Our world keeps getting busier and busier, and you’re probably feeling it – there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything we WANT to do because the things we HAVE to do keep taking our focus.
Focusing on something means you’re paying particular attention to it – whether that’s your physical being and getting enough good food, sleep, and exercise, or your emotional being and making sure you’re maximizing your positive experiences in that area as well.
Focusing on your spiritual life might seem like something you can temporarily delay, but doing that on a regular basis makes the neglect become more of a habit, and those can be incredibly hard to break.
Maintaining a focus on your level of spiritual authenticity is important in many ways, and can bring you benefits in many areas of your life.
Would you love to have more of a focus on creating a spiritually authentic life?
We all admire some people’s ability to concentrate on things beyond the “ordinary”, whether they’re training for the Olympics or solving a great societal problem. These folks with great focus have discovered something very important: If you’re focused on a specific goal, you have an easier time getting where you’re going.
But can you really create a great focus on creating a spiritually authentic life just by willing yourself to have it? Or is this trait a secondary characteristic of something else?
It’s All About Passion
Broken down to essentials, caring about something – making it the center of interest and of your activities – is the foundation of focus. After all, the more passion you have about something, the easier it is for you to pay attention to it and to block out the distractions that come with our very human lives.
Focusing on something that holds no meaning to you can be very challenging, and creating a spiritually authentic life is no exception to this rule. You’ve got to care deeply about the object of your focus in order for you to hold onto that focus – create that laser-like intention and a clear definition of what you want and what you’ll do to get it.
If you look at anything spectacular that you’ve ever done – personally or professionally – it probably involved something that you cared about very deeply. This isn’t just a coincidence. Focus isn’t about discipline; it’s about passion.
Passion is a strong and often barely controllable emotion – it is also described as a strong or extravagant enthusiasm or desire for a specific thing. Do you have a passion for the life you’re living and the activities you’re engaged in right now, and for creating a spiritually authentic life with all the benefits contained within?
Notice the people you know who really struggle with life – the mundane and the spiritual. You’re likely to find that they haven’t found something to really care about – that acknowledgment of a desire for purpose, meaning, and a sense of interconnectedness with others.
If you’re in this position, you can really suffer. However, when you’re able to open your heart and your spirit and truly find something you’re passionate about, you’ll be closer to a state of spiritual authenticity and your true happiness is a part of this result.
Ask yourself what makes you cry – what, in the words of religious leaders “troubles your spirit”. Is it the images of starving children on TV? Is it music? Can you imagine the focus and clarity you’d experience if you spent the majority of your time working to create positive changes on the thing or things that matter to you the most, that which touches your spirit and affects you deeply?
Tapping into your passion and your sense of caring puts you into the perfect state of mind; you’re stimulated enough to take real action, but not to the point of feeling apprehensive or overwhelmed. In fact, when you truly care, it’s harder to not take action!
Finding Your Passion (And Your Focus)
So now that you know what you need to gain focus, let’s get back to finding the thing that you care about the most.
This process will help you find your passion, your focus, and lead you toward greater happiness as you build your spiritually authentic life:
Make a list of the things that you’re truly passionate about. These aren’t necessarily the fun little things you like to do when you have some free time, though they might be. These are the things that you consider to be most important, the worldwide challenges you would fix if you were given a wish.
- These should be things that fascinate you so much that you’d gladly spend your life studying and making positive changes happen within and around them.
Organize your list. Put the items on your list in order by the amount of emotion you feel when you imagine yourself being part of each one.
- If there is nothing on your list yet that makes you cry, keep writing. Don’t stop until you’ve found the one that does make you cry. You’ll know your passion when you see it.
Using Your List to Your Advantage. Now that you have your list, ask yourself how much discipline would be required to be part of those items.
- Would you have to force yourself to focus on them, or does the mere fact that you care about – have a passion for – those items so much simply result in focus?
- Although each item will certainly involve times when you have to enlist some self-discipline, the big ones won’t take much.
- Start brainstorming ways to shift your schedule so that you can put time into your passion – and this doesn’t mean you have to give up everything else, just that you are making time to pursue what truly matters to you. Every effort in this area helps manifest the spiritual authenticity you’re looking for.
If you feel it’s a challenge to focus on your career, relationship, your spirituality, or any other part of your life, that’s a great sign that something needs to change. Go to your list for ideas and options. Try a new career that fills you with a sense of caring and you’ll never have to “work” another day again.
Try bringing new influences into your spiritual life that feel authentic and right for you – there’s no one “right” way to nurture your spiritually authentic life, but like a garden, you must spend time within and for it much as a gardener would.
A gardener prepares the ground before planting, then waters the plants, feeds and weeds their chosen space, and creates the conditions necessary in order to create a healthy harvest – you have the power to prepare your heart and spirit, then follow through and water, feed and weed your spiritually authentic life as you build it – planning ahead for a harvest that will pay dividends throughout your life.