Leaders must ask themselves every day what they will focus on for that day and week. The challenge for many people is that they begin their day by responding to what has the shortest deadline or seems the most urgent. Frequently their focus is on the ticking clock and the fire that has to be put out to avoid a crisis. This approach leads to frustration, stress, and burnout.
Instead, leaders can change the trajectory of their organization, team, and community by changing their focus and attitude. When we focus on the right things; i.e. solutions, new ideas, collaboration, and opportunities, it impacts our ability to succeed.
Changing our focus is powerful and allows us to see the bigger picture, not just the difficulties that lie ahead.
Many leaders have asked me how to actually accomplish this shift in focus. While we may recognize the benefits of shifting our focus and attitude off from the problems and onto solutions, it is more difficult to accomplish. The temptation is great to focus on those urgent issues and can easily consume our entire time.
The first step is to change your thoughts about circumstances, possibilities, and the future. If your thoughts are focused on all the negative things that might happen it paralyzes you. This can create a negative attitude. If you challenge yourself to think about the positive things that could happen, you will feel your attitude change and become more positive.
For example, if you want to learn how to run a marathon you can focus on the difficulty of running the race, how hard it will be, and that you may not master what it takes to actually do it. If this is your focus, your attitude will be negative and you will probably never start.
However, if you consider the joy of crossing the finish line, meeting new people along the way, and gaining greater strength, your attitude will be positive, and you will look forward to the new adventure. This does not guarantee success, but it does increase the likelihood of achieving far more. It is amazing what someone could accomplish if they chose to focus on the right things.
Where is your focus? How do you see that focus impacting your attitude? The great news is that we can choose to change our focus and attitude. It does not cost money only a determination to see things through a different lens. Focus on the possibilities and watch doors open!