Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where's Your Focus?

Have you ever felt like you've made something happen just by focusing on it? Be it negative or positive, you have been dwelling on a particular thought and as it unfolds the resulting sentiments were something like:
"I knew it!"
"I could just feel it coming."
"I just knew this would happen."
"I had this nagging sense that..."
"I knew I could do it."

The mind truly has power. Where is your focus? 

Think of shows like: 24, MacGyver, Alias, A-Team, Batman and the like. It's always forces of good, fighting against forces of evil. Good generally wins by narrow margins. 

It's a tough fight. But why do the good guys generally come out on top? The bad guys have pretty specific focus, goals and aims. They are determined bad guys. 

However, when their life is on the line they will throw their arms up, beg, or squeal on another bad guy in order to cut a deal. To what end? To save their hides!

When the life of the good guy is on the line however, they are willing to sacrifice their life at all costs. What's the last scene prior to the almost martyrdom of the good guy? 

They make eye contact with the person they are dying for or look at the bomb they need to stop. Their focus is on the greater good and not focused inward toward the self. And somehow at the last second, good still prevails.

Historically humankind watches shows (or plays) like this that have the same outcomes, tell the same core story with a different setup, but why? 

I personally think that this is because somewhere deep down we cheer the person on for not losing sight of the goal; for not losing focus. We feel good inside, because a character accomplished what we feel we fail at in our own lives so often. 

This isn't the case though. We are surrounded by many a Jack Bauer and Sydney Bristow. The reason the archetypal hero can be rewritten in so many different ways and not lose appeal is because of what they focus on. 

The characters' focus plays on the desires of the human heart, which are to overcome every and any obstacle that prevents us from achieving what we inherently feel is right, but that we struggle in doing. 

The hero makes a large scale impact and therefore their large scale sacrifice is willingly embraced. In no way does it make the sacrifice easy, though. It's tough and someone cries. 

Just because your sacrifice might not narrowly avert nuclear war doesn't mean the impact is any less. Your focus on the desired outcome still tremendously impacts the lives of others. 

I could delve into many examples at this point on how this is true, but by now you are telling yourself your own story. The pang of guilt you might be feeling right now needs to have its focus redirected. 

Tremendous good comes from the tough things we have to do day in and day out. This is where the term "every day hero" comes from. The impact is huge to family, friends and neighbors. Get up, walk away and go make that thing happen. Focus. Do. Recommit.

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