What You Focus on Grows | The BridgeMaker

What You Focus on Grows

By on Apr 19, 2012

Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. – Tony Robbins

The other day I was chatting with Alex about how he has grown his blog and his Facebook fan base substantially in the last two years and he said something that hit me like a ton of bricks, “What you focus on grows.”

It’s not like I had never heard this before, but for the first time in my life it made sense. What he said didn’t just apply to growing a blog; it could be applied to everything in our lives.

Most of us are experts at focusing on the things that are wrong with our lives (me included). So it’s no surprise that we’re constantly dealing with problems, and life starts to feel like an uphill battle. If we’re in debt we focus on the debt, and it grows. If we’re depressed, we focus on that and we become more depressed. If we’re concerned about our weight we focus on those extra pounds, and we put on more pounds.

It’s a vicious cycle of focusing on things that don’t empower us and even worse causing those things to grow. So, how do we change focus?

Start with the right questions

Do you find yourself asking the following two questions on a regular basis?

1) What do you have to lose?
2) What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s funny because you might be convinced that these are positive questions, but they actually create a number of limitations in your life. In his Personal Power 2 Course, when he talks about the power of questions, Tony Robbins mentions that your brain answers questions literally. You ask it a question and it is going to give you an exact answer.

So when you ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” your mind being the genius that it is constructs all the worst case scenarios and presents them to you. It’s a nice little feature that you don’t even have to pay extra for at the dealership. That’s why I’ve always made it a point to ask myself what’s the best that could happen?

One of the easiest ways to start a dramatic shift in focus with the questions is to use what Tony refers to as morning power questions. Every morning you wake up and ask yourself five empowering questions. Here just a few examples?

  • What do I have to gain?
  • What’s the best case scenario?
  • What’s great about x or y?
  • Where is there an opportunity that I might not have thought about?

If you repeat this process for 30 days, you’ll be astonished what happens. But keep in mind that if you stop at all for that month, the process will start all over. It’s all about momentum.

Separate your interpretation from the facts

Imagination is a blessing and a curse. When it works to your advantage it’s the greatest thing in the world. But it’s also fantastic at constructing scenarios that have no basis in reality.

Let’s say you email a friend and that person doesn’t respond to you for about a day. We’re quick to imagine a number of horrible possibilities. Maybe this person is angry. Maybe this person doesn’t like me. Maybe I did something to upset this person. The funny thing is there’s only one actual fact in this whole scenario: the person didn’t respond for a day. So when you get tripped up with shifting focus, just remember that you can’t always trust the voice in your head.

Right questions lead to the right actions

Asking yourself the right questions is just a start. The good news about the right questions is that you’ll get higher quality answers. The bad news is that it doesn’t all work on auto-pilot. You can ask all the positive questions in the world and it won’t matter.

Let’s go back to the example of Alex.

When I asked him what else he did to grow the Facebook fan page from the hundreds to the thousands, he said that he had a consistent strategy for engaging his fans and now like counting on their favorite TV show, they count on him to inspire them. But it didn’t happen overnight. Alex understands the power of consistency in goal setting. As a result what he focused on grew.

Figure out what you want to grow and focus on it

So let’s wrap it all up with how to take this advice and apply it in your own life.

1) Figure out what you want to change? Income, weight, career, etc.
2) Determine what the right questions will be
3) Take Actions based on those questions

Have you found that what you focus on grows in your own life?

Srinivas Rao is the author/creator of The Skool of Life where he writes about what you should have learned in school but never did. Sign up for his free course on The 7 most important things you never never learned in school.

  • Aloha Srinivas,

    Thanks for the post. What a great reminder. The questions we ask ourselves are so very important.

    When I look at my life I know I am seeing the sum total of all my beliefs, agreements, and assumptions. Over the years I have learned that I can either focus my attention consciously or unconsciously. The results in my life are very different.

    Why questions are like a dog chasing its tail. What can I do or what do I want. How can I – now those questions make a difference.

    Thanks for the reminder,

  • Powerful post, Srini!
    Thanks for sharing such a simple but truly powerful exercise to help us focus on the positive aspects of any situation.
    Also, Thanks to Alex for allowing this wonderful post here. 🙂

  • I love this!!! So positive and so easy to apply!!!

    •  Thanks glad you enjoyed it. It’s one of things that’s easy, but we tend to put off because it’s so easy. So hopefully this will inspire the daily habit. 

  • Srinivas, great post! I especially like the section on separating personal interpretation from the facts. That is a great tripper-upper if there ever was one. Thanks for this!

    • That one is really the oen gets the best of most of us.  But when we can start to become conscious of it, it becomes really powerful.