How to treat your mind like a dog



I’m sure you’ve heard this simple, one word instruction before, either from someone else or in your own head.

Maybe you were trying to do something productive but got distracted by that FB post, or by the more exciting prospect of having a cup of tea or maybe spending some quality time with Netflix.

But focus skills aren’t just about learning, work or tasks you need to get done.

Training to intentionally direct your focus can determine the awesomeness of your whole life experience.


Focus skills training | Maya Zack mindset coach

Image: www.pinterest.com


You might think – ‘Shit. I’m rubbish at focusing’.

But it’s not an ability you either have or you don’t.

Even those who are diagnosed with what’s labelled as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are not unable to focus. They can be extremely focused – completely fixated. It’s just that they’re selectively focused on stuff that doesn’t fit in with what classrooms or society expect from them.

And back at school, you were told to focus but you were never taught how to focus.

So focus is an ability we all have. It’s a skill you can improve and learn to direct wherever you want.

It’s actually a simple decision of where to place your attention. With practice, this freedom of choice becomes more automatic.


Image: www.giphy.com


So what will focus skills training allow you to do?


1. Be more in control of your thoughts and emotions…by not controlling them


Thoughts come up from the mind with or without your participation.

It’s just what the mind is there for – to offers us an infinite source of ideas.

Problem is, we often accept the ‘invitation’ to follow unhelpful thoughts around.

But you can choose which thoughts to follow. This doesn’t mean to resist or stop thoughts.

This doesn’t work, ‘cuz when you try to do that, you’re actually putting your attention on them even more, making them even bigger.  You’re stuck in a vicious cycle.

But if you train your focus skills, you can allow the thoughts to pass by, without placing your attention on them.

You decide which ‘invitations’ to accept and which to decline.

When you acknowledge their invitation and their ‘right’ to be there, they simply move on without you having to fight.

So you get to be more in charge.


By Min Liu


“What worries you, masters you.”
~ John Locke ~


2. Become the master of your mind


You gradually become freer and freer of the mind altogether. It continues bringing up thoughts but you react far less.

Slowly but surely your mind becomes naturally quieter. Like with any relationship, when you stop trying to control it, it will stop trying to control you.

It begins to follow you instead of you following it. It becomes your servant, waiting for your instructions.

It’s kind of like training a dog.

You might feel a bit uncomfortable at first telling it what to do – not wanting to upset it. But after a while you realise it happily takes on whatever you command.  Your dog-mind loves and adores you and you know it’s the best friend you could ever have.


By Robyn Davey


3. Be more unlimited


If you’re human, you’ve got imagination.

This means you have the ability to create any thought whenever you want.

Because essentially everything happens inside your perception, your mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and imagined.

This is key, ‘cuz it means that whatever thought you focus on, your mind accepts as real – as something that’s really there – and it responds accordingly.


For example, let’s say you focus your attention on a time when you felt confident. Your mind will automatically create more confident feelings in order to bring up this memory. So even though confidence was in your imaginary memory – it’s now being created in the present.

So these positive feelings are in fact always there inside you – as resources & potential of your imagination.

Once you’ve accessed these feeling, you can increase them even more.

Now let’s say you can’t think of any confident memories in your experience.

This makes no difference – ‘cuz you can still imagine what it would feel like to be confident. Or you can imagine what another confident person would be feeling – a role model or a even a superhero.

As long as you’re bringing it up in your mind, you’re automatically creating the resource.




4. Be more accepting & let go of judgement


Now that you’re more in charge, you’re not so bothered anymore by challenging, external or internal events, thoughts or even people coming into your life.

You no longer feel threatened by them, ‘cuz you know you can allow them to be as they are – taking on what’s useful and letting go of what’s not.

You’ll also care less about what others think of you, ‘cuz you can simply move your attention away from them to yourself – minding your own business.


Focus skills training | mindset coaching

Image: www.pinterest.com


5. Be free of limiting beliefs


Your beliefs DRIVE EVERYTHING you do. And they’re simply the result of habitualy focusing on your interpretation of events. They’re just thoughts you focused on repetitively that have become automatic.

So let’s say you’ve had some experience. You focused on a particular aspect of it and gave it meaning out of your perspective at that time.

Your mind then ‘filtered’ the next experience through that memory and the meaning you had given it. This is ‘cuz it ‘efficiently’ looks for quick references for response – which may or may not be constructive to you.

After repeating this process a few times, your habit-thoughts became your beliefs.

Imagine you take a photo, using a particular filter that has a very specific effect. Now that you’ve got this special effect on, the next photos will also be filtered through it, so you continue getting same-styled images.

