037: Unfocus To Focus

By: | Posted in: Podcast Episodes | Thursday, Jun 4, 2015 - 2:28pm

I can’t stop focusing on focus 🙂

First it was the interview with Omar Zenhomepisode 35 of this podcast titled “Focus To Succeed

Then, it was last show – episode 36 – about “Focus Without Focus.”

Today, I decided to speak about “Unfocus to Focus.”

During my conversation with Omar, he spoke about an interesting phenomenon that happens when we are on vacation, and not thinking about our to-do lists.

This situation creates space that allows us to see our priorities with more clarity.

It also creates opportunities to see new ideas and revisit old ideas with new eyes.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for our next vacation to experience this.

Most likely…

We can think about situations where we frenetically tried to find a solution –

How can I solve this?

This is impossible to solve?

Then, after a night’s sleep, or under the shower, suddenly, things become clear, we have an insight for a possible solution.

What was impossible, suddenly becomes possible.

Often only when we unfocus from the problem or challenge, we relax enough to see new possibilities and solutions.

This is the phenomenon I’m focusing in this episode, Positive Psychology has an explanation for it.

Positive Psychology

The positivity researcher Barbara Fredrickson, argues that positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, serenity, curiosity, hope, pride, amusement, inspirations, awe, and love, open our hearts and our minds, which makes us more receptive and more creative.

Positive emotions open our awareness to a wider range of thoughts, potentials, and actions.

Sun light signals to a flower that it’s time to open – positive emotions affect us in the same way – they open us to new possibilities.

Let’s think of an opposite situation.

Most likely, you can remember a situation where you felt overwhelmed. For instance, you are on a deadline, things are halfway done. Then you need a certain document to finish what you are working on and you cannot find it.

You panic, you search your desk, your office – nothing.

In the middle of this, a friend calls, you speak with her and relax. You even laugh at one of her jokes.

When you hang up, your eyes wander a little and then suddenly stop at a specific place, because they notice something – there it is, the missing document.

When we are under tension our vision is restricted figuratively and literally.

We see no solutions to our problems, we don’t find the object that was supposed to be there.

When we relax, we are more open, our vision expands, we begin to see challenges from a different perspective. We are aware of more possibilities, we can see more.

So, there are times that we need to focus to succeed.

There are also times that we need to be unfocused 🙂

When we are unfocused and relaxed we can envision new possibilities, and decide our priority – where we want to focus next.

Unfocus to focus

At first, it can look like a paradox, but if we transcend the apparent contradiction, we expand what’s possible.

 

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