Focus and Choices
Whether our primary, day-to-day activities involve school, work or family, it’s easy for us to be swept along by the flow of life believing that if we just do our best, things will all work out some day. Many of us feel that if we work hard and keep our nose clean, at some point we will have a life that provides much happiness and personal satisfaction.
Well, I hate to burst that bubble, but this is simply not true.
It’s not a matter of hard work…it’s a matter of focus and the choices we make.
Yes, hard work is very important, but it’s what you focus that hard work on that makes the real difference. Someone once said, “Eighty-percent of the people in the world are working on the solution to the wrong problem.” Likewise, if you are spending your time working on life in the wrong way, you are not likely to achieve the true potential you possess…regardless of how long you take and how much effort you devote to it.
It is not enough that we do our best;
sometimes we have to do what is required.
So, what’s the key to doing it right?
Many of us live our life for ourselves. We want to be successful and enjoy the finer things that the world has to offer. We live this way because we believe that, at some point, this success will make us happy. In living this way, we tend to be the focus of our choices. What we want tends to be the priority within our lives, our clothes, our car, our house and so on. If we never make the choice to break out of this self-centered way of living, we may never experience the real rewards that life has to offer.
So, here's the point. True satisfaction in life comes not from accomplishing something worthwhile for yourself, but rather in helping someone else accomplish something important in their life.
This is a distinction that many people miss, often until it’s too late to do something about it. Whether it’s helping a child develop into a productive adult, helping a client improve their business or helping a friend through a difficult situation, life works well only when you focus your efforts on helping others.
This short little story from the inspirationalstories.eu website helps to make this point:
A man was driving his car when he saw a lady stranded on the side of the road. He saw that she needed help. So he stopped his car near hers and got out.
The lady was getting very concerned as nobody had stopped for almost an hour. She was still a bit frightened. After all, this was a total stranger pulling up next to her.
He smiled, while he was approaching her, but still she was worried. He could see how frightened she was, so he tried to calm her,“Don’t worry about your tire. I‘ll be glad to help you. My name is Bryan Anderson.”
The tire was flat, so he had to crawl under the car. While changing the tire, he got dirty and his hands were hurt.
When the job was done, she asked how much she owed him for his help. Bryan smiled. He said, “If you really want to pay me back, the next time you see someone who needs help, give that person the assistance they need, and think of me“.
The point of this story is that we come in contact with individuals every day who have “flat tires” in their life. Maybe they need financial help, or some friendly guidance or someone just to be their friend. We all miss chances every day to help others. More of us need to stop and help as Bryan did above, but, as long as we stay focused on ourselves, we are not likely to see all these people, people that could help in special ways, around us. So, if we want to live in this better way, we must change the focus of our lives, from ourselves to others.
Just try it.
Help someone tomorrow in a special way and see how it makes you feel.
To live in this helpful way, you must think carefully about how you are living your life and the choices you are making on a daily basis. To achieve real meaning from your living, you must be willing to focus your efforts on improving the lives of other people. It’s as simple as that.
It’s your ability to channel the primary focus of your choices – not on yourself, but on others – that will determine if your life will eventually work out well, or not.
“If you have not often felt the joy of doing a kind act,
You have neglected much, and most of all yourself.”
Written By Michael Nelson
- OTHER PARTS IN THIS SERIES -
MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT LIFE
A Busy Life Is a Meaningful One
MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT LIFE
The Influence of What Other People Think
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How to Do More by Doing Less
Why is this Happening to Me?
Identifying Negative Thought Patterns
The Process of Life Starts in Your Head