These images seem to be a true reflection of reality.

But if you just shift your focus from the filter to the camera, you could very easily remove it or change it – opening up wider possibilities and getting completely different pictures.


By Min Liu


6. Be more of a creator & achieve your goals more easily.


Aiming towards a goal is the conscious directing of your focus:




Aka the ‘law of attraction’, is super important to the process – and this is also a matter of where you place your attention.
You want to use your skills to focus on positive expectation; on what you want, not on what you don’t want. This is ‘cuz when you focus on what you don’t want, your mind still has to come up with that something to understand your preference. Ever heard the saying “Don’t think of a pink elephant”…?
Going back to #4 on this list, along with the unwanted object, your mind will also bring up any negative thoughts and feelings associated with it, ultimately creating more unwanted states, feelings & events.




It’s also a good idea to use your focus skills to get super clear and specific on what or where exactly you’re aiming for. Otherwise, it’s all a blur… you just can’t see where you’re going and it might be tricky getting anywhere.




During your journey towards getting to your destination, with the right focus skills you’ll also be more able to concentrate on smaller tasks, overcome distractions and procrastination, and increase states of inspiration & motivation.


By Andre Lopion


7. Suffer less


Pain is a natural part of life. We all experience times of pain and trying to avoid it is futile.

But it’s also subjective – and can depend on where your attention is.

For example, top sports performers are trained so that if they hurt themselves while competing, they can temporarily distract themselves from the pain by concentrating on the end goal.

Another example is a child who hurts themselves running around, but stops crying once they shift their focus to that intriguing flying object in the sky.

Or maybe you’ve hurt yourself in some small way – cut your finger or stubbed your toe. Have you noticed that when you focus on it or how sorry you feel for yourself, the pain tends to grow? If you experienced a similar situation but during some super-good time, it’s likely the pain was less of an issue.

What’s more, pain doesn’t mean you need to suffer. They’re not the same thing. Suffering is the continual focus & holding on to pain.

Again, of course you’ll have some painful times and feelings in your life.  And it’s even better to allow them instead of trying to resist, which helps to let go (going back to #1).

But even if you choose to hold on for a while, comes a time when enough is enough.

With focus skills training and moving your interest onto more positive stuff, you get to experience more goodness that’s always available.

Back to the camera analogy, whatever you focus on – you’ll experience more of. When you zoom in closer onto an object, it fills the frame. You might think it’s the only thing there. But if you only zoomed out, you’d realise it was just a small part of the big picture.


Image: www.dribbble.com


So sure, shit happens and lots of stuff in the world suck, but it’s also an amazing and beautiful place, interesting times to live in, and there’s lots of love & kindness everywhere.


8. Have better communication & relationships


It could start with paying more attention to names during first introductions.

Or focusing on genuinely listening, instead of planning out your own response in your head.

Focusing on the good in people instead of on what you don’t like. On positive intentions rather than shitty mistakes. On giving instead of taking or wanting.

It’s also useful to be able to shift your focus from your own perspective onto others’ to understand them better.

So being in charge of your focus skills actually have the power to completely transform your relationships into more healthy & productive ones.


9. Be a solution finder rather than problem dweller


Your mind enjoys challenges, dramas and problems – ‘cuz they keep it busy thinking and it wants to be ‘useful’. It’s also more fun and entertainment!

You might not know how to resolve a challenge, but just keeping your focus directed towards the possibility of getting an answer, makes all the difference.

The trick is to focus on asking the right questions. Your mind loves this game. When you ask it a question, it will go off searching for a solution or answer.

It’s like throwing a bone for that dog you trained to fetch.


Image: www.giphy.com


“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
~ Albert Einstein ~


10. Be more present


Ever get caught up following thoughts of past or future, instead paying attention to this very moment?

Being more focused on the present allows you to enjoy a more fulfilling life.

You’re not feeling you’re missing something that’s already gone, or something you haven’t yet got.

You’re not wasting time dwelling on past pains or regrets or worrying about stuff that hasn’t even happened.

You’re here, fully experiencing all that’s life got to offer you right now – which is pretty fucking amazing when you think about it.


So really, focus skills are responsible for almost everything.

Learning to direct or hold it, you’re freer to create your whole perspective and experience.

It’s far easier than it sounds when you’ve got the right tools.

With some training and practice it really does become more of a simple choice.

Remember, your dog-mind really just wants to serve you & make you happy.

So go on, throw that bone.


Focus skills training

By Gal Shir


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