Aug 15

We Become Our Focus

You go where you're lookingA few years ago, I found myself in a class where I was learning to ride a motorcycle safely. We were going over how to perform safe turns. The instructions I was given said that, after initiating the turn, I was to look at where I wanted my motorcycle to go.

As a child one summer, my mother enrolled me in diving lessons. We learned to do different kinds of maneuvers, such as spins, twists, and flips. For a long time, it was difficult for me to get the hang of it. My wise coach finally explained the problem. He told me to look where I wanted my body to go, and it would just follow. To do a back flip, you should be looking as far above and behind yourself as you can when you leave the diving board. For a twist, you look to the side as you come off the board. Once I fully grasped that concept, my diving technique vastly improved.  Like in riding the motorcycle, my body and everything else went to wherever I was looking.

There is a lesson here.

Sometimes in life, we get in difficult situations. Maybe we want to do something that will bring pleasure now, but will not bring ultimate happiness. Or perhaps we are overwhelmed by the very numerous duties and responsibilities that demand our attention. We may be trying to avoid becoming like someone else.
The key to solving all of these problems (and a great many others) is to understand that we will go towards whatever we are looking at. We gravitate towards the object of our focus. Another way to say it is that whatever you feed grows.  Even if you are trying not to become something.  Your focus is on it, and unfortunately you are moving toward it, not away from it.

There are a great many things that happen in our lives, in our families, and in our minds. They are both positive things and negative things. Should you wish to focus on the negative things, you will end up seeing your life through the lens of negativity. However, you have just as much ability to focus on the positive things in your life and be thankful for them. This allows for much more happiness.

The same is true for goals. Have you ever heard the phrase “Keep your eye on the goal”? Why is this good advice? You keep focused on that goal long enough, and you will achieve it. This is why it could be a good idea to have a life mission statement that you read often. Doing so will keep you focused on who you want to be, and will help you become more and more like that person.

This is true even if you don’t know exactly how it will happen.  Heavenly Father will present you with opportunities to move further toward your goal.  As these opportunities present themselves, take advantage of them.

Let’s remember to keep our focus on the things we want to achieve, the people we want to become. You can always do the best you can with what you have right at the moment. Don’t worry that it doesn’t seem like that much. Just keep focusing on your goals and where you want to end up. You do this long enough, and you’ll end up right where you want to be.

For some scriptures that touch on this topic, take a look at the following:
Matthew 6:21-23
D&C 50:24
2 Nephi 9:39
3 Nephi 13:33
D&C 43:34

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