Where are you placing your focus and how is it serving you? As the year winds down it is an excellent time to consider shifting your focus. I was fortunate to go to Florida recently to watch the launch of the Orion spacecraft. It was an exciting week, full of activities and my first visit to the Kennedy Space Center. The accomplishments in space exploration are remarkable! What I was reminded of during this experience is how remarkable we are, as individuals and as a society. We are capable of such greatness!
I did not tune into much while down in Florida other than all things space and news of the launch. I had been looking forward to seeing the amazing accomplishment of sending a rocket into space. When I finally reconnected with the “real world” at the end of that week, I was saddened to see just how much time, energy and focus there was on issues that divide us and keep us focused on the past. A friend once told me, “It is ok to look back at the past, just don’t stare.” Looking back can be useful at times depending on what aspect of the past you focus on and the reasons you look back. Some people seem intent on living the past, over and over and over again. Unfortunately, when the past is the primary focus what you get is more of the past and it becomes very challenging to see where you are going.
During some of the “news” coverage I heard individuals say, “We have to fight.” I asked myself, “Isn’t that part of the problem, all of this fighting; where is the focus?” Fighting is generally the least effective way to move forward, and often reveals an opportunity to shift focus. As humans, we so often engage in behavior that leads to the exact opposite of what we want. We get caught in a miasma of drama and dysfunction. I see this routinely in the work I do in organizations and see it go on in relationships and families. When people are focused on a fight, whether at work or in life, what gets created is resistance and more fighting. The goal becomes winning at all costs, or being right and making someone else wrong. Not exactly a great or effective recipe for collaboration, understanding and moving beyond the status quo. Work and family holiday gatherings can be an excellent place to practice the answer.
What is the Answer? – A shift in focus. How do you accomplish that?
Look up! By that I mean raise your focus to a higher level. Is your focus on all the past wrongs, hurt feelings, or winning at all costs? – If so, you will be hard pressed to get any long term success. Looking up opens you up to new possibilities, new opportunities and occasions to collaborate to ensure more of your success as an individual and an organization.
Look forward! Consider where it is that you want to go and what you want to accomplish. Are there higher goals you can reach for, for yourself, your team and your organization? How are dysfunctional dynamics getting in the way? This is a great time of year to consider what you want to shift for the coming New Year. Stay away from blame of self and others; that is a colossal waste of time.
Look within! The great and interesting news is that you are the one who has the greatest impact on the results or success you experience. Give yourself credit for your past accomplishments. Release any need to beat yourself up for mistakes. Consider what you learned from both the accomplishments and mistakes and utilize that learning to create more of the success and results you want.
As it turned out, I was not able to see the live launch of Orion after the mission was scrubbed on the first attempt. While I was disappointed, I chose to focus on the amazing week, meeting new and interesting people and deepening connections with those I already knew, looking up from my disappointment.
In this season of light and new birth, allow yourself to look up at what is possible, look forward to better results and look within to make all of that happen in the New Year. You are remarkable!
How do you see your life and work? I invite you to See It Thrive! I would love to hear about your experience at www.suekenfield.com. Happy Holidays and a happy and safe New Year!