BY: BARRY EISEN
Developmental Excelerations Inc.
Studio City, Ca. 91604
She seemed so in charge of her balanced life. So I asked my student, this longtime, top producer, exactly how she managed to juggle so much and so well. Her response was the same I’ve heard repeatedly from achievers over the years, “I learned how to really concentrate.” When the vision is clear, braking down specific goals or tasks becomes easier. The ability to concentrate on single issues at a time becomes do-able and the success process becomes easier to control and duplicate.
The basic theme you hear from pro athletes at the peak of their game is the same you hear from great parents, teachers, students, scientists, realtors, doctors, communicators etc. They share a view that it is never the glitches, setbacks, disappointments that hold a person back, but rather the message the person assigns to those events or to any distractions. Stuff happens. How we choose to view and respond to these happenings determines whether we move away from or toward our personal power.
Many don’t feel they run their life. They feel their life runs them. They use others’ actions and opinions as well as their own experiences as excuses for what they choose to do. It’s like using an out-of-town guest as an excuse to do no work, as if the guest is pointing a gun and saying, “Take care of me every moment or I’ll shoot.” Or, we see external changes over which we have no control, like an interest rate change, and suddenly some find the way they sleep, communicate, project the future, view their colleagues or even their family, changes too. We’ve all been cut off in traffic. The driver who did the cutting, whether intentional or inadvertent, drives off focused on his destination. But how often have we, the ones cut off, invited that long gone, other driver to live, rent-free in our head? Learning to “let go” is not a just some random concept. Letting go is a way of coping with our distractions and disappointments in a healthy, productive way.
Letting go is about focusing elsewhere, by conscious choice. We don’t let go by saying, “I don’t want to think about it.” That’s like highlighting with a yellow marker the very thought we want to avoid. Imagine a teacher directing, “OK class… don’t think of a purple elephant…. large orange ears flapping in the breeze.” What did you see.. even if you tried to “let go” of it? Yet, there is a way to let go and it’s simple. We simply turn our attention to something else and keep placing our mind exactly where we want it to be until the mind gets the message. The mind learns by our repetition that we’re serious and in control of the DIRECTION of our attention. Imagine allowing all distractions and challenges to do only one thing: to serve as a reminder to focus and concentrate on those ideas and things about which we CAN do something, and towards those things that have value for own highest, most exciting, magnificent, “worth-it” goals.
And the great news is – this chosen FOCUS and CONCENTRATION is a way of responding and behaving that can be practiced and learned.
Here are a few simple tools to “get ‘er done:”
1. DO the SESSIONS. One way to establish excellence in focus and concentration is to practice the relaxation and self-hypnosis sessions I teach in seminars.
When you relax your mind (relaxing your body is great, but relaxing your mind is the key to excellence), many distractions may pull at you. As you keep bringing your mind back to your chosen focus (positive affirmations, imagery), like a puppy gets the message when you gently and consistently repeat, your mind gets the message and learns. Do these training sessions with yourself and just like muscles in the body, your mind gets stronger and more disciplined. Practice directing your mind to those acts and abilities you want, for example reading fast with perfect comprehension, giving clear presentations that are on target, being inspired by rejection or intimidating tactics of others, prospecting with confidence, experiencing memory that accesses with ease the images and details that serve, playing fluid, powerful, golf, being relaxed and confident taking tests, etc. Being “present” or “in the moment” are not just phrases. Like letting go, they are skills which can be learned and perfected for a better way of performing.
2. ASK YOURSELF the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. Another way of practicing the development of focus and concentration is to, throughout the day, ask yourself “Is what I am doing the most beneficial thing I could be doing, right NOW?”
Write this question on a 3×5 card and carry it with you for a couple of weeks to ingrain the sense of control you really do have over your time and energy. Don’t wait to be moved by this little reminder. If the answer is “Yes,” continue doing what you’re doing. If the answer is “No,” pay attention and take action that moves you NOW to your best use of your focused attention and resources of time, energy. The beginning of any process of change may be erratic and uncomfortable. It is also totally worthwhile. Look at the people who you think “have it together” and you may not necessarily find the most gifted or brilliant, but you will likely find those who choose to “shift gears” smoothly and be totally present. Copy success. Copy their best attributes.
3. CELEBRATE VICTORIES. Think about it: Confidence in this area of developing focus, like confidence about anything else doesn’t necessarily come from belief or faith, it comes from creating victories which we acknowledge. Start from wherever you are and show yourself what you CAN do. When you do something well, avoid the trap of thinking “It’s no big deal.” Acknowledge successes, little or giant, as of equal value relative to your ability to have success. What’s small to you may be huge to someone else.. and vice versa. Celebration of each success, without judgment of its size, continues to move us forward while creating a new habit. This is using our power and strengthening the habit of concentration.
The practice of self hypnosis will greatly facilitate your ability to focus. One of the definitions of self hypnosis is Heightened Awareness. If you commit yourself to practice a couple of sessions each day, within two to three weeks you will find some very interesting shifts in concentration and consciousness take place. Learn how, do it, celebrate your successes, benefit. Start NOW.
Please take a look at my CDs that can help you focus in your business and personal life and prepare you to have the best year ever. The choice is always there and the choice is always yours.