It seems most natural to me, to focus on things that I don’t like. It is easy to focus on what I’m afraid of, the habits that I have and wish I didn’t, who I don’t really like, and what isn’t going my way. Sometimes I even catch myself worrying about how things will be when I retire, and I don’t even want to retire, because I love what I do!?!?
There was a point in my life(about 7 years ago now) to where I couldn’t get above water for air. I was drowning fast. My brain was locked on to all the things that I had wanted and not gotten, all the things that had gone wrong, all the things I didn’t do right, and all the people who found success, while I sank. I felt that I was a loser, and I was losing fast. That is what losers do, right? I was angry at God, because I had tried my best to do what I thought was His will, and the results weren’t what I had hoped them to be. Other people had big hit songs, record deals, they got their songs cut by famous artists, while nobody ever looked at me. I wound up living in Savannah, and playing “Brown Eyed Girl” in bars 5-6 nights a week. This was in fact “making a living playing music”, and trust me, there are worse fates, but this was not necessarily what I’d had in mind back when I started out. I had intended to become a star, and to make lots of money. I had intended on soaring above little things like health insurance premiums, and cable bills, and leaky roofs. I’d have an assistant that handled those things for me.(We all need a good assistant don’t we?) As it turns out, life threw me a curve ball, as it will do to us all at times, and I didn’t know how to hit it. So I didn’t even try. I just put down my bat, and sulked home, where I sat in misery. You can sit in misery, doing nothing, for a long time if you choose to. Several years went by before I realized that I was about to crash. I was about to lose everything I had. Heck, I was so mad that I was ready to throw away everything I had, and everyone who loved me. Luckily for me, I realized that what was wrong had to be me. Even though I didn’t understand very much, I did understand that it was time for me to get up, brush myself off, and get back in the game! I wasn’t just angry. By this time, I was infuriated. This made me all the more bound and determined to get back in the game and to learn how to hit those curve balls.
Face it, the curve balls are going to come. We look at other people, and maybe their lives seem easier or more blessed than our own, but if you ever get to know these people, you will see that they have, and have had their own challenges in life. Life is a series of lessons, and we are to learn from them. We are to grow, and there isn’t an end point. Just as soon as you learn how to easily hit a certain pitch every time, life is going to throw you one you’ve never seen before. You are going to have to use everything you’ve learned thus far, to help you figure out how to hit it. These other people that seem to have everything going for them, they are simply playing the game of life, and learning to hit the pitches that are thrown at them. You can either learn how to play and hit the tough pitches, or you can go and hide. You can get drunk, you can eat, you can do whatever you do when you are acting like a child. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but to get mad, pick up your bat, glove, and ball, and go home, is a little childish isn’t it? I’ve done it more than one time, so I’m not pointing fingers or picking on anyone.
So if we are going to play the game, focus is the most important thing of all. Staying with the baseball analogy, hitting coach’s say “Keep your eye on the ball”, and that is what we want to do in life. Don’t worry so much about what bat you are using or your swing, place your focus on what you want to hit; the ball! Once you learn to hit the ball, to make a connection, then you can adjust your swing, or get a different bat if needed. Here’s big giant secret number one; If you keep your eye on the ball, you will hit it! It is impossible not to hit it!
Now for big giant secret number two; “There is no such thing as a pitch that cannot be hit”. This is otherwise known as “God won’t give you more than you can handle”. Whatever you need to overcome, you can overcome. Whatever you need to face, you can face. Whatever you want, you can move in that direction and you can have it.
Life for me now is much different than it was 7 years ago. I still live in the same house, I’m still married to the same woman, I still have the same job, most of the things around me have remained the same, but I have changed. I am not the same man. I changed myself, and am still in the process of changing myself. I know that nothing is wrong with the game, nothing is wrong with the pitcher either. This is all for me, the game is all for me to learn how to play.
Here are some important questions that I reflect on often, and some idea’s that will hopefully be a good, positive addition to your life:
– What do I like about myself? What are my positive qualities?
– What do I want more of in my life?
– What is it that I really want? What things do I want? Who am I?
– What is most important to me?
– Who are the people who are most importnat to me?
Write all this out on paper, and read it out loud. Keep it with you, or put it where you can see it every day. This is the ball. Keep your eye on it, and focus on it, and don’t worry about the other stuff. Just leave the other stuff alone.
Big giant secret number three; “What you place your focus and attention on, will grow.”