Mind your focus
garden is not carefully managed and cultivated. Mental weeds of negativity, pessimism, defeatism, gloominess and cynicism grow when you do not deliberately choose your focus and the conversations that you will entertain.
Recreational complaining may be a pain-killer but in the realm of greatness, it is toxic. Words are powerful and you are responsible for every word you speak.
When you master your mouth, you realise your maturity. Every time you open your mouth, your mind walks out and parades up and down the words. Your words are living potential energy ready for deployment.
Anyone who knows the principles of greatness knows that words are too important to scatter mindlessly. As you think, so you speak, create and eventually become. As you speak, you attract and magnetise things around your life.
To change your life, change your thinking and speaking. Joseph Conrad once said: “Words have set whole nations in motion. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.”
Whenever you open your mouth, you activate and put something in motion. Words live in minds and hearts long after they are spoken, and they continue to influence long after the speaker has forgotten. Words never die because they are living things with an eternal echo.
Words can heal and they can also shatter bones. Your words create your world and shape your experiences. Do not use words carelessly and think you will get away with it. Words are things. They are powerful tools of creation. Choose them wisely and apply them with deliberate care. Craft your words to shape your life and not to destroy it.
Listen to yourself speaking and take note. Whatever you are saying is what you are creating and becoming. Your emotional charge and environmental influences do not change the responsibility you carry for your words. It is not about how you are feeling that matters but what you are creating. Words are feed-stock to your life’s production factory. You cannot stop the production plant from running but your can determine the raw materials you put in.
Do not speak like a loser unless that is what you intend to be. As you desire, align your words. Words are labels. As you label, you create form. The words you attach to any experience become the experience. If you want to change anything, you start by changing the words that you use. Words are the thread on which you string your experiences and fashion your desires. Thread your words with intention and not just as a mere habit or recreational complaining.
In his book, the Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino shares some inspiring scrolls. In Scroll Three, he has these words: “In the Orient, young bulls are tested for the fight arena in a certain manner. Each is brought to the ring and allowed to attack a picador who pricks them with a lance.
The bravery of each bull is then rated with care according to the number of times he demonstrates his willingness to charge in spite of the sting of the blade. Henceforth will I recognise that each day I am tested by life in that manner. If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed.”
Indeed each day you are being tested by life. Keep the fighting spirit despite the sting of the blade.
Mandino goes on to say: “I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I will hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed.”
Choose your destiny and the company that you join. Choose your words and your company. You chose your words and your words choose your destiny.
Expand and keep growing your vocabulary of greatness. When your vocabulary is limited, your life, meanings and expressions are limited. Look at words as a tool box. Use the tools wisely and for good purpose. Keep acquiring new word-tools and use these appropriately. Mark Twain was right when he wrote: “A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words, the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual and electrically prompt.”
Words are tools of creation. Be aware of their effect, choose and apply them with care.
The most important words are the ones that you use with yourself. What you tell yourself is important. Stop speaking to yourself like a fool and “chopping off your own legs.” Whatever you suffix after the words, “I am . . .” you are sowing seeds to realise it. Discouraging yourself and disempowering yourself is not a pathway to greatness. Before you can even motivate others, major in motivating yourself. Speak to yourself not as you feel but as you want to feel and be. It is about understanding the laws of life and creation.
Take a cue from Og Mandino who continues the scroll mentioned above with the words: “I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools. I will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect me then I will work on in despair. I will toil and I will endure.
I will ignore the obstacles at my feet and keep mine eyes on the goals above my head, for I know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows.” Keep working and moving forward because you know that where dry dessert ends, there green grass grows. Keep speaking your greatness destiny. To become a champion, speak like one.
Whatever you focus on grows. Choose deliberately what you focus on and where you place your emphasis in life. Focus on strengths and you will grow stronger. Focus on that which is not working, and you will start seeing how many things are broken and breaking down. Become like a thoughtful camera-man and choose the images that you dwell on and expose your mind to.
Choose what you focus on because whatever you focus on you are giving it form and a culture to breed.
Yesterday happened. Do not live your life focusing on the rear-view mirror. Choose to focus on the road ahead. Your past may have been limited, your future does not need to be. To move forward, take with you the best parts of the past.
Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. You will be more successful when you focus on your strengths with confidence than when you struggle with overcoming your weaknesses with difficulty. Focus on making your life work instead of complicating things for yourself.
Choose what you study and what you favour with your attention. Be present and appreciate the beauty around you instead of squandering your life looking out of the window blindly. The metaphors that you use shape your beliefs and create your mental environment. Committed to your greatness. ◆ Milton Kamwendo is a leading international transformational and motivational speaker, author, and executive coach. His life purpose is to inspire and promote greatness. He can be reached at: [email protected] and Twitter: @ MiltonKamwendo or WhatsApp at: 0772422634. His website is: www. miltonkamwendo.com