3 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS
December, 2011
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News

  

   It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

                                                 ~E.L. Doctorow

3 WAYS TO SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS

Barbara in front of AbbyOne of the most valuable concepts I've encountered is the metaphysical principle which declares, "Whatever you focus on will expand." It seems so obvious to me now, but it was a startling insight when I first stumbled across those words.

 

We all demonstrate the truth of this over and over again. Focus on fears and they grow terrifying. Focus on blessings and we find gratitude growing. Focus on bills and the bill pile grows higher; focus on prosperity and the sources of material wealth begin to multiply. 

        

Getting and staying focused on the good we wish to create is an unrelenting exercise in discipline and, sometimes, courage. While being obsessive is not healthy, neither is being easily distracted. How can you strike the right balance?

 

Give it a Theme

 

A party is just a party-until you give it a theme. Then it engages the imagination of the guests and the host. Assigning a theme to your goals, dreams and projects can also keep you focused and imaginative. 

          

Let's say you're starting a new project, one that you know little about. If you think of it as My Project Where I Am Clueless About What I'm Doing, you'll produce very different results than if you name it My Exciting Apprenticeship in New Territory. Instead of focusing on everything you don't know, your attention will be drawn to seek out teachers and sources of help and learning.

 

A theme prompts your creative spirit and brings your focus back to what you truly wish to create.

 

Pick Up That Pen

 

An old Chinese proverb says, "Faint ink is stronger than brightest memory." This is more valuable than most of us realize. 

 

In her brilliant book, Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser explains what real power is activated by this simple act of writing. She says, "Writing down your dreams and aspirations is like hanging up a sign that says, 'Open for Business.' Putting it on paper alerts the part of your brain known as the reticular activating system to join you in the play...The RAS is like a filtering system of the brain. Writing it down sets up the filter. Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: 'Wake up! Pay attention! Don't miss this detail!" Once you write down a goal, your brain will be working overtime to see you get it and will alert you to the signs and signals that were there all along."

 

Quiet, Please

 

When I was growing up with my four lively siblings, our mother used to yell, "Quiet! I can't hear myself thinking!" I now see that Mom was onto something. One of the great obstacles to gaining focus is our noisy world. In order to hear yourself think, you need to create a bubble of quiet at least once a day. Whether you formally practice meditation or just lock yourself in a bathroom for a few minutes everyday, you need to have a technique that works for you to bring your attention back to the important stuff.

 

In Dr. Phil McGraw's best-selling book on weight loss, he talks about the importance of creating a failure proof environment. In the case of losing weight that means emptying your cupboards of junk food and removing sources of temptation.

 

The Joyfully Jobless version of this is to create a distraction proof environment. If you run a homebased business, for instance, that might mean letting your friends and family know that you're unavailable to chat during business hours. It might mean spending time organizing your work space so you don't waste time looking for things. And, most certainly, it means creating a work environment that inspires your best thinking.

 

"The fool wanders," Thomas Fuller reminds us, "the wise man travels." So start your journey with a theme, an empty journal and a full pen and watch the fuzzy wandering disappear.

 

On the Verge?

 

Terri Belford has spent decades creating and running lively businesses. She shares my passion for the Joyfully Jobless Journey and loves helping creative folks uncover their entrepreneurial side.

 

Several weeks ago, Terri contacted me saying she was perplexed by all the people she encounters who insist that they want to be self-employed or want to grow their business, but don't seem to be making progress moving in the direction of the dreams. Terri wanted to help end the frustration and she had an idea for doing just that.

 

Could we create a getaway for a small group of people to help them move forward? She also wanted to hold this event as early in the new year as possible and she wanted to do so in a place that was warm.

 

Since this is exactly the sort of project I love, I eagerly agreed to join her. If you want to get your new year, new business, or new direction up and running, we'd love to have you join us too. We'll help you fine-tune your vision and create momentum for getting things off to a rousing start. Most importantly, we'll help you tackle, eliminate and outsmart the obstacles standing in your way.

 

Find out more about what's happening in Las Vegas on January 28 & 29 by clicking on the link. And if you like what you see, you can give yourself a nice discount if you register by the end of 2011.

 

http://tinyurl.com/7veqkmo 

 

 

As This Year Ends

 

The past year and a half has been a time of transition and change for me. It has not always been a smooth or easy period, but it's also been loaded with wonderful gifts. I had a new insight into what I'd been doing when I read Chris Guillebeau's end of the year post. He said, "For long-term creative purposes, I need a certain amount of stability and reliable infrastructure. The biggest challenge is not that I want to take it easy; it's just that my creative energy is greatly reduced while on the road."

 

My year has been about rebuilding my infrastructure, creating my new World Headquarters. That project is now completed and I'm looking forward to a year of new projects, new adventures.

 

Most of all, I want to thank you for coming along on this adventure in uncovering bolder ways for living a life that matters. May the holiday season be a prelude to your best year ever.

 

Barbara Online
New Year New Theme

 

A simple exercise that can put your entrepreneurial efforts on track and keep them there is to give your year a theme. It could be a single word or a phrase that becomes your motto. Either way, it will help you gain clarity and focus.

 

When planning your time or making a decision, a quick check will reveal if your choice adds or de-tracts from the theme you've declared.

Here are a few theme possibilities to consider:

 

Expand

Travel Light

Simplify

Explore More

Make Connections

Build Strong

Do It Easy

Visible Abundance

No Limits

Daily Laughter

More Magic

Wildly Creative

Amaze Myself

Welcome Opportunity

Keep Moving

Back to Basics

Fully Engaged

Renaissance

Collaboration

Dream Bold

Catch the Spirit

New Adventures
Buon fortuna,

 

Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 

 

P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.
 
Copyright 2008-2012 Barbara Winter, Joyfully Jobless | PO Box 800971, Valencia CA 91380 | Contact Barbara