9 Ways To Choose Where You Place Your Attention

I hope your September is off to a good start. We are quite busy here at Office Dynamics getting ready for our big administrative conference in Las Vegas starting October 10. It’s always a lot of work but we love hosting more than 400 assistants from around the world.
Anyway, on to today’s topic: choosing what you focus on. Thanks to Jasmine Freeman who led our Friday Pillar Huddle, I was reminded about focusing on abundance and the positives in life rather than paying attention to all the negative news, people, and events. For decades I have known the importance of choosing where we focus and how it impacts our moods, work and how we treat others during the day. In our huddle, we discussed things that have negative power over us, such as certain neighbors, the news, Facebook, etc. We have no control over the news and events that we hear about on the news. But the idea is to stop focusing on things you can’t control and focus on things you can control. For example, take the neighbor who never has anything good to say, that person will probably never change. You can stay away from that person or change the conversation to something positive if they start talking negatively.
Sometimes I run into this with people in our neighborhood who are older. They love to talk about their doctor appointments, surgeries, who has what illness and more. It always brings me down. Especially as someone who had her own major health issues in 2014 and 2015, that is the last thing in the world I want to hear. That doesn’t mean I don’t have empathy for people, but it does mean I choose to not stay around for those conversations.
Dangers of Facebook: While Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends, family, and events, it has some drawbacks. Just think about some of the negative news you see. Or what about the people who rant about politics? We don’t need to expose ourselves to that garbage. That is exactly what it is! It’s just people venting their opinions and letting out their frustrations. So why would you expose yourself to that instead of following upbeat people and stories? If you surround yourself with positivity, you will notice a big change in how you feel.

I would like to challenge you this week.

  1. As you go about your day, please pay attention to people, news, events and other things you are exposed to throughout the day. Really pay attention and think about how you feel soon after the exposure.
  2. Walk away from any negative conversations or naysayers.
  3. Listen to upbeat music or inspirational talks this week. See how you feel after you have done so.
  4. Don’t watch the news for one whole week
  5. Stay away from Facebook for at least 3 days. The longer, the better.
  6. Start following positive people. Even people you don’t know. John Maxwell and Brian Tracy are very motivating.
  7. Write in a gratitude journal every night.
  8. Compliment at least one person every day.
  9. Focus on abundance, not the lack of.

If you follow the above advice, I am certain you will have a great week.


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10 thoughts on “9 Ways To Choose Where You Place Your Attention”

  1. Thank you Joan for a great piece. I do have to agree with you. I have been noticing a lot of negativity around me and I have been feeding into it. I don’t know why people can’t focus on the positive side of things rather than the negative. I have been watching less news these days and I do stay away from people who just want to stay negative. I don’t look at challenges as a negative thing, but a positive one. I have learned it is way better to be on the positive side of things and stay away from the negative side. It is much healthier. It empowers me more.

  2. I am not on Facebook or Instagram, etc., so I rarely reply to posts. I do, however, have to offer a different point of view regarding older neighbors.

    In my experience, so many of our retired seniors don’t have much interaction with family members or members of the community-at-large. For some, their lives pretty much revolve around going to Costco to pick up meds or visiting the doctor for checkups or blood work, especially if they are not in good health.

    As Cathy says, this may be beside the point you are making and I’m not in any way suggesting that you should listen to these stories. I simply offer another side of the coin.

    Thanks for your uplifting articles. I thoroughly enjoy them!

  3. Thanks, Joan. This is a really timely message for me, because I’ve been struggling with how much the national political discussion has been affecting my mood the last few months. I’ve never had such a negative reaction to all of the political hype before, and I’m a little surprised at how much it’s bothered me. I’m going to try to go news media free for a few days and see if that helps. I’m sure that focusing on the positives in my work and home life will make me a happier and healthier person!

  4. This was really great motivation! I have been actively working on staying away from the negative stories in the media. A friend turned me on to a site called Good News and it only posts positive news stories of people helping people instead of trying to find ways to drag them down. My husband and I have doing a “No News Wednesday” for a while now and it really helps.

  5. Thank you Joan for this wonderful reminder. It is so easy to get caught up and bogged down. I am going to “choose positive” this week and focus on my many blessings. Looking forward to a great week. Hope everyone else has a wonderful week as well!

  6. Although probably not really the point you are trying to make, I hardly think that all political discussions are considered garbage.

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