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April 14th, 2015

The Impact of Practicing Positive Focus

By Addie K Martin

Since early January, I’ve been deliberately practicing positive focus as part of my daily routine. It’s now part of my Empowered Wealth journal practice. I’ve experienced numerous benefits, but most of all, practicing positive focus has resulted in me living life more consciously and intentionally. I’ve learned how to better capture my positive experiences and process them for future retention, learning, and life application.

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At this point, I note anything positive that happens, and at the end of the day, I add it to the current day’s list. With intentional practice, positive focus has become part of the fabric of my daily life. Admittedly, it wasn’t easy to remember to do at first, but with deliberate practice and application, I’ve integrated it seamlessly into my thinking and processing.

Practicing positive focus allows me to see that my life is rich with many more positive experiences than I ever imagined. I’ve learned to recognize small accomplishments and casual positive interactions as the valuable experiences they truly are. In the past, I struggled some with internalizing the positive parts of my life, instead allowing negativity to permeate my thinking. It wasn’t uncommon to have days where several positive experiences were summarily overshadowed by the one thing that might have gone wrong or not as planned.

Recently, I saw positive focus’s clear impact. A few weeks ago, as I returned from vacation, I had my sights set on a full and productive first day back in my home office. I had my day planned, and I was ready to get back into my work groove. That morning, as I was about to begin, I received a phone call from my sister asking if would be okay if she and my six year old nephew came to visit that day. They live about an hour away so a visit from them isn’t something that happens often.

Initially, I thought about the negative impact this would have on my productivity and my workday. My old ways of thinking came into play. The thoughts came quickly and were strong: “Oh man, I was so ready to jump back into work. Why did this have to happen today, of all days? Can’t I just get back on track after my vacation? If I worked in an office, no one would bother me like this. It’s always something, I swear.” It’s amazing how the mind, when it’s used to being steeped in negativity, races to these dark and catastrophic places quite quickly.

However, a moment later, before I’d managed to say anything, the thought entered my mind that this could be a blessing and a joyous occasion. I had the power to choose to see this differently. As I thought about it, it truly was a reason to celebrate. I don’t see either of them very often, and honestly, I didn’t have any work that was pressing or on deadline for that day. I decided to focus on the positives in the situation. I now had bonus time to spend with my sister and my nephew. Plus, in doing so, I was able to have yet another day off tacked onto the end of my vacation.

In retraining my mind to focus on the positives in my life, instead of the negative aspects, I was able to enjoy a day with my sister and my nephew. We had lunch together and went to play in City Park afterward. Instead of having a standard day in my home office, I had a wonderfully fun day with my family. Through this we built memories and strengthened our bonds of love and kinship. We continued on the tradition of playing at the park, which is a long-standing tradition that my nephew and I have.

In the end, I seized the opportunity to focus on building my Core Assets that day instead of my Financial Assets. There’s a time and place for working on and building up each of the different types of assets. Indeed, each plays a vital role in lifelong learning and development. I’m just grateful that I had the clarity and presence to choose family time over work time that day. I’ll cherish the memories at the park much longer than the work that didn’t get done that day.

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