Ep 55 – THE INNER GAME OF FOCUS

We live in the Age of Distraction which, I believe, is stopping thought leaders from making a much bigger difference. In this episode, we’ll cover three quick, practical ways to regain focus so you can complete important goals, and help humanity evolve.    

Topics Covered:  

2:45   –  Why “focus” is the most important skill to master for personal and global change 

 6:15 –    The unexpected benefits of mastering focus   

9:55     Life habits that help increase focus      

11:55 – Three one-minute activities to increase your brain’s capacity to focus  

14:15 – Common life habits that dampen your focus ability 

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LINKS  

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MindStory Inner Coach Book and Neuro-Blueprints (FREE) 

https://mindstoryacademy.com/book-free/ 

 

TAKING APPLICATIONS NOW TO GET CERTIFIED in the MindStory Method – Build a Career as an Online Coach and Speaker  https://mindstoryacademy.com/join-mic-certification 

 

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Connect with Carla Rieger:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/carlarieger

Twitter – https://twitter.com/carlarieger

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlarieger/

https://MindStoryAcademy.com

 

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Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

This is Episode 55The Inner Game of Focus.  Even though it seems like we’re getting a lot done when we multitask, it usually makes us far less efficient. We live in the age of distraction which I believe is keeping people who could be influencing positive change in the world, from making a bigger difference.  In this episode, we’ll cover three quick, practical ways to regain focus so you can more easily complete important goals.   Hi, I’m Carla Rieger and you’re listening to the Mindstory Speaker podcast for influencers who speak live or online to bring world changing ideas to people.

WE LIVE IN THE AGE OF DISTRACTION

Much of modern society tempts us into distraction. All our devices, entertainment, notifications and substances are designed to pull us away from our true life’s purpose.

You’ve most probably heard the saying, “Where attention goes, energy flows,” and it’s so true. What you may be less familiar with is that research shows that your attention is the medium through which information appears in your consciousness. The greater the attention, the more information appears in your consciousness.

Why is this important? For years, neuroscientists have maintained that we’re only using about 5-10% of our mind. This means that the secret to using the other 90-95% of your mind is to increase your capacity for greater attention. The problem is, this is becoming increasingly more difficult these days.

Do you struggle, like so many others, to focus in this world full of distraction and overwhelm? Now when social media came out, it found it fun at first. I loved the constant stream of messages and notifications. It felt exciting to connect with people all over the world instantly and to know what they were up to. Over time, however, this just became more and more distracting. I started missing deadlines and procrastinating on important actions. I noticed I become less creative and more agitated. Many of my clients reported the same thing.

All these distractions are draining us. They’re stealing our focus and destroying our productivity. This has not only cost individuals a LOT of time, energy and money, I believe it’s stopping the whole of human consciousness from evolving. I believe we need to take people back to the basics. Since I first started coaching people, over 20 years ago, I’ve always maintained that FOCUS is the most important skill you can learn in the 21st century. It seemed to be critical for people making breakthroughs in life.

Over the years, I have constantly modelled the most successful minds on the planet. They, too, live in a world full of distractions. Yet, they still manage to consistently take the daily actions they need to take and somehow still have fun, flow and ease in their life. Why? Because the world’s most successful people know how to manage their focus and eliminate distractions. This isn’t a skill that comes intuitively. It requires practice and application, which means you too can master it.

After years of in-depth study into the psychology of attention, neuroscience and peak performance, here, at MindStory Coaching Academy, we have created the perfect roadmap to skyrocket people to their next level.   Attention and laser-like focus are the magic keys that unlock all of it. When you have greater control over your attention, you have your mind working for you instead of against you. Focus is the enemy of mediocrity. When you increase your capacity to focus, you create a powerful force of directed energy.

Focus also allows you to tap into present moment awareness where you walk the middle path, as Buddhists would say. This means if something goes badly, you take the learnings and the feedback and you get back onto the middle track. If something fantastic happens, you celebrate, immerse yourself in the gratitude of your success, and then get back onto the middle path. It’s the ultimate state of detachment and neutrality from which true creativity can flourish.

