If unfocusedly busy with life’s daily melodramas and/or the many voices of self-talk, we undoubtedly risk what’s both paramount and tragically fleeting in life: the opportunity to be present in our own human experience, where love leads, not fear or external control. If unfocusedly busy, this life can just “happen” to us, without us, and our opportunity to grow, explore, discover, and experience with individual freedom.
Absent our intended and applied focus towards shaping the lives we want, it’s near impossible to act with individual awareness and personal meaning in the present. Never without its challenges, tribulations, and adversity, life is our abundant opportunity to zestfully pursue our own happiness and peace.
Amid the “business” of reactionary living to what’s imposed upon us, we can choose to slow down and pay attention instead on what’s happening right here, right now, with a focused and premeditated response to any given moment. Focus invested anywhere outside your personal context of reality that is not authentic will not serve you. Focus invested within oneself can instead connect you to that which is true. If not personal, our focus, subsequent action and ultimately our lives fall forfeit to our pursuing an illusion, not our truth. Whether based on societal dictates or other peoples’ expectations, that illusion can dominate our focus and manifests real personal constraint.
To live optimally, slow down and ask yourself, “why am I doing this?”
“Optimally” is, by definition, contextual, and dynamic — not absolute or static. It’s your life and is about what you value, what your personal hopes and dreams are, and about all the things you feel called to fulfill. YOU define what brings you enjoyment and fulfillment, based on your own values, standards, and true desires.
An optimal life can be defined as a life in which we are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually achieving a balanced lifestyle that complements your goals and desires. Without a sense of purpose, our own humanity cannot progress. If we are focused and in the right frame of mind, it’s possible to act more meaningfully in every moment. Make no mistake that these moments are your life!
With a focus on pursuing personal truth, our attention sharpened, and real actions mindful, we can navigate life’s many challenges and time of inevitable pain with the graciousness you would all personal opportunity to evolve and live a higher quality of life. With illusory focus, we lose out, defaulting to our instinct to evade, mask or deny our emotions as unwanted and useless discomfort.
Interestingly, because we are wired to constantly be a heightened state of stress, or lacking personal focus begets our ability to focus, and the spiral goes downwards. The brain’s amygdala drives our primal fight-or-flight response to defeat or survive threat. A powerful brain keeps us alive but can absolutely thwart our focus and ultimate survival while still living. Whether our stress response be triggered by insignificant, innocuous stress or by a very real, imminent danger, cortisol and adrenaline result equally, increasing not just our stress but now also our ability to focus. Irrespective any threat’s veracity, real or perceived, we fall more prone to distraction as a result.
A personal focus towards removing unnecessary stress and mounting distractions may prove better evolutionary strategy. To move forward in your life, doing and having more is not always the best answer. Often, simply stopping the behaviors holding us back, such as troubled relationships and time-wasting activities, positions us to build the future we want. To be intentionally conscious of all our tangible circumstances, rather than contentious denial, and forever mindful of our intangible sense of purposeful living, will manifest a better life.
Alternatively, personal focus well placed may be attracting what we want, such as self-compassion. Incredible is our “thinking” mind’s ability to manifest a reality, one that embraces or offends our capacity for optimal living. Self-compassion lowers anxiety and depression, and in the presence of real suffering, and can settle the wandering and self-defeating mind without judgment. Imperfect thinking and action are part of being human, and self-compassion is a balancing act between your intended focus to be self-accepting versus self-improving.
Life events can absolutely “happen” to us, both arbitrary and random. The difference between an event and your life itself “happening” is determined by whether and where our focus is decidedly placed or neglected cavalierly without meaning and purpose. Life is full of setbacks. Just as our lack of focus will prevent our recovery, applied personal focus unquestionably turn a setback into a steppingstone for your life’s path to move forward. Live with focus if you want to a life that is true for You.