What’s Getting Your Attention?

Woman with her eyes closed and looking upward outside with gratitude

When I was young, I’d leap, jump, and cartwheel on my school’s playground balance beams. Well…not all of them. Just the ones that were laying on the ground.

As for the others? I didn’t dare. I once tried the one that was 6” off the ground. I was too wobbly on it and hopped off quickly before I embarrassed myself.

It didn’t make sense at the time. How could I be so brave on one beam, and so timid on the other? It was essentially the same thing.

I get it now. I was looking down. Rather than focus on acrobatics, I was focused on the cost of failure.

I’m no longer tumbling on balance beams. But playground lessons have a way of staying with us, right?

The lesson: What you focus on gets your attention. What gets your attention drives the result.

If you focus on failure, you’ll obsess about staying safe. If this is the case, you might:

  • Avoid new techniques, technologies, or behaviors that will drive a different level of performance
  • Runaway from a difficult conversation
  • Never get that degree you’ve always wanted, or go for that well-earned promotion

Sure, you’ll be fine. But is that what you’re really going for in life? Fine? Come on. That’s the worst “F” word in the world.  

On the other hand… 

If you focus on success, you’ll be fanatical about victory. You’ll:

  • Embrace change no matter how uncomfortable
  • Be gritty in the face of setbacks
  • Adopt a new perspective – like thinking abundantly vs scarcely

We encounter balance-beam style challenges all of the time. Let’s all commit to channeling a new focus. Let’s chaperone in a new era of best-case scenario thinking. Best of luck, too, on whatever “beam” you attempt to brave – know that no matter what happens up there, I’m sure you’ll stick the landing. Besides, you’re in luck. I’m on the judging panel, I’m biased, so you know that no matter what happens I’m going to give you a Perfect 10 for just getting up there and trying in the first place!

My best,

Angie's signature