Focus On The Do

Sometimes life is funny in that it gives me something and then doesn’t let me forget it. Recently I heard a thought, which unfortunately I can’t give credit because at the time I didn’t know it was important so I didn’t write it down. Over the course of a few hours, then a few days, then a few weeks, I basically can’t get this out of my head. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve heard it in other contexts multiple times over the course of pondering it either. I’m not sure if other people have the same problems or not, but at least in this case it’s something that I’ve found myself changing a lot, which is part of the reason I haven’t written as much recently.

You see the thought is fairly simple. It goes like this, “We spend a lot of time talking and thinking about what we don’t want, but we don’t always focus on what we do. When in reality the do is more important than the don’t.” It seems simple. Yet as I explored so many different things going on in my life this tended to be one of the bigger issues. Obviously it’s easy to point out problems. It’s harder to always have solutions to those problems.

When it came to setting goals or resolutions for the year I immediately went into what didn’t work the year before. I also thought about things that I didn’t want to do. Yet I was constantly avoiding what I actually did want. Similarly when looking at somethings that I want to work on learning this year it was easy to pick things that I didn’t want to or wanted to avoid, but not always what I was keenly or passionately interested in.

Moving forward I’m trying to figure out how to focus on the do. How do I start giving myself more of the autonomy that I know is important for motivation. Focusing on things like “what can only I do?” or “what do I want to do?” seem like a quick way of changing the equation. I mean sure there are things that I might not want to do but that I probably have to do, that is what it is. However, there are also trade offs where I’m allowed to say that I would rather do something for me that I want to do, then just do something else that I don’t really care about that I’m not really required for.

What these trade-offs look like, I’m not sure yet. Whether there are going to be immediate changes that are huge, no clue. I just know that this change in frame of reference from don’t to do is a fairly big change at least for me. So it’s probably going to take awhile. However, I think the dividends are going to be pretty amazing. I mean I already know of a few areas that I see working out for me in changing. I’ve even had a few promising conversations with others about things that I probably wouldn’t have had before changing. Whether anything comes of those I’m not sure, which is why it’s slightly vague.

However, the reason I bring this up, is that for me this year seems very much like a Do kind of a year. For most of my focuses this year, a lot of them are verbs, a lot of them include other people, and most include learning in some form or another. They’re all also very scary, very challenging, and very exciting. Which is awesome but also means that lots of messes and successes are probably coming this blogs way. Which since I’m working on doing things, I thought I’d like to encourage you to join me.

What are you Do-ing this year or right now?

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3 thoughts on “Focus On The Do

  1. Great insights. I’m not a huge believer in the Law of Attraction, but a lot of that stuff talks about how, by thinking about what we don’t want in our lives, we end up attracting it. I think that meshes really well with what you’re talking about. Focusing on actually doing will inevitably create more positive changes than focusing on what we don’t want to do. Good luck on all your doing this year!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

      Not a huge Law of Attraction person. However, I will say that there are some related ideas like positive psychology (flow theory), grit, mindset, self determination theory, and gratitude the research tends to support the basic tenant of focus on positive, avoid negative. For me though the bigger issue tends to be analysis by paralysis where I fail to do anything because I get caught up in waiting for perfect and with my ability to find flaws this leads to a lot of not doing anything. So focusing on what I do want, hopefully aims a lot more on doing, which hopefully makes this a productive year.

      • Ahhh yeah. I’m with you on the analysis by paralysis. Letting go of perfectionism and just taking action can be a real struggle. It sounds like you’ve got the right approach to get past it though.

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