The moment you focus on a goal, your goal becomes a magnet pulling resources towards you. The more you can focus your energies, the more power you will generate. A loss of focus is a form of self-sabotage. It means building the muscle of conscious attention. Most people are lazy about this. However, if you were driving on a rainy, dark night and someone in the passenger seat was being distracting, you probably wouldn’t put up with it. That’s because the stakes are high. Your safety is at risk. That’s how you have to think about your high priority goals in life. Remind yourself, there’s a lot at stake.

Developing rapt and sustained attention improves everything. Your awareness increases in terms of noticing details and perspectives that others don’t see. Your ability to come up with ingenious solutions to old problems increases. Something greater within you responds when you upgrade your capacity to focus. You will achieve far more in less time and with far less effort. You’ll enhance your business, your health, and your personal productivity. Focus is the secret to managing your time and energy more effectively. It’s the secret to eliminating the modern enemies of productivity, such as distraction, mental fog, overwhelm and tiredness.

Mastering your focus and attention will allow you to conquer procrastination and make consistent action a pleasurable new habit. You’ll improve your decision-making and critical thinking skills which naturally builds your confidence and belief levels as you maximize success in every area of your life. The benefits are far beyond what you might think.

FOCUS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Most people are so easily distracted, that they never reach their full potential. I understand; I used to be the same. Social media is fantastic for promoting a business if used properly, but it is also a thief of time if you allow it to distract you.

You can improve your ability to start a task and see it through to completion by eliminating social media distractions. By being mindful, you can maintain total focus and not be lured away by the latest Facebook post from a ‘friend’. I’m not saying stay away from Facebook, but I am saying to use it wisely, instead of allowing it to use you.

Remember, where you put your attention maps your destiny. Commit to developing a capacity for world-class focus.

 

HERE ARE 3 WAYS TO GET YOUR FOCUS BACK

 

#1) SWITCH ON YOUR “FOCUS BRAIN”

There are 3 main brain capacities:

 

  1. Centering: The ability to coordinate the top and bottom parts of the brain. This capacity is related to organization, grounding, feeling safe and non-reactive. People who are easily reactive are unbalanced in this capacity.
  2. Laterality: The ability to coordinate the two sides of the brain. This capacity is fundamental for reading, writing, communicating and fluid body movements. People who have trouble thinking and moving at the same time, like during sports, are unbalanced in this capacity.
  3. Focus: The ability to coordinate the back and front parts of the brain. This capacity is the ability to be detailed and big picture focused at the same time. People who either ‘sweat the small stuff’, or who can’t stay focused on the task at hand, are unbalanced in this capacity.

 

Strangely enough, tight muscles in the body make your Focus Capacity unbalanced. Here are three 1-minute lengthening exercises you can do to increase good focus. Also, going to a yoga or stretch class can improve your Focus along with enhancing many other brain capacities.

  1. Shoulder stretch – Grasp the muscle of your right shoulder, near the neck with your left hand, and squeeze the muscle firmly. Exhale, and turn your head to look back over your right shoulder.  Now, as you inhale, return your head to the center. Then, exhale and rotate your head to the left side, to look back over your left shoulder.  Do this a total of three times.  Repeat using the right hand on the left shoulder.
  1. Calf stretch – Lean against a wall and place one foot far behind you. Start with the left foot. Pump the foot up and down to loosen up the calf muscle. Alternatively, you can stand on a stair and stretch out the back of your calf that way.
  2. Hamstring stretch – Sit on the edge of a comfy chair and stretch your legs out in front of you. Cross your legs at the ankles and then reach towards your toes. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Switch the way you are crossing your ankles and do it again on the other side.

 

#2) CHANGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH TECHNOLOGY

Neuro-therapists have been able to track the effects of digital technology on people’s brains. With the help of electro-encephalography, also known as EEG, it is possible to learn more about conditions such as depression, addiction or ADHD.

For example, focus difficulties can be due to three different causes: under-stimulation, over-stimulation or excessive challenges. Research indicates that watching too much TV leads to inertia because of under-stimulation, whereas digital media has the opposite effect. It’s highly stimulating. It trains your brain to want a higher level of arousal, where you can’t sustain focus on something mundane anymore. If you’re under pressure from multiple sources, such as child care, work deadlines and a health challenge all at the same time, this can cause you to lose focus, as well.

Excessive use of digital technology weakens your ability to stay focused during challenges, and yet challenges often lead to the use of more digital technology.  For example, if people have low level depression or anxiety, instead of turning to friends, family or normal support networks these days, they go online.

