Where You Focus Your Attention Is What You Get!

Cheryl Richardson, a favorite author and fellow coach, has written a new book called Stand Up for Your Life. In this book she talks about how our society tends to "bond over stress instead of success". I see this in action every day in my own life and in the lives of my clients.

We tend to give each other permission to complain freely- it's actually become the way we interact with others. It's OK to compare stresses or say something negative to a total stranger for the sake of opening a conversation and relating to each other. For example, you get in the elevator on a rainy day, "Some storm! Traffic was terrible!" We feel free to talk about what's wrong with everything from traffic, weather, the kids, the husband/wife, work, the messy house to crowded/late flights.

So what's wrong with this you might ask? Well, it creates constant whining and complaining if you're not careful!! While each of these little snippets of conversation seem meaningless, when you look at an entire day it can really add up to a negative outlook on life. With this negative way of thinking it can be hard to believe in our dreams, be truly happy and feel gratitude for our life.

We tend to look for evidence of life being hard/bad/difficult so we can share it with someone or to prove our point. I know I've been a creator of my own "negative spiral". I have gone through a day looking for evidence to support how tough my life is. I awaken with a sinus headache and immediately think it's going to be a "bad day" and then I find all the proof I need...there's traffic, I'm out of gas, I forgot the baby bottles, I'm late, etc... When we keep our focus on looking for this evidence it's no surprise that we do in fact have a bad day.

What if you started a conversation with a success? Something like..."Hey, the greatest thing happened today.....I got a new client, how about those beautiful flowers out front, or I made the best dinner last night!" What if you started looking for evidence of "Having a Great Day".

Recently Psychology Today reported how a positive attitude can help you live longer because you feel like you have more control over your life. Your energy will amp up because you are choosing to not focus on your life using the media mentality of "the sky is always falling". And in the simplest of terms...the smile on your face is more likely to put a smile on someone else's face!

When was the last time you actually encouraged someone to talk about what's going well in their life? We naturally do this with our kids. We listen while they tell us how they made a slam dunk or read a new word. I often ask my son, Nicholas," What's the most awesome thing that happened to you today?" I get the best answers! It's usually funny which makes me laugh and it definitely makes me feel like we shared something real about his day.

A friend of mine, Sherean, has that positive outlook on life and for the people who are in her life. She fully believes that I am creative, resourceful and fully capable of doing anything I want to do. She values my opinions, encourages my ideas, and I can talk about my success (yes, even brag - oh my!). She lets me "shine my light" when we're together. Just planning a lunch with her gets me in such a good mood. My creative juices go into overdrive and my energy sparks just knowing that it's such a supportive alliance. In fact, by letting me shine it gives her permission to do the same and the value is multiplied! It always results in an incredibly uplifting and motivating conversation that carries into the rest of our day.

We certainly need to have the support of close friends and family who we can let it all hang out with - it's helpful to be able to ponder and process the difficulties in life and share solutions. But we can also choose our focus.

So where are you focusing your attention in your life? How does this support your vision for how you want your life to be?

If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog please feel free to do as long as you include our credit information: Written by Laura Howard West, Center for Joyful Business (www.joyfulbusiness.com). I would also appreciate it if you'd send us a copy for our media files.

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Laura West is an award-winning entrepreneur, and president and founder of the Center for Joyful Business. As a certified business coach, author and speaker, she helps thousands of women entrepreneurs create successful businesses filled with passion, purpose and prosperity. She is known for making marketing simple and fun for passion-based business owners. She is also the author and creator of Joyful Business Guide™ Home Study System, and she is author of the upcoming book, Awakening Your Inner Business Goddess. She is also the Fresh Entrepreneur Expert at Ladies Who Launch.com and creator of their Fresh Entrepreneur workshop and workbook program.

If you are interested in having Ms. West speak for your organization, membership club, teleseminar, or Internet radio show, please contact her Media and Marketing Manager, Dawn Goldberg, at dawn@joyfulbusiness.com. For more media information, please visit: www.centerforjoyfulbusiness.com/media.html.

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