What You Focus on Grows … Particularly in Relationships

As the old cliché goes ….. there are two ways to have the tallest building in the area ….. one is to tear down everyone else’s buildings and the other is to build a taller building. I contend that the latter choice is the better choice where you focus on what is great and optimal and build on that versus focusing on the negative and trying to tear things down. Remember …… what we focus on grows ….. particularly in relationships.


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The same holds true in health care where there are two basic philosophies …… one says to not worry or focus on your health until it starts to be problematic and then go in and focus on what is “wrong.” Once you have determined what is wrong you commonly add something from the outside to see if you can alter what is causing things to go wrong and hope for the best.

The other philosophy states that we are programmed to be healthy and that is our natural state. In other words there is greatness and health within us that wants to express itself as long as nothing interferes with it. If we are aware of that and focus on expanding or building on that in our life then the likelihood of “getting sick” is much less and if we do “get sick” we can then focus on the greatness and health that is within us and look at optimizing that even more so that we can return to our normal, natural state.

THE SAME IS TRUE WITH RELATIONSHIPS. We can focus on the connection, joy and/or love we feel within our relationships …….the good in them from the inside out if you will ……. And then determine what character traits and behaviors support that optimal state of relationship and focus on them in a promotional or proactive way to keep it optimal. If the relationship does slip into the danger zone we can then focus on these “good” things in the relationship and how to optimize them even further to put the relationship back on the rails.

The other option is to not be conscious or grateful for our relationships and not be proactive or promotional in optimizing them and simply run from crisis to crisis. People in this mind set then focus on the broken and negative things in the relationship and look outside of themselves to try and add something from the outside (counselor or mediator, porn in an intimate relationship, money infusion, taking a trip) to fix it. In my experience this rarely works in the long term and the relationship implodes and the people “divorce” themselves from the relationship and move on to the next where the cycle repeats.

The same principles and philosophy apply to all relationships regardless of whether they are intimate relationships, business relationships, sibling relationships or friendships so what kind of relationships do you want? Do you want harmonious, fulfilling, caring, and loving relationships? If you do then I would offer that focusing on the Innate good within the relationship and the character traits and behaviours that support that form of relationship is where to put your focus.

If on the other hand you want to bounce from crisis to crisis and have pain, anguish, anxiety, mistrust and disharmony in your relationships than you are fine to take them for granted and not focus on them until they are on the verge of disruption or dissolution. The choice is quite frankly yours and it is ALWAYS a choice. 

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