Your mind is essentially an endless stream of images and thoughts.
Which images are recurring? Which thoughts or ideas trigger intense emotions — positive or negative?
These are the things that will tend to appear in your life, regardless of your circumstances.
- The bad news: parts of your mind don’t understand the difference between positive or negative, so you will project/manifest what is in your mind whether you love it or hate it.
- The good news: because your mind is not you (meditation is a good way to become aware of this), you have the power to detach and see the stream of thoughts externally, and choose where to invest your energy.
Sometimes we go through a difficult phase in our life (or perhaps just a really bad day) and wish we could just turn off our thoughts and emotions.
This can’t be done, though, so the best alternative would be to… exactly — focus on what we want, not on what we don’t want.
If we do, we will naturally give energy to the positive, useful, empowering thoughts, and ignore the negative ones.
They will still be there. They may still upset or annoy you. But as long as you direct your focus somewhere else, they won’t be able to take over.
What you focus on becomes your reality
Besides changing your mood and state of mind, your recurring thoughts will also lead to changes in your reality.
We don’t meditate, cultivate positive thinking, write down what we want etc. just to feel better — we do it to live the best life possible.
What we focus on with intensity in the inner world will inevitably manifest in the outer physical world sooner or later.
This isn’t magic, but common sense. When we say that we “manifest” things in our life, it could be as simple as a different perspective.
The pessimist sees problems, the optimist opportunity. Focus on problems and you’ll have problems; focus on what you want and you’ll find solutions.
The easiest way to self-sabotage is to fill your mind with all the things you don’t want, the things you want to avoid or even worse, the things you hate.
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want
One of the reasons we have survived — and evolved — through tens of thousands of years has been our ability to spot dangers and avoid them.
In this sense, fear has been our great ally. Fear would tell us what to avoid so we wouldn’t, say, be chased by wild beasts, or eat poisonous plants.
Clearly, it worked. The tragedy is that the emotion of fear has been so ingrained in our brains that it has become disproportionate, especially in today’s world.
This is why we have a tendency to focus on what we don’t want. Unconsciously, we still believe that the key to happiness is to know what to avoid.
The issue is, anything we attach strong emotions to becomes our reality regardless. Love or hate, positive or negative — doesn’t matter.
Vadim Zeland (the author of Reality Transurfing, a book I totally love) explains it with the following statements:
The stronger your desire to avoid something, the more likely it is that you will encounter it. To actively fight against what you do not want in your life is to make every effort to ensure that it is present in your life.
Everywhere you are pursued by the very thing you do not want (…). There may be other things that you would also like to avoid, but because you are not investing any negative emotion into them, they do not appear in your life.
Unless there are obvious threats or risks, what you don’t like should be ignored, that is, it should never be given mental energy.
And even in the worst case scenario where you are not able to ignore it, at least keep your negative emotions to a minimum and don’t dwell on them.
Remember: your mind doesn’t care if you love or hate something — as long as it is in your thoughts, and as long as those thoughts generate strong feelings, that will become your reality.
The easiest way to focus on what you want
Those who live the dream do so because at some point in their life they 1) got clear on what they wanted and 2) worked toward it mentally and physically.
Rather than letting their fears or doubts consume their energy, they focused on what they wanted and replaced the negative emotion of fear with enthusiasm.
And you can do the same. Don’t worry, you don’t need any mystical meditation technique — all you have to do is… write down what you want.
Literally grab a piece of paper and write down all the things you’d like to do, have… and be; a sort of manifestation list.
Then go back to it, read it every day, review it. Will it guarantee happiness, success, and fulfillment? No. But it’ll give you the best chances.
I’m not saying writing down what you want will change your life. That would definitely be too good to be true.
However, the simple act of writing down what gives you joy (and what you want to work toward) allows you to get clear on what you actually want.
This is the paradox — some of us know very well what they don’t want (e.g. poverty, illnesses) but don’t have a clear picture of what they do want.
Don’t make the same mistake: identify what you want… and then focus on that!
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want quotes
I attract into my life whatever I give my attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative.Michael Losier
I don’t care how much power (…) you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.Zig Ziglar
No one ever got rich by studying poverty and thinking about poverty.Wallace Wattles
The more you dwell on what you don’t have, the more you get what you don’t want.Unknown
A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.Brian Tracy
You need to learn to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day.Elizabeth Gilbert
Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.Shirley MacLaine
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.Maya Angelou