Focus on What You Want (Sounds Simple, Doesn’t It?)

Focus on What You Want (Sounds Simple, Doesn’t It?)

One important component in getting what you want in life is to focus on what you want rather than dwelling on what you don’t want. Sounds so simple and easy… yet for many people, it’s a struggle.

Key topics:

✔️ If someone asks you, “What do you want?” do you find yourself launching into a list of things you don’t want instead?
✔️ Repeatedly thinking about worst case scenarios and nightmares come true is like putting a beacon out for those situations. Don’t do it!
✔️ To paraphrase Wayne Dyer: if we realized how important our thoughts were and how much they impacted our daily life, we’d get much more careful of what we allow to go on in our heads all the time.
✔️ At a crossroads? Not sure what you want? Go general. Distill things down to the barest element and work from there.

Need more? Email me:


Transcription by

Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host, Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Today, I want to talk about focusing on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? And yet, think of how often as human beings, we get mired in imagining worst case scenarios, and listing off all the things that we don’t want to happen. There’s a quote from Matthew Jones article on that I put in the last Tuesday tips email, and I want to read it for you briefly. The only way to discover true happiness is to surrender to it. open yourself up, transform your habits, and stop practicing on happiness. Find someone who knows what they’re talking about and learn from them. It’s the only way and it is that simple. And quote, I love that line about stop practicing on happiness. It’s the kind of thing that’s so elegant in its simplicity, we think, okay, yeah, I can do that. And then when we get up in the morning, we’re like, oh, God, I don’t feel like getting out of this more bed. I don’t want to go to work today. It can rapidly snowball from Alright, I was gonna make a concerted effort not to practice on happiness today to feeling like we got up on the wrong side of the bed and just want to pull the covers over our face and say To hell with it. At different times, I’ve asked candidates, no limits, no barriers, no right or wrong answer in a perfect situation, what would you want to do? And it was always interesting to me to see the disparity between people who had really contemplated that big picture question, versus people who hadn’t, people who had thought about it previously, and had some kind of goal or some kind of like, a little itch, a burning desire of something they really wanted to do, they would tell you, even if they might have been a little shy or embarrassed about it, at first, they would tell you what it was they had in mind. And it might be I’m a school teacher now. But I really want to be an interior decorator, or I’m a real estate agent now. But what I really want to do is go back to school, finished my accounting degree and become a CPA, or I’m a project manager now, but I don’t like managing the whole project. I’m a design engineer by trade, and I love it. I want to just focus on designing and creating things. I don’t want to manage the whole project. So you would get some interesting answers from people who had contemplated that question before. But it was really interesting to me how many people would answer that question by not answering it, instead, they would go off the deep end telling me what they didn’t want. So I’d asked the question, and instead of getting some type of answer, like well, Alright, here’s what I really like, you know, the, the dropped voice. Well, what I really would like to do, that’s when it gets exciting, I would get an answer like, Well, here’s what I don’t want. I don’t want a boss who’s in a hole. I’m tired of being micromanaged. I’m tired of not having a flexible schedule, I’m burned out, I’m pissed off, and this would go on, it was like an avalanche of negativity, it would start out like a snowball and the more it roll down the hill, it would just get bigger and uglier. And, you know, sometimes you could watch in the person’s face, the tension, the anger, the resentment. And I want to be really clear about something here. I’m not passing judgment on that. I have been that person. And there were many times when I would be sitting with a candidate and they’d be telling me about, you know, boss, who’s a micromanager. They didn’t like their working environment. And I would be sitting there internally nodding my head like, yeah, I understand. I feel you. That just wasn’t the answer to the question that I asked though. It’s like you’re telling me all these things that you hate. You’re telling me what you don’t want. Tell me what you do want it stop defining something by telling me what it’s not. I really think Esther Hicks does a great job of crystallizing this down into simple, easy to understand advice. Focus on that which is wanted, don’t focus on that which is unwanted. She has a book called money and the law of attraction. And I want to briefly read a passage from it that’s relevant to this discussion. And the little bulleted sub heading there is attention to the unwanted attracts more unwanted, for every pleasing thing there is an unbelieving counterpart, for within every particle of the universe is that which is wanted, as well as the lack of that which is wanted when you focus upon an unwanted aspect of something in an effort to push it away from you, instead, it only comes closer, because you get what you give your attention to, whether it is something you want or not, in quote, now I want to go back and reread that last sentence because I really think it’s important. You get what you give your attention to whether it is something you want, or not. So often when I would meet with those people that would go off on a rant, and here’s what I don’t want my bosses in a hall, I’m micromanaged. I don’t like this, I don’t like that. They, they would attract more of that to them. So like, if you met, let’s say that you met with them in 2010. If you met with them again, in 2012, they would be banging that same drum, if even if they had changed jobs, that’s one of the things that I really want to drive home in this episode is, even if they had changed