“What we focus on expands”

Arnold Patent
Worldwide Laws of Life

When we focus on a particular thought, our mind often immediately responds by calling up similar thoughts. Positive and loving thoughts and feelings spark a whole range of thoughts and feelings that can lift our spirits. If, on the other hand, we concentrate on negative thoughts and fearful emotions, we may conjure up an ever-greater negativity. Our success in performing a task often depends on whether we focus on positive or negative thoughts. Remember, if we become preoccupied with what we don’t have (the negative side of our thinking), we may be unable to see clearly what we do have (the positive side). Let’s try an exercise. Pause for a moment and focus on the word “blue.” Images probably come to mind of the sky or the ocean. We can observe a similar effect with words of a more intangible nature. Consider the word “happy.” Focusing on this word might expand our image to such things as a wonderful vacation we enjoyed, a smiling child at play, or to an entertaining movie we once saw. Whatever we choose to focus on, our mind automatically expands that image for us.

Given this truth, wouldn’t you rather focus on positive images than on negative ones? In a short scenario, suppose you are faced with a complicated task, and your mind focuses on the word “failure.” Suddenly, an image might be evoked in which you fail at your task. This image could expand to the point where you may fail at other tasks and, possibly, to the point where people may ridicule you for your failure. Now, clear your mind, and visualize that you are faced with the same task, and decide to focus on the word “success.” Let positive images of accomplishing the task fill your mind. You see images of others appreciating your success, shaking your hand, smiling with admiration. This success image snowballs, and you can see yourself succeeding at other, more difficult, tasks. End of scenario.

But can these thoughts affect your actual performance? Yes! When you focus on a particular image, you tend to talk about what’s on your mind. Thus, if your mental focus is on positive images, you’re more likely to mention these ideas and images in communication with others. A good listener, who focuses on what is being said, can absorb your positive words and actions, and many constructive images or ideas might come to him. Like the spark that ignites the flame, he may share these good ideas with others, and they, in turn, may share them with still others. Thoughts expand not only within our own minds but expand through others as well.

Doesn’t it make sense that if you really know something, you can walk forward with greater confidence, greater assurance, and increased capacity to accomplish your desires? Focusing on positive thoughts often produces more positive thoughts, and these can help improve our success when performing tasks. What we focus on, we often talk about to our friends, family, and associates. Thus, our thoughts can expand to those around us. Make a commitment to keep in mind the law of life that states, “What we focus on expands.” By developing a happy, positive acceptance of the good you have right now, you can ascertain that in the future you can learn how to enjoy the surprises that come your way. It takes practice to do anything well. Instead of dwelling on thoughts or feelings of dissatisfaction, focus on happy and positive expressions of ideas and watch them expand.

Many spiritual teachers know that the human mind is molded from an omnipresent element that takes form, shape, and intelligence, and becomes a part of our thought world. The knowledge and awareness that compose your world often come from what you have held in mind as your inner ideal. Be confident with your mental focus. Are you really alive, alert, awake, and enthusiastic about life? If so, the harvest of abundant living can fill your world with gladness.