Focus determines whether you perceive your reality as good or bad, whether you feel happy or sad. A fantastic metaphor for the power of focus is racing cars—a real passion for me. Driving a Formula race car can sometimes make flying a jet helicopter seem like a very relaxing experience! In a race car you cannot allow your focus to wander even for a moment from your outcome. Your attention can’t be limited to where you are; neither can it be stuck in the past or fixed too far in the future. While remaining fully aware of where you are, you have to be anticipating what’s about to happen in the near future.
This was one of the first lessons I learned when I started racing school. The instructors put me in what’s called a “skid car”—an automobile that has a computer built into it with hydraulic lifts that can pull any wheel off the ground on a moment’s signal from the instructor. The number-one fundamental they teach in driving is: Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.
If you start to skid out of control, the tendency, of course, is to look at the wall. But if you keep focusing on it, that’s exactly where you’ll end up. Drivers know that you go where you look; you travel in the direction of your focus. If you resist your fear, have faith, and focus on where you want to go, your actions will take you in that direction, and if it’s possible to turn out of it, you will—but you stand no chance if you focus on what you fear. Invariably people say, “What if you’re going to crash anyway?” The answer is that you increase your chances by focusing on what you want. Focusing on the solution is always to your benefit. If you have too much momentum in the direction of the wall, then focusing on the problem just before the crash is not going to help you anyway. Tony Robbins. “Awaken the Giant Within.”
If you’ve scheduled a business meeting, and someone is not there on time, how you feel is based strictly on what you focus on. Do you represent in your mind that the reason they are not there is that they don’t care, or do you interpret it as their having great difficulties in getting to the meeting? Whichever you focus on will definitely affect your emotions. What if you were upset with them, and the real reason they were late is that they were fighting to get a better bid on the business proposal they were bringing you? Remember, whatever we focus on will determine how we feel. Maybe we shouldn’t jump to conclusions; we should choose what to focus on very carefully.
When you change your focus, often you don’t immediately change direction. Isn’t that true in life as well? Often there’s a lag time between when you redirect your focus and when your body and your life’s experience catch up. That’s all the more reason to start focusing on what you want quicker and not wait any longer with the problem.