Where Is Your Focus?
Over the last year, there have been many things out of our control. When things are occurring that are out of our control, our mind and body begin to feel tension. That tension gone unchecked can then spin into varying levels of fear and even anxiety. Anxiety across the globe and America over the last year has reached the highest levels ever producing conflict and situations that haven’t ended the way we wanted or in ways that made us unhappy and angry. We can’t control a virus and we can’t control an election, both of which produced fear regardless of which side of the “line” you were on. Many have feared for their lives while others have not as much. Many have feared the direction our country is headed while others have not so much. Yet on a day-to-day basis, there is nothing we can truly take action on today to change any of those outcomes.
For me and the business I am in, we look to control animal health and produce excellent results through great animal care, the best animal welfare we have ever produced, with some of the highest levels of communication and some of the greatest leadership I have ever seen. Yet, given a severe cold blast in February and some of the worst heat stress I have seen in June ever, our animal health results have been a challenge. Last week I was challenged significantly by more than one leader in the beef business to do better.
As I reflected on the past in an effort to learn from what we had done, I wanted to focus on things that were out of our control. In order to work to get better, help our teams get better, to produce better results, focusing on the weather as a cause is something I can’t change and have no control over. I had to begin to focus on the things in our control, our core foundational execution items, and look for opportunities to help improve our teams, our protocols, our processes, procedures, and our daily logistics. Those are things we do daily that can be improved little by little.
For our son Nash and our daughter Mac, they are no different. If we focused on the past, if we focused on the things out of our control, Karen and I’s leadership would be focusing on the wrong things to help them keep moving forward to progress towards their goals of being “one-percenter” adults. If we focused on our life-changing event of August 7th and only on August 7th, wishing we could take it back, we would be spun into a deep state of depression or catastrophic levels of anxiety and our kids would be a mess from that type of family leadership. The more we focus on the things out of our control, the more we will feel out of control!
The more we focus on what IS in our control and take intentional action steps accordingly, the more our mind will feel at ease with the “process” or the journey we are on. I have been working with a couple struggling in their marriage for a few months and progress is being made. She just didn’t know how to “move forward” totally, and she keeps asking me how. I told her, “I know how...you just do it.” We move forward daily in our marriage and as a family, and we do the same at AMC by just doing it, by focusing daily on what is in our control and taking steps accordingly. We don’t focus on what is not in our control.
The more we focus on what IS in our control and take intentional action steps accordingly, the more our mind will feel at ease with the “process” or the journey we are on.
In the end, focusing on what is not in our control is wasting energy. It often results in complaining or “bitch fests', and even anxiety that yields absolutely no results sending us steps backwards not forwards. Focusing on what is not in our control creates a devil's playground in our minds or the minds of those around us. We see results of this playing out on social media, negatively affecting the minds of those we love the most. If we can just focus on what IS in our control, take intentional action steps daily over a period of time, multiplied by God, unstoppable results will begin to happen!