their circumstances, they didn’t really change their circumstances because they themselves had not changed. Now, I’m not gonna sit here and give you some patronizing, super annoying lecture on well do as bloom where you’re planted, just try to make the best of a bad situation. Even if your boss really is a jerk, and you’re in an environment that makes you want to tear your hair out, we’ll just accentuate the positives and try to make the best of it. It’s not about diluting yourself. It’s not about trying to paint on a fake smile and suffer through it until magically one day it doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. It’s not It’s not that. It’s about getting clear on what you do want. There was such an interesting juxtaposition between the people that would come in and say, all right, well, here’s what I really want to do. In a perfect world where I could have everything I wanted, this is what I would really rather be doing. I mean, to give you one of those examples, the person I met with who did say, you know, right now I’m doing project management. But design engineering is where my heart is. He’s a very successful design engineer, he got out of the project management part of it and having to manage all these different puzzle pieces honed in on the design engineering, which is what he really wanted to do. And he’s had a wonderful and lucrative career doing what he wanted to do. Whereas the people who would come in and just want to dump all of their problems out on the table. And, you know, all my co workers are bastards, and my boss, horrible, and I hate my job, and I don’t want to get up every day. A lot of those people are on the same wheel of griping like they’ve never managed to get out of situations. And have you noticed with some people, it’s always somebody else’s fault. Somebody else ripped them off, somebody else was bad to them. Every boss they ever had was terrible. Every co worker they ever had was a jerk. Every office was the, you know, one of Dante’s levels of hell. A lot of those people just spin their career that way, and they may work 30 or 40 years hating every minute of it. And my God isn’t life too short for that. Reading again from money and the law of attraction, within everything that surrounds you is that which is wanted, and that which is unwanted, it is up to you to focus upon what is wanted, see your environment as a buffet of many choices and make more deliberate choices about what you think about, if you will try to make choices that feel good to you. As you make an effort to tell a different story about your life, and the people and the experiences that are in it, you will see your life begin to transform to match the essence of the details of the new and improved story you are now telling in quote, that is a key piece of the puzzle, friends, that is a huge differentiator between the people who would come in and say, Well, here’s what I really would want to be doing perfect world could do anything I want. And here’s what I really want, versus the people that wanted to just come in and gripe and whine and tell me how they were being persecuted by the world. When you begin to tell that new and improved story is not necessarily that the job you’re in that you love is going to transform itself into something magical and awesome to you. Maybe it will, there are those stories out there where somebody did have a boss who was a jerk and that guy got fired or that lady got transferred. And they got promoted and got to be the type of boss that was awesome to people, or somebody else was brought in who they got along with really well and the whole situation changed. There are those stories out there. There are also a lot of stories where somebody changed their focus and instead of going oh my god, I just I want to go into the supply closet. I hate this. As they started telling a new and improved story, they started to attract better opportunities. So they got out of the job where they wanted to go to the supply closet and cry every day and into a job that they absolutely loved. But sitting and banging that same drum over and over again, about all the things that you hate, and you don’t want is not going to help you. Period. Full stop. It just won’t. There will be times in life where we all have a bad day. I feel like it’s highly unrealistic. And it puts a lot of pressure on yourself to imagine that every day will be sunshine, and roses and pure happiness and you’ll never accidentally stub your toe getting out of bed, or you’ll never get splashed by a mud puddle walking down the street ever again. Sometimes, as the bumper sticker says sh*t’s gonna happen, man, I, I wish I knew of some way to perpetually prevent that. But we’ll all have some days where we don’t feel optimal. The idea is not to tell yourself, I’ll never have a bad day or I should never feel like my boss is a jerk I should I should just get up every morning, go, I love my job, I love my job. Remember that part and the Devil Wears Prada or That girl is sitting there going, I love my job. I love my job. No, that’s not what I’m telling you. It’s about being able to put your focus in general on that what you that what you want, and things that you consider to be positive things that make you feel good rather than things that make you feel rotten. I’m going to read again another passage from money and the law of attraction. Many regard negative emotion as something unwanted. But we prefer to see it as important guidance to help you to understand the direction of your focus, therefore the direction of your vibration. Therefore the direction of what you are attracting, you could call it a warning bell. Because it certainly does give you a signal to let you know that it is time to pivot. But we prefer to call it a guiding Bell and quote, I also really like that term, a guiding Bell or a warning bell. When you do start to feel those symptoms of burnout. Or man I just I’m not my heart’s not in this anymore. I don’t like the direction that my career has gone in. You don’t want to bury those emotions. It’s a guiding Bell a warning bell like that serves an important function in your life. It’s like pain in the body. If you step on a nail or attack, your brain processes those pain signals. And it lets you know that something is wrong, you