Hocus-Pocus; Where’s Your Focus?

One of the abilities to deteriorate under the impact of stress is one’s capacity to focus clearly. The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. In the absence of a clear focus, what you attract is a mixed bag, which creates even more stress because it makes you feel like you’re on a very fast train going nowhere.

In his groundbreaking and incredibly useful book Change Your Brain; Change Your Life, psychiatrist Daniel Amen teaches that the prefrontal cortex, the most evolved part of the human brain, is essential in helping us reach our goals. It is involved with some pretty critical jobs including concentration, attention span, judgment, impulse control, and critical thinking. One of the reasons I like this book is that Dr. Amen provides very practical solutions to problems like “inability to focus.” The “prescriptions” he writes are not those you go to the pharmacy to get filled –they are things you can do for yourself that will net small results pretty quickly and big results over time.

One of my favorite Amen prescriptions for becoming more focused is, “Focus on what you like a lot more than what you don’t like.” He goes on to say, “Focusing on what you like about your life and what you like about others is a powerful way to keep your prefrontal cortex healthy.”

The need for this is most clear when you think about relationships. Let’s say you have ten co-workers that you spend a lot of time with during your workweek. Nine of them are people you like very much and look forward to seeing each day. But there is this one ______ (fill in the blank—idiot, jerk, troublemaker, slacker—you know the label you use as a descriptor). For this article, we will call this person The Jerk. Who is it that you give most of your attention to? Who do you keep a careful eye on all day? Who do you most discuss with others in the company? Who do you talk about when you go home? The nine people you like so much? Of course not! Your mind is much too preoccupied with The Jerk!

The more attention you give to The Jerk, the more difficult it is for you to focus on anything else because you are actually doing damage to your prefrontal cortex! As Dr. Amen puts it, “Focusing on the negative aspects of others or of your own life makes you more vulnerable to depression and can damage your relationships.”

I get excited about all this brain research because, when I first started talking about the Law of Attraction thirteen years ago, many people felt it was just more “touchy-feely” nonsense. Intuitively, I knew that wasn’t true. Changing my focus from dwelling on the negative to looking for the positive was a critical component in my recovery from depression and alcoholism. Over the years I’ve witnessed similar results in others.

Because a healthy prefrontal cortex is essential in helping you achieve your goals, then it makes total sense that, when you are miserable, you are not attracting what you want into your life because your ability to achieve your goals is hindered.
Interestingly, Dr. Amen writes that, “People with prefrontal cortex challenges, especially people with ADD, tend to be conflict-driven as a way to ‘turn on’ prefrontal cortex activity. Unfortunately, this behavior has many negative side effects, especially on relationships and immune system functioning.”

The result of proactively inviting conflict into one’s life can only be more conflict. You get more of what you focus on. Before I started to deliberately apply the Law of Attraction to my life, I found myself in many conflict-filled situations in which I felt like a victim. Now that I take full responsibility for all that happens to me, I no longer attract those situations. Don’t get me wrong. There are many occasions when I want to blame someone else for a circumstance I don’t like but ultimately, when I look at my part in what happens to me, I see that I attracted it. And when I see how I did so, I can adjust my focus and my behavior to correct the situation.

I strongly encourage you to check out Dr. Amen’s website http://www.amenclinics.com/. He has many free tools including videos, tests and articles that can help with any issues you or a loved one might be faced with or would like to avoid in the future.

The best thing to remember is that you get more of what you focus on so, if you want to change your life, change your focus!

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