Over the next few days, a lot of us will be thinking about resolutions and goal-setting and envisioning what lies ahead in the new year. Let me offer this guiding principle: What you focus on ignites.
You might read that, then think back on 2023 and say, “Uh, it certainly does not!” Maybe you had big wishes for 2023, and you know for sure you are not living those dreams right now.
To which I say: you may have wished for that thing, that experience, that turn of events…but what did you actively focus on in 2023? Were your thoughts, words and actions lasered in on that outcome? Or were they elsewhere instead? Deep in your heart, you may have longed for a new job, financial independence, a great romance or more. But in the course of each day, was your mind more set on:
- Resignation: “Let me go sit in this traffic and try to stay awake in these morning meetings…”
- Comparison: “I’m better at this than that person; why did they get that chance?”’
- Avoidance: “I don’t have time to dream right now; these bills need to be paid!”
Again, where was your actual focus? Because that is what you will manifest. The universe is moving in exactly the direction and at exactly the speed that you are. So if you’re all about “just getting by day-to-day” or “sticking things out a while longer,” then the universe gives you more things to survive. Or if you’re just sitting there, waiting for something good to happen, the universe says, “Oh, we’re sitting and waiting.” And it sits right there with you and waits.
More importantly, if you’re leading with or letting in thoughts on the limitations of life and the likelihood of failure, know that the universe doesn’t have time to parse out “negatives” and “nots” from your thoughts. As you focus every day on “not being stuck in this job,” or “giving up unhealthy habits” or “outperforming that ascending rival,” the universe doesn’t pause to strike out the “not being stuck” or the “giving up” or the “outperforming” parts of those thoughts. The universe is about nouns. So you just manifested yourself more of “this job,” “unhealthy habits” and your “ascending rival.”
The universe is moving in exactly the direction and at exactly the speed that you are.
From this moment forward, know this and live by it: you can’t successfully not do something. You absolutely have to move towards something, because moving away from something puts your focus on that thing, and you will only manifest more of it. Does that resonate?
As you face — and, I hope, embrace — the astonishing possibility of 2024, please, frame it enthusiastically in the affirmative. What will you feel? What will you do? Who will you become? What will you change and for whom? Make it as big and bold and amazing as you can! Then take one active step towards it each day. Each. Day. Read a how-to article. Connect with someone in that space. Take an e-course. (Use your library card for free newspapers, LinkedIn Learning classes and much, much more!). Learn, then list, the steps towards success — not as you wish them to be, but as information and relationships start telling you they actually are. Then take those steps. Get the molecules of agency bouncing all around you.
You absolutely have to move towards something, because moving away from something puts your focus on that thing, and you will only manifest more of it.
Move the universe.
One last thought if doubt starts creeping in about what might go wrong: I don’t believe in “be careful what you wish for.” I believe in “be ready for what you speak up, write down, think about and act on…because it is going to happen.” Of course, it rarely happens in the way you expected it to. And you may be well into the experience before you realize…wait, this is a manifestation of work I did. I created this. Along with the universe, of course.
It’s waiting for you. Begin.