Focus on the Donut Not the Hole
Have you ever heard the expression, “Focus on the donut, not the hole?” Essentially its meaning is simple yet powerful: take time to embrace what you DO have, rather than the things you DO NOT.
Seems simple enough, right?
Well as we all can relate, some things are much easier said than done. So often, I observe those around me operating on autopilot almost as if wearing blinders as they slowly but surely find themselves walking a plank. Perhaps this seems like a harsh description, but I beg of you to ask yourself how often you think about the things that could be or should be, rather than simply embracing those things that are right in front of you. I confess, I have often found myself here as well. But over time it seems that my donut has grown much bigger and the hole has almost become non-existent (and I mean this figuratively not literally).
So right now I want to share with you a few key things that have changed my life so that I can focus on all the unique, special things that I DO have instead of the things that I DO NOT.
Take back your power and keep it!
Throughout my life I have witnessed myself, my family, friends, clients, patients and acquaintances alike losing their individual power. Whether it be to their spouse, a friend, a sibling, a peer, a complete stranger or society as a whole, these people, myself included, are seemingly handing over their sense of self to someone else without even realizing it.
Let me give an example here. A friend of mine told me she was wanting to lose weight, but the weight loss was not happening as quick as she had hoped. I simply asked her how she was working toward her goal. She shared her confidence in her healthy food choices and getting enough sleep at night but the one thing that stood out most to me was her exercise. She was jogging in the evenings with her husband on days that he got home early and felt like exercising, which was about two days a week. Nothing wrong with that, however, after some time of reflection, she realized the she allowed her husband to dictate her time and ability to exercise consistently. Her personal goal was to exercise 4-6 days a week.
So my tip here is to begin by simply stepping back to look at yourself objectively with no judgement, like my friend. When you take an outsider’s look into your life, you can see the areas that you have allowed others to dictate your level of success. Take time to reflect and evaluate the obstacles that bridge the present to your perceived, ideal future self. By identifying the areas where you can regain control, you are also taking back the power of your life and success. Maintaining the power can be some work, but over time it can easily become just who you are!
Think roots before branches.
The phrase “roots before branches” may be one that you have heard before and can have various meanings to different people. For me, it means that you must have your roots firmly in the ground before you can accomplish your goals, thus indicating that you must have a solid foundation before taking the next step.
Starting by understanding who you are, the things you value, your beliefs, where you come from and what you desire in life, you can establish a strong ground beneath you. In essence, your roots can be your identity. Much like your identity however, so much more can define who you are. Kind of like the tree, how often you water it and how much sun you allow it can determine how tall it will grow. So, it is also important to explore the things that water your roots: people, places, and things can all support your sense of self and personal development.
Once you determine these things, like a tree, you can grow your branches. The branches signify your goals and success. With a sturdy base, you can do anything and grow into the person your heart desires. This is your meaning and purpose in life. This is your destiny!
Focus on the things that bring you thanks.
Thanksgiving is not merely for the annual American holiday but rather every day of every year of your life. To me, being thankful comes with appreciation and gratitude. By definition, appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the value of someone or something, whereas gratitude is the quality or readiness to express appreciation.
When I think of being grateful for something or someone I remind myself of the emotions that tag along with it: joy, peace and love. To hone in on your thankfulness you must know that appreciation is a feeling, emotion or attitude that acknowledges the upsides of things received.
There are many ways to express appreciation. Personally, I like to keep a gratitude journal. It’s a simple little notebook (sometimes sticky notes) where I can write a word or a few sentences of those special things that bring me joy, love or peace on a daily basis. I never limit myself on what my mind settles on, from a person close to me to a complete stranger who unknowingly taught me a lesson that day, or even the shirt on my back and the coffee in my mug. The sky’s the limit!
Other ways to express appreciation and acknowledge your unique gratitude is to meditate, use positive words of encouragement and care, smile more, help others, give a gift, write a Thank You card, think positively, take care of yourself, etc. Again, the sky’s the limit to a gift of viewing the world a little bit differently. What is your unique way to show your thanks?
I hope these little tips help you heart and mind focus more on those special things you have in your life!
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC