A major distraction that can hinder our focus and keep us from achieving our life goals is not letting go of our past. Often, we get comfortable with our past. We learn to accept it, good or bad, and we become comfortable with it. Sometimes we let our mistakes limit us, and we lean on our successes to feel good about ourselves. That can keep us from moving forward. Successful people learn from their past but focus on not repeating it.
Here are three things focused people do:
(1) Focused people don’t live in the past. Too many of us yearn for the past and get stuck in it. Instead we should learn from the past and let go of it. Elbert Hubbard wrote: “A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is a token of greatness. Successful people forget. They’re running a race. They can’t afford to look behind. Their eye is on the finish line. They’re too big to let little things disturb them. If anyone does them wrong, they consider the source and keep cool. It’s only the small people who cherish revenge. Be a good forgetter…success demands it.”
(2) Focused people don’t think about the difficulties, but the rewards. If you dwell on the difficulties too long you’ll start to develop self-pity instead of self-discipline. As a result you’ll accomplish less and less. By focusing on results you’ll stay encouraged.
(3) Focused people choose their friends carefully. Here are five types of people you’ll encounter: (a) Refreshers are people who strengthen and energize you. (b) Refiners are people who sharpen you and clarify your vision. (c) Reflectors are people who mirror your energy, neither adding to nor subtracting from it. Reducers are people who try to diminish your goals and efforts to their comfort level. (e) Rejecters are people who don’t understand you or what you were created to do.
So, stay focused and you’ll stay grounded; the praise of others is less likely to go to your head and the negative impact of your critics will be minimized.