Answer these questions honestly.

  1. Can you be away from digital technology for 24 hours or more without a sense of withdrawal?
  2. When you feel anxious or depressed, do you go online or use TV to feel better?
  3. Do you get distracted easily or agitated if you are under-stimulated, such as doing mundane activities like washing the dishes, walking, waiting in a line or driving? Do you need to have music playing or check your text messages or scroll online?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, here are a few activities to give your brain a break from constant digital technology:

  1. When you first wake up in the morning, the first hour that you are alive, alert and awake – do NOT go online. Do not check your email. Do not look at social media. Don’t even check your voicemail. Instead, create morning rituals that are offline, such as, meditation, exercise, or journaling.
  2. Have a mind break during the day by going for a 5-10 minute walk in nature. Use this time to practice being in the now, using all the senses. If you can go to the woods or be outside near the ocean or just in the open air looking at a beautiful vista, do that.
  3. The last component is to not check your email, voice mail, texts or social media feeds at all in the last hour of your day. People are literally lying in bed and getting distracted online and they can’t figure out why they aren’t getting a good night’s sleep.

 

#3) WHAT IF’S

A final thought before closing this episode. A positive focus almost always has to be learned. Most people think they are positive, but upon further investigation discover they are not. How can you tell? How many negative thoughts do you have in a day versus positive ones? Consider from the moment you wake up, how does your day begin? Many people report these kinds of thoughts:

It can’t be morning already; I’m so tired.

I have so much work to do today, I’ll never get it all done.

I’m so frustrated that I’m not making enough income.

It’s a miserable day; it’s raining again.

I don’t want to go to work today.

My back still aches.

I could go on, and that’s just for the first few minutes in the morning!

Now is the time to change that default setting.

It’s called the 3-to-1 ratio. Barbara Fredrickson, the genius of the positive psychology movement, coined the term.

Try to consciously and unconsciously generate at least three positive thoughts and feelings for every one negative thought and feeling that you have. It can help decrease negativity and increase positivity. For example, you can catch yourself and do a turnaround, in this way by using “What if” statements to counteract the negative ones.

 

NEGATIVE THOUGHT POSITIVE “WHAT IF”
It can’t be morning already; I’m so tired.

 

What if I have a high energy day anyway?
I have so much work to do today, I’ll never get it all done.

 

What if I get the most important things done anyway, and enjoy my day?
I’m so frustrated that I’m not making enough income.

 

What if I attract good income today?
It’s a miserable day; it’s raining again.

 

What if I enjoy the rain today?
I don’t want to go to work today.

 

What if I enjoy my work today?
My back still aches

 

What if my back gets better today?

Just remember, these kinds of thoughts will make or break your day. Do NOT under-estimate them. It’s never about what’s outside you; it’s always about how you’re thinking about it all. Clean your mind up before you start your day, just like you would have a shower or brush your teeth.

If you want your life to flourish, you’ll need to generate at least a 3-to-1 ratio of positive thoughts to negative. If you generate less than 3-to-1, your efforts will likely fail.

It totally controls your destiny and allows you to write your own ticket in life!

This podcast episode, by the way, is based on Chapter 13, of our book, MindStory Inner Coach. If you’d like more tools like this, for a limited time we’re offering this book for free on our website: MindStoryAcademy.com. You’ll also see the free book link in the show notes. Along with the book, you also get two short guided audios that are called neuro-blueprints. They are form of mental rehearsal that opens up communication between your conscious and subconscious mind to deepen your focus ability.

One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.

Also, if you are attracted to the idea of being a well-paid online speaker and coach we teach people how to get successful in these professions quickly, and give you all our  MindStory tools to use in your business or job or to help you get a job with us or another company. If you’re interested, check out our Certification tab at MindstoryAcademy.com. It’s where we train you how to make extra income or even your next million working online, from the comfort of your own home, living from anywhere making a huge difference while making a great living speaking, teaching and coaching others to become masters of their own mind…one the best professions to have at this time in history.

So that’s it for today…Do post a review of this podcast if you like it – on iTunes or youTube or wherever you listen. It makes a big difference to helping others find out about it.

I hope that was helpful. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger, thanks for listening.

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