Have you ever noticed that when you are looking to buy a certain type of car that is all you see on the road? Or maybe when you know someone close to you is pregnant there seems to be pregnant women everywhere? What you spend time thinking about and focusing on magnifies. In Deepak Chopra’s fifth spiritual law of success, “The Law of Intention and Desire,” he says “Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life. Whatever you take your attention away from will wither, disintegrate, and disappear.”
Where is Your Focus?
What do you focus on in your life? Do you spend most of your time and energy thinking about the negative things happening in your life, or the positives? Is the glass half full or half empty?
If you are like me, maybe you get stuck in the ‘glass half empty’ mentality sometimes. In every situation you have a choice about whether you will focus on the positives or negatives. If you are focusing on the negatives, however, you may be wasting valuable energy. Chopra says that 90% of our obstacles are only perceived, and the remaining 10% you can transform into learning opportunities.
Don’t believe this statistic? I came across the 90/10 spilt when I read Susan Jeffers’ book, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.’’ Jeffers also said that 90% of what you worry about doesn’t happen. I thought this sounded outrageous so I chose to track my worries for a few months. When I looked back, I too found that about 90% of the things I worried about didn’t happen, and the 10% that did happen, I coped with and learnt from.
The lesson...? Don’t let perceived obstacles consume or distract you. By shifting your focus away from perceived negatives and by paying attention to the positives you free up energy and optimism to live a happier and healthier life.
By also forming an intention about what you want to get out of your life, your life becomes richer, more directed and ultimately more fulfilling. Chopra says that while attention energises, intention transforms. So instead of just doing things in your life, reflect and think about what you might be able to achieve while doing those activities.
For example, instead of just going for a walk around the block, set your intention that during your walk you will think about all the wonderful things happening in your life. In that way your walk becomes an intentional act of gratitude and encourages a more optimistic outlook on life which will have transforming effects on your whole life.
Once you have identified your goals and desires, Chopra says you then must release them. Sound counter intuitive? Have you ever tried to hold water in your hand? If you hold it with a fist, the water seeps through. If you softly cup your hand you can hold the water. Like the water, when you try to hold on too tightly to your dreams and desires, you often lose the very thing you are trying to retain.
By releasing your attachment to your desires, it’s easier to stay grounded in the present moment and remain open to life. Rather than getting stuck in what has been or what might be, you can stay focused on what is happening now. You can live your life with more awareness, while also being more aware of new opportunities.
“Relinquish your attachment to the outcome. This means giving up your rigid attachment to a specific result and living in the wisdom of uncertainty. It means enjoying every moment in the journey of your life, even if you don’t know the outcome,” says Chopra.
Part of enjoying your life journey is being able to trust that everything will work out. Chopra encourages us to say to ourselves, “I will release the list of my desires and surrender it to the womb of creation, trusting that when things don’t seem to go my way, there is a reason, and that the cosmic plan has designs for me much grander than even those I have conceived.”
I’m in no doubt that releasing my hopes and desires into the Universe, and trusting that everything happens for a reason, is the best and healthiest way to live. However, it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? It’s not easy to relinquish control. When you realise, however, that control is an illusion, and that you don’t ever know what’s going to happen around the corner, it makes sense to go with the flow of your life, rather than to fight it.
So readers, what do you find the hardest part about embracing life’s uncertainties and releasing your hopes and dreams? Is there an area in your life where less rigidity may actually help you achieve your desired outcome?