Ya know... Chatting with good friends has its benefits. Just like think-tanks and collegeate consortiums are good for concerted cognation, a good conversation with a concerned cohort can be just as contenting.
I think I've mentioned this before in my journal, but in talking with a good friend of mine, I hadn't made the connection with just how correct the statement really is. The statement is the following:
YOUR FOCUS BECOMES YOUR REALITY.
This, I previously thought, "sounded right".
I mean, think about it. Everyone is born with a brain, and emotions and perceptions and feelings and points of view and.... all sorts of stuff which ultimately makes us who we are - individuals. Very individual individuals, in some cases.
Ever found yourself uttering the words, "That's not the way I see it" or "If you look at it this way", or "have you ever thought of it this way"?
If not, then might I suggest forming a few opinions of your own. Life is pretty darn good while actively engaging in proactive thought.
Now... With so many people having so many different ways of viewing the world, could it not be a valid assumption that we all live in our own "realities", as well?
If "reality" is defined as "all of your experiences that determine how things appear to you" (which it seems to be
), then I don't think it's too far off.
Anyway... I often find it amazing that something extremely obvious to me can be all but oblivious to someone else. We obviously live in very different realities.
Now.... The question comes:
Do we choose the reality in which we live, or does reality choose us?
Some people are dead set on believing that they were given a "lot" in life and it is completely unchangeable. Yes, we were born under good or bad circumstances, yes, we are subject to the environment within which we live, and yes, there are a large degree of things over which we have absolutely no control.
That said, I cannot be convinced that such is the case with everything.
I believe that to a large degree, we can choose to alter the reality in which we live.
Some things we can't change, but others, we can.
The things we have control over are the very things which make us who we are:
- Our perception
- What we choose to focus on
- The creativity with which we attack percevied obstacles
- The way we react to things and people we have contact with.
- The way we spend our time and money.
- Our thoughts.
This is but the tip of the iceberg of the things around us, and within us, which we can completely control. Albeit sometimes through an insane amount of hard work, determination, persistence, and even suffering, we can control these things.
The whole reason I'm writing about this topic was due to a very enlightening conversation I had today with my good friend Scott.
I've known now for a number of years that my reality really does depend, almost to the 100% mark, upon my focus. In fact, the whole concept came about because I saw the words "Your focus becomes your reality
" written on the whiteboard of Scott's room while we were in college.
I didn't know, however, that it was scriptural. Scott showed me some scriptures which I've always been well aware of, but haven't put them in this context.
He showed me 3rd Nephi 13:21
which states "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
That can be construed to mean "where your focus is, there will your reality be also." - but it's a slight stretch when taken in the context which the verse before it places.
There are about a dozen scriptures
which contain the words "with an eye".... "with an eye single to the glory of God" is a popular one.
I think that reference has quite a bit to do with the subject of focus. Do you think it'd be a stretch to state that phrase, "with a focus on the glory of God"? I don't think that's a stretch at all.
One of my favorite illustrations of this in scripture is in Alma 32
. The scripture states "And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
Interpret that as you may, I believe that's a pretty potent example of how important focus is within the plan of salvation. It doesn't just say "nourish the word, and you'll eat from the tree of life.", it states that you also have to have an eye of faith to the fruit
. In other words, you've got to focus on the goal of Eternal Life.
Besides the commandment to always maintain a proper perspective and focus in life, I believe that such a focus and perspective can determine the level of happiness with which we live.
Two people in the same circumstances, with different perspectives, can obviously have different outcomes.
Two people going through the "furnace of affliction
" spoken of often in the scriptures, one focusing on the difficulty of the affliction, and the other on the glorious outcome of being chosen by God, will the most assuredly experience different levels of difficulty throughout the trial.
Anyway... I'm rambling. You get my point.
Your focus really does become your reality.