Am I still on time? Oh, whatever. Happy New Year!!! I wish you all a year filled with love and happiness. And should life bother you with any difficulties, I wish you the courage to face and experience them, trusting that things will get better over time. As my grandmother used to say: ‘I’m sure it will be over by the time I’ve turned into a boy’ and: ‘I think accepting is the best thing to do, so that’s what I’ll do’ (she had probably never heard of the concept of mindfulness, but she was its best practitioner – and teacher – for sure).
So, I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s resolutions – or maybe I should say New Life’s resolutions, since they are supposed to lead me to this brand new life after all ;) – and basically it all comes down to: F O C U S.
In the time we live in now – with this constant flow of information coming from every corner of the room (who invented this and why?!) – I’ve come to think that focus is The Key To Happiness. Sort of. (Together with two hundred other things that I will discuss in separate blog posts; beware ;)) And when I talk about focus, I mean:
1/ being aware of the moment – that thing mindfulness is all about. Actually I’ve practiced it for some time a couple of years ago and I can say it really opens the way to a more attentive, accepting and quiet mind. It’s really great. You just sit down and meditate every day for a little bit and you get this all in return for free. If it weren’t for a bulky load of discipline needed to actually do this, I would still be on my cushion. Anyhow, it can really change your life for the better (note to self: start again, having babies does not mean your mind has lost its need for nurture!);
2/ setting goals – think about what it is that you want to achieve, professionally and in your private life, short-term (today, this week) and/or long-term (this year or the coming few years);
3/ focussing on these goals – instead of responding to every impulse passing by (whether it is the temptation of your mobile phone, emails dropping in, crazy ideas popping up in your head, a business request or the urgent need to check if your favorite shop happens to be selling this one thing that you absolutely need without yet knowing, etc. etc.). Each time when you’re about to respond to such impulse, you can ask yourself if it contributes to reaching any of your goals. Of course, if your goal right now is to just relax and take break from all of your goals (which are obviously set in stone), then starting another pinning marathon on Pinterest, adding pin #1.203.497 to board #872, is totally acceptable. As long as you give it your full attention (and, okay, don’t do it for an entire weekend). Which also brings me to the next point:
4/ doing 1 thing at a time – multitasking? Bullshit. I try to do multiple things at once all the time and I seem so good at it, except that I’ve come to realize that it actually makes my brain switch back and forth constantly like a tennis ball, which at the end costs tons of concentration, energy and time. Which is actually kind of a waste. A better idea might be:
5/ bringing the appropriate hat and keeping it on – for example: when I cycle to work, my head can be full of creative ideas, grocery lists, serious logistic problems to be solved since day-care is closing early today, etc. etc. Given that I’m heading for work where I have responsibilities and that I can figure out most of these things later on*, it’s better to focus on work, parking all unrelated stuff for the moment. What works for me is – figuratively, but maybe I should take this to a next level ;) – putting on my ‘lawyer’s hat’, before stepping into the office. It helps me getting into the working modus. And as soon as I finish work and cycle back home, I put it off again, which allows me to dream and wonder again (until I arrive at day-care and the ‘mom hat’ is making its appearance of course) (you have no idea how many different hats I have in my closet).
6/ prioritizing – do what is important, ignore the rest!
7/ bringing back slowness – take a walk, turn off your mobile phone, read a book, go to a spa. It helps me relax, focus on the moment and gives me new energy.
Okay, so all of these points kind of overlap and there might be more points to add, but you get the point (no pun intended ;)): I need focus! (and I think you need it too ;)). Focus helps me to enjoy the moment more, be more in contact with my feelings and desires, be more efficient, have more energy, feel more in control of my own life and concentrate on the things and people that really matter to me. So I decided that focus is going to be my new friend. It will require some discipline, but I’m willing to invest. Of course this doesn’t mean I’ll stop daydreaming at the lunch table or will never be pinning on autopilot anymore – it’s still me.
So much wisdom. ;)
Happy new focus to everyone!
* Of course it’s always better to figure out how to pick up your kids in time from day-care, before they are put out on the street alone to wait for you (in my case: one standing, the other in crawling position at its best) (ok, obviously they are not really put on the street alone, but let me dramatize things just a little bit for the story’s sake ;)).