The Most Effective Piece of Self Improvement Advice and How to Apply it for Instant Results

Want to know the most effective self improvement advice that lies at the heart of all success?

Here it is, and it’s the biggie. I’m going to give you the real secret to personal growth right up front. No mumbo jumbo, no products to buy, just the facts ma’am.

Focus on what you want. Keep your mind off what you don’t want.

Sounds simple. That’s because it issimple. But here’s why it’s important: 99% of people focus on what they don’t want, or on what they want to avoid, and this focusing is done unconsciously.

Why is it important to focus on what you want?
What’s wrong with just letting my mind wander like it usually does?


Your mind is a goal-seeking mechanism. The thoughts and images you spend most of your time focusing on, get sent to the unconscious parts of the mind with the assumption that it is an instruction. So, whether you are thinking of something you want or something you don’t want, your unconscious mind (that part of you that controls your behaviors, your moods, attitudes, what you notice, your impressions of the world, etc.) will set about creating or attracting it to you.

Why do the majority of people focus on what they don’t want? As youngsters growing up, we make a lot of decisions about other people and the world that stay with us for life. Unfortunately, we make these decisions when we are relatively powerless and don’t have all the facts. You might have had an unpleasant experience, so you made a generalization and concluded, “That was horrible! I never want to have that happen again.” So in order to avoid that experience your mind needs to look out for it. And, by now you’re getting the picture: what you focus on, you will unconsciously create or attract! Ever wonder why some people continually repeat the same negative patterns? Now you know.

There is also a pretty bad side-effect to focusing on what you don’t want: emotionally, you feel bad. In fact, this is a great way to notice what you are focusing on. If you feel bad, you know you’ve been focusing on what you do not want. Refocus!

If sometimes you get what you want, and sometimes get what you don’t want, chances are you are unaware of what you are focusing on, and as a consequence, are robbed of choice. If you had a choice about what you experience in life, wouldn’t you prefer to experience what you intended to, rather than what you wanted to avoid? Well, I want to assure you that you do have a choice, and I want you to exercise that choice.

How Do You Get Your Choice Back?

Decide! Make a commitment to yourself right now to focus on what you want. Whenever you notice yourself thinking about what you don’t want (or notice that you feel bad), simply shift your focus back to what you do want. Now that you know every thought is a goal, ask yourself, “do I want that thought to manifest in reality?” If the answer is no, refocus on what you do want. It’s your choice. I have a note pasted above my screen that reads, “Focus on what you want!” Make it a habit.

And if you’re super eager to regain control of that chattering monkey you call your mind (like I was), you can speed up the process by practicing any form of meditation. Try yoga if you’re more physically inclined. As the mind slows down, you are able to witness your thoughts much more clearly. And witnessing the thoughts gives you choice. So choose what you want to create for yourself and do it!

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Jim Hudson

Meditator and image-maker. Silencer of monkey-minds. From illness and depression, Jim has clambered his way through to health and fulfillment using diet & meditation. Read about his experiences, and watch his videos right here on the site.

Show 12 Comments
  • Deen August 15, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Thanks for the advice. Focusing on what you want is actually a lot more simple than we tend to make it.

    • Jim August 15, 2012, 3:20 pm

      Isn’t that the truth! I think humans are hard wired to complicate things, so I like to remind myself about K.I.S.S.

      Keep it simple, stupid!

  • esayas mekonnen May 23, 2012, 11:04 pm

    i realy enigoy your meditation tank you

    • Jim May 24, 2012, 9:08 am

      You’re very welcome Esayas, thank you for your support 🙂

  • Irina January 10, 2012, 11:16 am

    I love your post, I actually have enjoyed your meditation Post as well. I think that focus is essential to everything that we do. I am a university student so I do appreciate the gift of focus.

    • Jim January 15, 2012, 11:41 am

      Thank you kindly 🙂 Control of our focus is humanity’s unique gift — if we choose to exercise it.

  • Anonymous January 10, 2012, 11:15 am

    While this message isn’t new, it cannot be repeated too often. I have seen the truth of this principle play out over and over in my life.

  • Trudy January 10, 2012, 11:13 am

    Great post and it is so true. A lot of people focus on negative thoughts, like this is what i don’t want, instead of focusing on what they actually want to happen.

    It is such a simple piece of advice but it is still very important, as not many people seem to practice it.

    • Jim January 10, 2012, 11:14 am

      Trudy, this truly has been the most effective advice for me because up until I learned about this I didn’t know that what I focused my mind on was what became a goal. Think about all the time during the day you focus on trivial or negative junk. For me, it was a lot of time!

      Now I get a lot more done, with a whole lot less effort because I pull my focus back to what I want all day long. And as a bonus, it makes be feel good!

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