Change the Focus – Change the Outcome

I am fond of the notion that what we choose to focus on tends to get bigger.  I also try not to categorize news as good or bad, it’s just news.  There is certainly news I would prefer not to receive but to call it good or bad generates a whole bunch of emotions I would prefer not to stimulate.  Just deal with the news. A story I read a few years back illustrated this concept.  A fellow won the lottery, one of those big ones for tens of millions of dollars.  His many friends offered their best wishes and reminded him of how truly lucky he was.  His reply was, “maybe so”. The man enjoyed himself and was a good friend to many.  He purchased an expensive sports car, custom made and very fast.  His friends were in awe and again reminded him of his good luck and fortune.  His reply, once again was “maybe so”. Life continued and our wealthy friend amassed many fine possessions including a beautiful home high in the mountains that overlooked the Pacific.  One fine sunny day while driving his sports car he was involved in a horrible crash which resulted in severe and disfiguring injuries.  As he lay in the hospital recovering, his family and friends nearby to provide their love and encouragement, they reminded him of his bad luck and misfortune.  How could this be, they said?  His weak reply, “maybe so”. As it happens while he was in the hospital a violent storm occurred and the resulting mud slide consumed his beautiful Pacific coast home and washed it into the sea.  His friends and family, as you may guess, were very quick to point out how lucky he was.  Had he been home he too would have been washed out to sea and perished.  His reply, “maybe so”.  He was a man who simply took news and events as they came and dealt with the consequences – neither good nor bad. Our perceptions of events, real or imaginary, create great conflict within us and those around us.  The challenge is to focus on the now; not the past or the future.  Our instincts seldom lead us astray and we need to be willing to rely upon them.  I often remind myself that by the mere fact that I am here on earth I have survived millions of years of evolutionary change that has resulted in my presence.  That’s power. World events, both economic and political, cause great strife but I hold firm on my belief that if I change the focus I will change the outcome.  Why do I believe this?  I can point to countless examples where individuals have endured the most horrible of conditions and not only survived but thrived and served their fellow man. I would challenge you as you look to the news each day try not to categorize it as good or bad try instead to change the focus. Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

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