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Stay Focused On the Possible

Over the next 2 weeks, I will be exploring the principles of mental strength. I will be exploring the characteristics that strong people exhibit and ways in which you can cultivate them in your own life.


Characteristic #2 - Strong People Stay Focused on the Possible


The COVID-19 challenge is described as “unprecedented” and “unchartered.” There is no map to navigate this challenge. Each day we learn something new and chart our way forward the best we can.


It is all too easy to get distracted on what we cannot control - When will schools open again? What will happen to the elections? How will I get to work? Starbucks can’t really close, can it?


However, there is no value in allowing our thoughts and feelings to get swept away by questions and obstacles we cannot control. Mentally strong people do not allow what cannot be controlled to be a distraction.


We cannot control the events unfolding in the world and how governments, communities and people will navigate the devastating effects of this pandemic.


Instead, mentally strong people focus on living out of purpose and making a contribution. Even if choices available seem small, deploy your energy where you can make a difference. Be kind. Show up as a friend and neighbor. Go the extra mile at work, even if others are taking advantage of remote working policies. Help your boss succeed, despite your feeling that she isn’t qualified for the leadership role. Do the 100 pushups each day. Put the money in the bank for retirement. Say thank you.


You have a dream that is worth pursuing. There is no reason to give up on where you are going in the longterm. How can you break down the dream so you can direct your energy toward taking a step, a small push, a little investment toward it becoming a reality?


Strong people steer their lives in the direction they would like to go while accepting there are many things that we simply cannot control. One of the principles of life design that I practice with my clients is setting a direction for our lives in terms of a picture that describes the person we would like to be in 3 years. It is not a specific goal because we cannot predict or control outcomes 3 years from now. Rather, the picture becomes a guiding focus, a point on the horizon that keeps our eyes up and our hearts open to what is possible. This 3 year vision serves as a point of reference to steer our lives in the direction we are called. This point of focus keeps us from becoming distracted by all that we cannot control.


Who would you like to be in 3 years? What is a goal you have that can be captured in a picture or image that can serve as your guide? Build your mental and spiritual strength by investing in what moves your forward to the picture of yourself 3 years from now.


What is the picture you have of yourself for three years from now? How is this picture helping you to stay focused on what you can do and not distracted by what you cannot control? Share with me your story. kelly@optup.org. Be strong and courageous!



“Yah, we call this making the best out of what we can control!” – Olaf


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