We all love to achieve our goals, and I suppose most of us experience some twinge of envy when someone gets something that we want too. What have they done that we didn’t? Why should they have all the luck?
It’s lovely to blame luck because then we can absolve ourselves of responsibility for not achieving our goals. Unfortunately, “responsibility” has become synonymous with “blame” and they are not the same at all! “Response-ability” is our ability to respond, as you can now see from my deliberate mis-spelling of the word, and that response is our ability to shift our focus.
Do not underestimate the power of focus. The human facility for being able to consider things from many different angles can and will shape your destiny. Your entire life will be shaped by how you choose to look at things. I seriously urge you to take responsibility for what happens to you, and your goal achievement prowess will be instantly magnified a thousand fold!
Focus has two meanings in this context. It means being clear – really clear – about what you actually want. Clarity in the same sense that you might focus a camera lens. It may sound daft to talk about being clear on what you want, but if you want to achieve your goals, take heed! In my experience most people do two things that are significantly different from that. First, they harp on endlessly about what they don’t want. They will tell you how situation X or circumstance Y is no longer going to be there when they get such-and-such a goal. What are they focussing on? Like an endless loop tape, they are focussed on all the negatives in their life all of the time.
The second meaning of focus has to do with where you “shine the spotlight.” When things don’t work out as planned, many people have a tendency to talk and think it terms of their “failure.” Then, before long, they give up on the goal. What makes this worse is that they can easily and quickly find a couple of dozen drinking buddies who will clap them on the back and yell, “Join the club! Now you know it doesn’t work too! Another beer?”
It is imperative that you focus on the fact that success is possible. Barriers have been broken throughout history. Roger Bannister’s four minute mile – considered impossible until he did it, is now a relatively common achievement. Edison’s electric light bulb, which, according to legend, had Edison discovering almost a thousand substances that would not produce a light bulb, provoked someone to ask him how he felt about having so many failures. Edison’s now famous, and we presume, slightly astonished reply was:
“I didn’t have any failures. I simply found nine hundred and ninety nine ways that didn’t work.”
Edison never focussed on anything other than his successful outcome. Now you can decide which is his greater legacy: the light by which you may well be reading this, or the lesson he taught us that can change your life now.