Business and life lessons from a classic: What do you want?
Do you remember the movie “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones?
I love that movie – on so many levels. Partly because Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, listens to his inner voice despite what others think, and eventually reaps the rewards of doing so, not only healing an old wound but becoming financially sound as well.
But, there was one line that stood out to me. It was so simple.
Kinsella (Costner) is leaning against a concession stand at the ballpark when he asks…
“What do you want?”
Now, I know he’s simply asking about his food order. But, Jones’s mind is filled with frustration over the things he doesn’t want so he begins a diatribe on those items.
This is so common. How often do you think of the things you don’t want rather than what you do want? Psychologists tell us that it’s human nature to focus on what we don’t want in order to make sense of our world.
While, I understand the importance of knowing what we don’t want in order to clearly define what we do want, problems arise when we stay focused on what we don’t want.
Now if you’re saying to yourself, “Well, thanks Captain Obvious”, stay with me for a moment. If we look at this from a business (and life) perspective there are really a couple of lessons here:
1.) Focus on what you want (not on what you don’t want)
2.) Keep it simple
Sounds so easy to do, yet most people focus on what they don’t want and the energy spent pushing against the things we don’t want actually brings more of those very things or the feelings associated with those things into our lives. We know that energy flows where focus goes. Since energy is creative, what we give our attention to naturally grows.
Now there are plenty of people who do know what they want, but they just aren’t sure how to get it. This sets up a different problem; the search for how to obtain what we want, and in the process we may lose sight of just what it is that we want or overcomplicate the ability to achieve it.
This is because we start dispersing our energy in all different directions. It becomes fragmented, which leads to overwhelm, angst, and frustration. Things become complex and heavy.
Where does your focus lie in your business & life?
Focusing instead on what you do want opens your mind to your innate higher awareness where creative ideas flourish and answers become clear. Your mind has the answers or will lead you to the answers you seek, always.
Our minds respond to simplicity rather than complexity. Arriving at the answers you need becomes easier when you ask “How” questions rather than “Why” questions. “Why” questions will only lead your mind to find explanations or ways to justify “why” something is so. “How” questions trigger the mind to find direct, useful information.
If you take the time to ask clear, specific questions your mind will naturally start to search for the answers to those questions. This is because of the reticular activating system in our brain, which basically takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you. All of this happens at the subconscious level without you noticing.
Have you ever wanted a particular car and when you start to think about it all you see is that car – this is because our mind focuses on the dominant thought so it begins to call forth everything to support that thought.
Highly successful people don’t dwell on the things they don’t want. They are not defined by the things they did or didn’t do in the past. They simply move forward in faith towards what they want.
When we know what we want, we give ourselves the ability to generate or receive ideas on how to bring it to fruition. Knowing what we want enables us to make decisions, confidently and determinedly. As Emerson wrote, “Once you make a decision, the Universe conspires to make it happen.”
You can’t possibly build a successful business, if you aren’t clear on what you want and what your client wants.