Before I returned to school to get my masters degree in psychology and counseling, I had the privilege to work for a short time with a company that gave two week workshops to injured workers in chronic pain. The participants were mandated to come before their workman’s comp expired. They were angry and combative.
Yet over the two weeks, we began to see a change as individuals began to apply the material presented. They began to look at themselves and their situations differently. Not only was there hope for a positive future, but they began to make plans to bring that about. Their focus turned from what they couldn’t do to working on what they could do.
It was an amazing transformation that I have witnessed many times. The change in stance and outlook was noticeably different from those who refused to explore other options and remained locked in bitterness over their injuries.
When we believe we are limited or have no choices, we will be limited. Hopelessness, helplessness, resentment, anxiety and fear set in. But when our focus shifts to possibilities and options, our energy is released and can be directed toward finding solutions and setting goals.
When I stopped teaching, I wanted to share my training and life experiences with others outside the college classroom. I chose the name FOCUS as a company name because it personified my belief that our focus matters. To rise above adversities, the focus we choose will help us navigate through the pressures, uncertainties and troubling times. It is easy to get discouraged and want to give up when we struggle and struggle and it seems we aren’t going anywhere.
Yet, I have found it is within adversities where I have become stronger: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is where I have gained insight and wisdom. It is where I discovered the ability to love and forgive. Just as physical exercise is needed to keep bodies fit, life struggles help develop our psychological and spiritual muscles.
Psalm 119: “You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow His directions, doing your best to find him.” The Message.
Our focus in life defines who we are and what we believe in. It helps to establish our boundaries and define priorities. We cannot choose what life throws at us, but with God’s help we can choose how we will respond. It is in our choices where we grow.
We choose our focus. We choose our responses.