A few months back I decided photography wasn’t my thing, so I sold my fancy camera and set out to learn all I could about my iPhone camera and how to make the most of it. There is this nifty little feature that allows you to touch the screen to choose which part of the image you would like the camera to auto-focus on. This worked out great at the restaurant last night when I pretended to take a picture of my son, but was really taking a picture of the girl at the table behind him who had really awesome hair. Yeah, I’m weird like that.
Something I am working on right now is touching the picture on the big screen of my life to adjust my focus. You see, the perfectionist in me tends to focus on the negative.
I beat myself up before I go to bed for the one time I yelled at the kids instead of remembering the 99 times I spoke with patience and kindness.
I stress about all of the things left unchecked on the To Do List, instead of relishing the act of checking off of each task completed.
I get angry at myself for polishing off the entire canister of trail mix instead of being proud of myself for the miles ran and the veggies consumed.
But this focus problem doesn’t just affect me. It makes me focus on the negative of those I love the most.
I walk into the kitchen my husband just cleaned and gripe about how he never wipes the countertops when he is finished.
I tell the kids to clean up their toys and instead of telling them that they did a great job, I point out all of the ones they missed.
Last week I read a great article on discipline by Sally Clarkson, where she wrote about how the police in her town have been giving out a lot of tickets lately, and that causes a reaction of dread in her every time she sees a policeman. She compared that to how children who have an overbearing or authoritarian parent might begin to dread seeing that parent because they know he or she will find something wrong.
This thought has really stayed with me. I don’t want my husband and my children to dread me walking into a room because they know I am going to find something wrong and point it out. So I am working on changing what I focus on.
When I walk into the room from now on, even if all of the wrongs jump out at me, I am going to do a little touch screen auto-focus, and zero in on what is good and what is right.
It will make for a much better picture.
Do you have a tendency to focus on what is wrong instead of what is right? How are you adjusting your focus?