power. Power to burn, power to start fires. That power was harnessed by taking only a minuscule sliver of the suns total power and focusing it. The sun is a giant ball of fire, much bigger than the Earth fueled by the process of nuclear fusion, changing hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. One substance, one process, and enough energy to power an entire planet through eon after eon.

Your brain is infinitely more complex and intricate than that. Infinitely more rich. Infinitely more resourceful. The sun produces heat, and fire, and radiation. Your brain can produce ideas, which can turn into cities, art, cathedrals, poems, songs, equations. Whatever you can imagine, you can create. And you have the power to focus yourself.  Strengthen your mind so you focus your thoughts only on what supports and enlightens you. Focus your thoughts only on ideas that can increase happiness and abundance for you and those you love.

How to do that? How to gain that elusive power that through simple practice will give you an edge almost unheard of in today’s world?

Consistent practice. Opposite of the practice of meditation, in which you practice the emptying of your mind. To practice focus, think of an object. An apple. A bright red apple. Hold the thought in your mind of only an apple. Hold it for as long as you can. If you can hold it for five seconds, you’re doing pretty good. Practice whenever you get a chance. Red lights. In the bathroom. On the elevator. Decide to choose a thought, and hold only that thought for as long as you can.

When you can hold a simple thought, of a simple picture, move on to more complicated pictures. Ones containing a small amount of motion. A hummingbird floating next to a feeder. A clown juggling three bowling balls. A seal with a phone book balanced on its nose.

When you get good at that, you can move on to the next step. You’ll need to prepare yourself with five fantastic memories. If you ever notice your thoughts drifting to unhappy imaginations about the future, you can pull up your five happy memories, and force out the bad guys.

Start by remembering a happy memory from childhood. Really get into it. Close your eyes and easily allow yourself to float back into that memory. Really relive it. Relive it several times. Every time you relive this, put the memory into your left thumb. That’s right, put that wonderful memory into your left thumb. Use what you learned about pegging in the articles on memory and associate that memory with your left thumb.

Do the same with your forefinger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky. Take your time. They don’t have to be childhood memories. Any good memory will do. Make sure it’s a strong, powerful memory. Sex, money, sports, anything that causes you to automatically remember good feelings will work.

You might need to practice a few times before it really sets. But after you take the time to really attach those good memories to your left hand, you will have a powerful source to instantly and powerfully re direct your brain should you ever find yourself thinking less than supportive thoughts. Just open your left hand, and take a moment with your thumb and your fingers recalling all those good memories you’ve programmed in. Once you cycle through all five, make a fist and hold it up to sybolically chase the bad thoughts that have crept into your brain.

After you do this consciously a few times you won’t even have to recall the memories. By training your brain in this manner, simply by clenching your left hand into a fist will immediately flood your brain with good thoughts.

In future articles, I will teach you how install resources, goals, and other skills so you can automatically direct your brain, giving you the power to accomplish great things in your life.