How to Claim Your Good
Along the path of life as a human being we have choices! In fact, this is one of our most powerful assets: the independent ability to make choices for yourself and your life. In each and every moment you are making a choice, whether you’re conscious of it or not. For example, you are right now making a choice to read these words, and hopefully they are engaging enough that you’ll continue to choose to read more of them. However, that is your choice, and one you get to make independently and on your own.
This power of choice – of choosing what you pay attention to, focus on, and invest your energy in – is a vastly under-appreciated power. Many people do not think they have this power. Rather, they think they are victims of what they “have to” pay attention to, focus on, and invest energy in. This is only true to the extent you think it is.
In this blog we’ll explore how to “claim your good” and your independent power of choice. The answer, simple, elegant, and powerful, is one of the three Power Principles in my Major Good Mojo System, and one of the very first things my clients engage when embarking on their journey.
How to Claim Your Good
“Do not try to change things by fighting the existing reality. Instead, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
For the duration of the Major Good Mojo Program, my clients agree to follow, live by, and live into three important Power Principles. These are principles of living discovered through years of trial and error that I have found are essential to creating a life of Major Good Mojo. The second Power Principle, and the key to claiming your good and exercising your power of choice is: learning to always focus on the good.
Learning to always focus on the good and what is working is such an important factor for success and fulfillment in life I cannot overemphasize it. When we focus on what is good and working in our lives, such as in our work, our families, our relationships, in the lives of others, and in the world, we see more of what is good and what is working. It may seem like an obvious statement, but in fact, most people’s minds do not operate this way. Because of that, most of the world does not operate this way.
The default way of operating is to look for and find what is wrong, scary, threatening, and broken. Just look at the newspaper and television and our cultural conversations; the negativity is overwhelming. The mind thinks that focusing on these scary, terrible, worrisome things is the way to prevent them and keep them away, while in fact the exact opposite is true. By focusing on them we experience them even more and make them even more prevalent in our lives.
You can see this automatic, default mechanism of the mind at work in the simplest of things. For example, if I were to hold up a neatly pressed and crisp large white napkin that is pristine white over 99% of its surface with one small black spot on it, your mind would focus right in on that black spot as something that “should not be there.” It would automatically pass judgment, making the black spot a problem. Now you are no longer present to the 99% pristine white napkin. Instead, the whole thing is negatively colored by this small black spot that “shouldn’t be there.”
This is what the mind tends to automatically do with our lives as well. The challenge, and yet opportunity, is to know this and not allow the mind to run unchecked. The practice, and this is definitely a practice done over time to develop this important skill, is to allow awareness of the “problems” while intentionally and proactively focusing on the positive, good things in your life (of which there are always plenty!).
Now, I want to be clear: focusing on the good does not mean living in a Pollyanna manner pretending tough, challenging, and scary things do not exist in the world. Rather, it means we simply acknowledge them, and choose to focus the majority of our attention and energy on what is good and is working.
Buckminster Fuller knew the power of this principle well when he said “Do not try to change things by fighting the existing reality. Instead, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Focusing on what’s wrong is fighting the existing reality, focusing on what’s working is the beginning of new models that makes the old models obsolete. Because it is sooooo powerful, my clients agree to always focus on the good and what is working. I wrote a whole chapter on this in my book, NexGen Human, chapter 3: “A Good Place to Start.”
Focusing on the good in life is a key piece of the Major Good Mojo System. To learn this important skill and reclaim your power of choice to see and create even more good in your life, I invite you to engage the The Major Good Mojo Coaching Program.
Your Major Good Mojo Assignment:
What percent of the time do you spend focusing your attention and energy on problems and negative things in your life, vs. being grateful for and focusing your energy and attention on all the great things in your life? Get out a blank sheet of paper and reflect on your day, week, and the past month. Write down your percent of time focused on the good vs. percent of time focused on problems, issues, and worries.
Now write down everything you are grateful for in your life. Do this until you can’t think of anything else. Include everything, from the very simple things like each and every breath to the more complex and longer term events like relationships, roles, and experiences. For extra credit, look at the things in your life you wish weren’t there and identify something good about them (in every challenge there is an opportunity – if you are willing to look for it). I bet you’ll be surprised at just how much great stuff there is in your life and just how much you take that for granted every day. Notice how you feel after doing this exercise… It’s a key to Major Good Mojo!