need to seek some kind of medical attention for what has happened. The people who are born you know, like with genetic anomalies that don’t feel any pain, they have to constantly monitor their bodies and look for wounds and injuries because they could step on something, get tetanus and die from it. And they it’s like by the time the disease had progressed past the point of no return, then that would be when they finally figured it out. So even though pain is unpleasant to us, it actually does serve an extremely important purpose and keeping us alive. And well. The same thing is true, quite frankly, with emotional discomfort, those initial stirrings of Ooh, I don’t like this, or I feel like I’m in the wrong place. Or, you know, I was happy when I first got here, but I feel like over the past couple of years, I’ve just outgrown this job, I feel like I’m wearing a pair of shoes that are too tight and too small. And in order to really run and be free, I need to be in something that’s a better fit. All of that is beneficial to you. It’s not It’s not about suppressing the negative emotion. And I want to really draw an important distinction here. Sometimes people who harp about not not repressing not suppressing are the people that want to wallow, they want to get into ruminative thinking, and they really want to just dive headfirst into a swimming pool of, here’s all the stuff that’s wrong with my life. Here’s all the stuff that I want to gripe and moan about. There’s also a difference in that too. It’s one thing not to repress your emotions, but to be honest with yourself about what you’re thinking, versus diving headlong into that swimming pool and staying there for years and years. Some people never make it out. You know, I hate to sound that dire and drastic, but it’s true. There are some people that live every day of their life playing the martyr feeling like they’re the victim, never choosing victory over victimhood. They just stay there in the swimming pool, letting all of that distasteful water get all over their body day in and day out. And we’ll be tied the person who ever tries to throw them a life raft and get them out of it because they’re in there because they want to be. So you may be asking yourself, alright, how do I focus on what I want, especially if I Don’t know what I want? Great question, I had to ask that myself. When I get again came to the conclusion that I was burned out on corporate America, I was not a good fit for it. It was not a good fit for me. I, I went into quite a depression for several months, because I’m like, I don’t I don’t know what comes next. You know, I tried self employment, I tried running my own business, it failed. I felt terrible. And back in corporate America, that sucks. I don’t want to be here, either. So where do I go? what’s what’s left for me, one of the best things that you can do in that situation is to go general. And I mean, it can be extremely general. So for me, I was journaling things like freedom, autonomy, flexibility, I had no idea how those things were going to come together in a work situation. I just knew that’s ultimately what I wanted. Those were the types of values that were important to me. And that’s how I wanted to feel every day, I wanted to get up with a sense of freedom and flexibility that I could structure my day how I saw fit. I didn’t want to be trapped in a car, making a long commute. I didn’t want to put on dress clothes every day, especially when you work in a small office environment where you’re doing a lot, either over the phone or by Skype, you’re interacting with candidates in other parts of the country that can’t even physically come in. Why on earth would you need to sit there in a business suit? It was ridiculous. So to me art, freedom, autonomy, flexibility, those are our core values. That’s really what I’m looking for. And then as I had contrasting experiences, and I learned more, and I got more clarity, slowly over time, it wasn’t something that just happened some big overnight revelation, then I could start adding to the list and making it more specific. But one of the best things you can do if you’re not sure about what you want is to get general distill it down to its barest possible essence. So for you it might be I just want to be happy, I want to get up in the morning. Naturally, I don’t want to set an alarm. I want to work from home each day, or I want flexibility. I’d like to be out of the house two or three days out of the week to have some extrovert time, and then be home the other days out of the week, distill it down and get general. Another great tool is if you’re just stuck in that, here’s all the stuff I don’t want. Flip it over and think about how you could put it in a positive framework. So for example, just to use something I just said, I don’t want to get up to the sound of the alarm every morning, I want to wake up naturally, I want to get out of bed when my body tells me it’s time. I don’t want a long commute every day, I don’t like sitting in the car for hours on end. I want a job that’s close to home, or I want to work remotely so that I’m home all the time. I don’t want to be but in seat at some job from eight to five trapped in a cubicle. I want flexible scheduling. I want to work where I want and how I want each day one of the linchpins of the new thought movement, regardless of which author you prefer to read. One of the key components of anything within the movement is that the things that you think about are the things that expand in your life. Again, not surprising to me, as I think back on the candidates who sat and griped and told me all the things that they didn’t want. The vast majority of them are still in situations that quite frankly they don’t want. Whereas the people who had some presence of mind some clarity on what they did want. Most of them are in the jobs that they said they really ultimately want it or something very similar that’s making them happy. So I want to close out this episode with another quote from Esther Hicks. In order for things to change, you have to see them as you want them to be rather than continuing to observe them as they are. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already. Take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

No Comments

Leave a Reply