Personal development is an ongoing process. A lifestyle, a set of routines, habits. And after the initial mixture of motivation and desire to do something has subsided, following through is what counts the most.
And while there are countless of tactics with the help of which you can leverage your motivation and build momentum, there is one seemingly naïve approach which is guaranteed to make a huge shift in perception.
What will you focus on?
What we decide to focus on quickly gains importance, starts to show up more often than usual, becomes more real. And as there is the option to be enticed with the sweeter carrot or threaten with the sharper stick, so is there the option to pursue your goal by reaching for the appealing result or by trying to avoid whatever it is that you cannot seem to be ok with.
In theory this might be confusing; practice, it makes it a lot easier.
You see, one perfect analogy would be people trying to lose weight. They really have two options to focus on – A, feel sick and tired of how they look like and desperately try to address that, or B, not being that much concerned about present circumstances while envisioning an appealing goal.
It all stems down to this:
Do you do the sit-ups trying to melt away the fat, or trying to create the perfect abs? The point where these two differ is what makes the shift in mindset.
What you constantly think about reflects upon your determination
You see, the sharper stick always proves to be a better motivator for majority of people. Tell someone to quit smoking and promise him a healthier looking skin and it is likely that your advice will not even resonate a tiny bit. Tell the same person that he must choose between smoking and not having a lung disease, and it is another story entirely.
But this happens when we have to do something.
When it comes to “want to do something” the sharper stick usually demotivates a great deal.
Take again the losing weight analogy- have someone remind himself on daily basis that he looks awful and needs to change. Then have another person who is constantly envisioning the best looking body and trying to get there.
What is different?
The difference lies mainly in the fact that the first person’s goal is tightly related with constantly being reminded of where he is now – something totally irrelevant when it comes to making progress and succeeding with something.
The second person is therefore more dedicated to his resolve. Not only that he never makes it harder on himself by demotivating himself day after day, but he is in fact tipping the scale in his favor by motivating himself with the vision of the appealing goal. He sees the vision every day and the goal becomes ever more enticing.
After time try to translate focus with visualization
I’m not going to get all preachy on you right now and try to advocate the “Law of attraction”. I cannot seem to believe that the universe will give you anything that you want just as I cannot seem to believe that the universe will do anything at all for that matter.
What I strongly believe though is that what you visualize slowly becomes your reality.
But how, you ask?
Simple really; you see, what you visualize as your goal shapes your identity. Following this notion you can conduct your life believing that you are a fat person trying to change, or that you are a fit looking person trying to get there.
And once you set your identity it will affect all decisions in life. If you see yourself as a fit person you will act like a fit person would. You will be convinced that you have the same amount of energy that a fit person would have at your disposal. You will have the same determination to go and work out.
Why? Because that’s part of your identity, part of what you see yourself like, part of who you are now.
If you work or study hard just not to end up on the street is distinctly different than working and studying hard as to attain massive success. The latter is a better motivator for the sole purpose of reminding yourself on daily basis that you are something more. It affects your identity. And people always act in relation with their identity – with who they believe they are.
The premise is simple, you see – decide to focus on the appealing goal, visualize it, make that part of your identity.
You decide what you focus on; you decide what you visualize on daily basis. Your identity is nobody’s to shape but your own. What will you decide to focus on?