What You Focus on Grows
I’m grateful for the beautiful things in life that grow…
I used to have a fairly green thumb; at least it was a light shade of green. In the past, I’ve had beautiful flower and vegetable gardens that thrived and grew. This happened because I put a lot of focus on the plants, giving them the proper nourishment and care they needed. But lately, the color of my thumb has seemed to change. I try planting a flower garden in my front yard, or have plants in my house, and it’s not long before they are wilting and dying. It makes sense that these plants aren’t thriving because I’m not giving them enough water and the proper care they need. But that’s not really why they’re dying. They’re dying because my focus is no longer on them.
A couple of years ago a friend gave me a succulent plant for my birthday. She said she’s had greater success keeping her succulent plants alive since they don’t require much water. I was hopeful when she gave it to me, that maybe I would be able to have a plant again that I could keep alive. I put it in my kitchen window seal, and after a couple of months with it still growing, I began to think that succulents were the answer for me. With this confidence, a few months later I bought a beautiful arrangement of succulents from my niece. I put this piece by my front door because I wanted to show it off as people came into my house. Within a short time, however, this set of succulents withered away and died. I thought it would be so easy; after all, I had been able to keep the other one alive for months, and it was still growing. I wondered what the difference was, and then I realized something. The plant that was thriving was in my kitchen window seal, a place where I was focusing on it every day. I would remember to water it when it was needed, and I would turn it around a little at a time so that different portions of it would face the sun. The plant that was placed by my front door was out of my sight more often. It was off to the side, where I would glance at it in passing, but not where I would look at it on a regular basis. The plant in the window seal had my focus, and because of that, it grew!
I’ve heard the quote and seen it posted on social media many times: “What you focus on grows.” I wasn’t sure where it had come from, but when I looked it up I found that was only part of the message. It comes from this quote by Robin S. Sharma, “ What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”
I truly believe that what we choose to focus on in our lives will grow. If we focus on the negative, the negative will grow. When we choose to focus on what is good in our lives and around us, those positive things will flourish and grow. So if I get caught back in the rut that I’ve been in at times where I focus on how sick I feel, or how much my body hurts, that pain and sickness will continue to grow. But if I focus on the fact that my body is healing and I express gratitude for the progress I make on this path, even if the steps are very small, then my body will stay in a mode of healing.
This same concept is true in our relationships with others, our love, forgiveness, compassion, and all good things in our lives. If we put our focus on the good things we want to have improved in our lives, then those good things will grow. As we keep our eyes focused on the horizon, on the goals that we want to achieve, we will continue to go forward toward those things, overcoming obstacles along the way, and watching our goals grow into realities.
I realize that healing from illness or dealing with other challenges isn’t just easily fixed by focusing on the positive. Each situation is very complex and has many difficulties that go along with it. So I’m not suggesting that life suddenly becomes easy and all our problems will be taken care of if we just focus on the good. But I am suggesting that when we do choose to put our focus this way, it helps our minds, hearts and bodies to be more open to the healing process. It leaves us more open to seeking for answers and to doing our part, no matter how small that may be, to help the healing to happen. When we keep our focus on the positive it also helps us to recognize more often the blessings that we really do have, despite the challenges. And perhaps one of the most important things it does for us… it gives us HOPE!
Let’s strive to stay focused on the things that we want to grow. As we keep the most important things in sight, we will be reminded to nourish them and help them to flourish and grow into something beautiful.
Photo by Keenan Barber on Unsplash