Is suggesting a child should put their mind over matter really appropriate when they are struggling with a task? My Dad had many old fashioned values, or rather I now reflect endless sayings that dotted his language as he tried to find ways to impact me positively with ability to achieve, a mindset for having a go and a determination not to give up too easily. I miss my Dad.
Now that I too am a parent struggling with how best to communicate with my own children I entirely understand the difficulty of imparting good suggestions, challenging my own children to cope with bullying or with cliques at school and the hideous and often negative outcomes from social media exchanges in the young.
One of my father’s favourite sayings was if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. Is that the relentless power of energy that I try to bring to life where I do believe in over, under, round and through to try and make progress, sometimes through confidently fast processed mistakes? I should be thankful and hope therefore that my own repetition of some of the old sayings are rubbing off on my own children.
When I set a goal to achieve a particular outcome, I have learned the power of looking at the end game, like a visioning of what I want things to actually be, Dale Carnegie calls it the “should be.” And yet really we are at the “as is,” when we start the review of where we are now.
I have developed, practised and determined the mindset to think about the steps I need to take, then break matters into doable chunks in an ordered way, and these have become literally priceless methods in helping me achieve bigger goals broken down in parts. Is this indeed the power of focus?
The Power Of Focus
I firstly start by zooming out to consider the big picture, the future success and often I have made up rewards to go with the end game to self congratulate. I make deals with myself on what proportion of the outcome I get to use for myself. In the early days when I had very little, these achievements were very important and the key drivers keeping me focused.
Like in good leadership all the players in your team should know what they are aiming for, but in my private goals and aims, honestly I keep these thoughts, meanderings and determinations quite private. I work out the best steps required to do the things that give me the best chance of accomplishing success. I set targets for nearly everything.
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
Life planning is a priceless tool and often under-rated. Like a successful attempt to get fit doesn’t hinge on joining the gym or buying running shoes. It depends on us setting the alarm, getting out of bed, getting the right kit on and doing up the laces. Mind over matter to reject a warm cosy bed-space in exchange for sweat and effort, in return though for a life well lived. No longer my Sleep Well balm but Focus. There is nothing quite so nice as dressing for the gym using our scent to motivate, feel uplifted and stride out to get in a good early morning session.
What are the three smallest steps you can take today, and every day to get you to where you want to go? Start there, write them down, like going to the gym writing things down is like getting changed for me. I have committed, I am going, I have never not exercised once the kit is on.
Indeed in all sorts of areas of life I collect lists for effectiveness and efficiency with time so very precious and becoming more so, I am infuriated by any kind of task that I cannot achieve with multiple beneficial outcomes and progress. For the whole of my life I have tidied systematically, run the house systematically and run my life systematically with a self-imposed game to drive the best timely outcomes of getting stuff done so I can get more other stuff done. There is a mass to be learnt in time management and rewards systems related to these but the starting point remains the objective.
Where Else Do I Use Focus?
When I want to feel uplifted, need a boost, or just want that superbly confident and eye opening scent to remind me of the planned effort ahead. Focus often sits in my jeans pocket unnoticed for the pocket rocket it is. I use focus when I need to be numerically concentrated, before a major speech as a confidence boost and I feel my shoulders lift up as I breathe deeply in the awakening scent that gives me new energy.
I also conversely on long days, have used focus to get through the late dinner, the engagement of a tired brain. Powerfully I have focus in my car, it is my chocolate resistance tool. I read in a medical study of over 3000 people that the power of peppermint is good for helping with hunger pangs and often on busy days I used to weaken and buy sugary snacks at the petrol station.
Genuinely no more, I give myself the distraction of our beautiful blend of Rosemary, Sage and Peppermint and apply my father's brilliance of the mind over matter which someone the other day told me was a little cliché? What do I care what others think? I am on a mission and it is my choice as to how I let others make me feel, my choice as to what gets me to the end goal and my choice as to the interesting life and experiences I want to have.
Three organisational gems on the way I juggle through life
- To remember stuff that’s important, put these items next to your keys - when you need to leave to go somewhere you immediately think of it.
- Immediately I think of an idea - I send myself an email as a reminder of what the idea was - having just a word written down, with no context - gone is the brilliance I had thought of.
- Use your phone to never miss the important booked meetings – presetting alarms for pre-meeting times, dial in’s and even departures so if I am in a meeting and need to be gone so not as to run late, I explain that I will be leaving at a specific time and the alarm sets to ring 10 minutes before wrap up.
I now have children with organised discipl