Focus on Yourself: Direct Your Attention

You are hereby granted permission to

Focus on Yourself

You can direct your attention to what will bring you calm, joy, health…and then do those things.

Think back to a time when you felt very satisfied with yourself—with the work you were performing, the life you were living and/or the people you were with. What were you doing at that time?

Be sure to remember what you were doing, not what happened to you. Maybe it was when you painted the kitchen red, you landed that internship after college, or your team won the tournament. Maybe it was one day last week when you went for a long bike ride with the kids, or this morning, when you sat down for a healthy homemade breakfast.

When you think about what you were doing when you felt fully satisfied with yourself, you get a huge hint about your priorities and how to act on them. You should use this information if you’d like to create that kind of contentment and happiness for yourself more often. Right now. And all the time.

Because, who doesn’t want to create contentment and happiness for themselves, right? Perhaps only those who worry that self-focus means selfishness.This isn’t that.

This is about action.

It’s about right action based on your own intention. Because we’re in charge of the version of ourselves we live with every day and bring to the world. So, if the permission to focus on yourself is going to work its magic, it’s important to remember that you choose what you do. In fact, when it comes to living, we are what we do.

No, you don’t hand pick every assignment or choose every event that happens in your life, but you do choose what you do in light of (or in spite of) those things. All those choices lead to a constant set of actions you can take, or not, on your own behalf.

You can express yourself, set limits, use your imagination, take some deep breaths, splurge a little, apologize, learn something new, plan a trip, join a cause … you get the idea. Choices. (It’s why there are actually way more than 52 Permission Slips.)

Make good choices.

I have a mantra about choices: “Don’t do anything that makes you feel bad about yourself.” It’s a challenging rule to keep! Who hasn’t gossiped a little, given up on a project, or held a grudge, and then felt bad about it? Even when you have regrets, or you think the situation totally stinks, still…choices.

What’ll you do next? Grant yourself permission to focus on yourself, instead of on the people and things you want to be different (and that leave you unsatisfied and perhaps exhausted). When you’re feeling bad, you’re allowed to direct your attention—and actions—toward choices that make you feel good.

It might not come naturally these days, so you will have to focus, but please, give it a whirl. You can recover (or discover) your free, happy, peaceful self.

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Photo by hotblack