One of the most important things I learned in the last few years was the fact that my focus is actually creating what I call my reality. I know, it’s a pretty straightforward way to start a blog post about learning to ignore, but I do this on purpose.
Focus is the actual builder of your reality. Is the fluid that makes it move, change and look alive. Without your focus, things aren’t there. They might be (and this is something you can be aware of) but they aren’t there for you, for your reality. Focus creates everything around you and this is a subtle yet incredibly important shift form your standard reality approaches.
I’m sure most of you think that reality is something “outside” you. Reality is already there and it will continue to be after you. It’s independent from you.
Relax, I’m not going to dig into something philosophical right now. I plan to this anyway in a future post about focus. What I’m going to do right now is to show you how this standard approach of the “outside” reality can – and will be – used as an excuse.
I Can’t Avoid It
If you think reality is already there and you can’t do a thing to influence it, next step is to think that everything in your life is the result of a pre-programmed set of events. There is already a plan and you can’t do anything but to follow that plan. Of course, you will start to act like you have no power. You will put every responsibility of your life on the so called “destiny” or “faith”.
This is the easiest way to delude yourself and embrace a miserable journey for the rest of your life. Many people already think like this. This mindset is so present that you start to think it must be “real”. But you know, just because a 1000 people are saying that I can’t climb a mountain, this doesn’t necessarily stops me for climbing that mountain.
What I’m saying is that you can change your reality. Not only you can change what you are experiencing right now, but you can also create whatever you want. And even if you think you never did that, you already did it before. I’m sure you have memories of something really nice that happened in your life as a direct result of your actions.
Maybe it was the courage to approach your actual wife when you were a student? Maybe it was the decision to switch your career? Maybe it was a kind gesture towards a total stranger that filled your heart with gratitude and joy? Those were situation in which you modified your reality in order to obey your wishes… You made it happen. And everybody has these memories.
Now start thinking what was happening during that specific action. What happened to you during that sudden release of energy which created a shift in your reality? Where was your focus? You were thinking at something else when you proposed your wife? I really doubt that. You were thinking to finish that boring report when you quit your job? Hell, no, otherwise you would still be in that dark office doing a dull job.
Instead, you focused totally on what you wanted. You left apart everything that you didn’t wanted to happen to you, and focused only on what you wanted to happen. You wanted your future wife to say yes and you wanted that job to disappear from your life. Your focus was so clear, thatÂ your reality didn’t had any other choices than to follow it. You were so focused that anything else in the universe disappearead. You were there. Totally there.
Start To Ignore
Shifting focus is difficult. Making your focus follow your desires and maintaining all your energy in that blissful state requires a lot of practice and patience. It can be a draining activity, especially in the beginning.
It surely was for me. When I realized that my focus was my reality builder I started to see how many things I’ve created. I created my company, I created relationships, I created value, I created potential. But on the other side I couldn’t notice that I also created mistakes, boredom, sadness or anger. I was finally aware of the fact that everything in my life was a direct result of my focus.
And I was overwhelmed. I really started to back up from this path. Can’t stand the fact that I was the only responsible person for that. This thing won’t work, I said. Too difficult for me. But after a while I realized I couldn’t go back. Not anymore. Not now, that I finally understand how things works. It just wasn’t possible anymore. I really had to deal with all the good and all the bad things I’ve created.
And that was the moment when I started to ignore. Because the second big discovery was that focus uses a constant flow of energy. If you put your focus on things you don’t want, you will take some energy from the things you do want to happen. The energy flow is constant, it’s your choice where to put it. You are aware of your focus, but you can’t really manifest what you want because your focus energy is weak. And why? Because you put focus on things you don’t want. So simple. Yet so powerful.
So, I started to develop my ignorance skills. Of course, I’m not talking about illiteracy or lack of knowledge but about shifting my focus from what I don’t want to what I want. Here’s what I did:
1. Don’t feel guilt
It’s so easy to feel guilt for not doing something. As much as you disagree, you do feel guilt if you’re skipping something, even you don’t really like that stuff. I think this is rooted somewhere in the early childhood, where all of us were drilled in to something called discipline.
Well, stop it! Don’t feel guilt if you’re skipping TV tonight, don’t feel guilt if you say to your boss you won’t have dinner with him because your family waits for you home. Don’t feel guilt if you reject a business proposal. Don’t feel guilt if you reject a potential partner. If you don’t like the stuff, just don’t do it.
I’m not saying it’s good to be harsh, on the contrary. Be as polite as you can when turning somebody down, but be as firm as you can. Don’t engage in stuff you don’t want, because you’ll take energy from things you really want to do.
2. Assess your goals often
Your goals are changing. Today you want to do something but tomorrow would do something different. It’s normal. Just assess your goals constantly so you know every second what you really want to do. It’s easy to get caught in habits or in recurring activities which don’t have a meaning anymore.
Starting to organize your life is a big step forward. The moment you start to know what your goals are, your focus will tend to lean towards that and shift from your frozen patterns. Starting to implement an organizational methodology like GTD might help here.
3. Don’t follow a topic or activity till the end, if it’s not worth it
You got caught in something but half way you realize you don’t like it anymore. It can be a conversation, a project, or a domestic activity. Just stop. The menace of guilt is there, you can feel it, right? What if you’re not going to finish this conversation? What the other person will think about you?
You know what? It really doesn’t matter. It’s ok to lose interest in some activities while doing them. Keeping your focus there is not ok. Just assess that activity, decide if you like it or not and then move on. There are not such things as lose ends when it comes to things you really like.
Learning to ignore is the first step in growing your focus power.
Not to mention that allowing yourself to ignore things you don’t want is a form of self-respect. Nobody can force you to do anything if you don’t want.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.