How do we focus on what matters?

When was the last time you did something fully? Not thinking about the next thing to do, nor wondering who you might be meeting next. Maybe not thinking through the next steps. When did you focus on what matters, wholly, with acceptance?

Last Tuesday evening, like most Tuesday evenings, I was on the tennis court at my local tennis club. Working through a volley drill, again and again. I noticed these ginormous menacing cumulonimbus clouds approaching like some scene out Harry Potter. And then I found myself getting more and more distracted by the clouds. I wanted to play tennis god dammit! Go away rain.  It’s silly watching clouds form and getting annoyed.

There is always room for observation and acceptance

As the clouds roared with anger, I suggested to myself perhaps there’s room here for observation and acceptance. It is a bit ridiculous to get upset about watching clouds form.

What if we can remove resistance to our moment to moment experience? When I focus on observing, myself and others, I focus on what matters. I let go of my judgement and criticism. I break the cycle of habitual reactivity, and focus on what matters.

So how? How do we focus on what matters?

We focus on the real stuff by developing the courage to accept the present moment. You see, it’s the very essence of living purposefully and presently. When we do we make better decisions, we find the answers to our “what next for me” questions and we let go of our head-chatter.

On the tennis court (and in life) it’s our ability to accept whatever ball is coming our way. To notice it, and make the adjustments to make the shot down the line. To make the right decisions.

In the business pitch meeting it’s our ability to manage the cure balls that allows us to make adjustments and focus on what matters. For example, you have an agenda in your mind. You have planned out how you are going to be, what you will discuss and how you will close the deal. The potential client says something you haven’t planned. You have to listen and respond in the moment. You have to observe and accept presently, to make the right decisions so you focus on what matters. Otherwise you not only have the potential to lose the sale, but lose the client entirely.

On a personal note consider observing and accepting

If like me, you have ever felt you’re not good enough, or, like me, still feel at times you’re not good enough to warrant the achievements you have reached. If, like me, you have asked, who am I? Or you find it difficult to recognise what you are capable of. Consider observing and accepting rather than evaluating and assessing.

Here is my 3-Steps to focusing on the things that matter:

  1. Review and make a list of your values. Whittle these down to half a dozen value statements that say something…to you…about what you stand for.
  2. In every conversation you can…at home and in the office, work presentation, 1-2-1 or team meeting…have one of your values front of mind as you focus, your intention.
  3. Pay attention to the way this impacts how you show up in your meetings, presentations or 1-2-1 conversations. Notice the impact you have on yourself and others. Observe without judgement. How? Ask yourself this question: is what I am doing or how I’m being useful?

Observe and accept, and then notice how much you can focus on what matters to you.

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