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Where Is Your Focus?

mindset Jul 28, 2021

“Focusing on the past is ego. Focusing on the future is pride. Focusing on the present is humility.” - Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2021 NBA Finals MVP of the Milwaukee Bucks

After a dominant NBA Finals appearance for the Milwaukee Bucks, young star Giannis Antetokounmpo demonstrated wisdom far beyond his years with his post-game comments. This should cause you to reflect and ask yourself: where is your focus?

Focusing on the past is ego

When we hold onto the past - our accomplishments, achievements, glory days, and all the things we’ve earned through our hard work - we’re only feeding our ego. Does this mean you should never celebrate when something goes well? Absolutely not, a healthy balance of celebration and recognition is needed. However, when we dwell on the past - for good and for bad - we shift our focus towards what we can control onto what went well or what went poorly in the past. This often leads to ego, using our performance in the past to feed our present, or it leads to guilt and shame, beating ourselves up over all the things we should have done or should have said.

Focusing on the future is pride

When we look to the future and shift all our focus to the future, we’re going to be stuck in feelings of pride. We might think that because things have always been a certain way, that they should be a certain way going forward. Or because we’ve put in a certain amount of work, investment, or sweat equity, that we deserve a special type of recognition, treatment, or reputation. There’s nothing wrong with having vision, setting goals, and casting your eyes ahead to the future. Just don’t live there, or you’ll lose sight of the things you need to be growing in and improving at today that will help you get there.

Focusing on the present is humility

Only in the present can we find true humility. Only when we throw away how things have always been done and our past performance, ditch our beliefs on how things will be moving forward, and focus fully on where our feet are today will we find humility. This is because it puts us all on an even playing field. No matter what you accomplished yesterday, last week, last month, or last year - we’re all starting off today with the same amount of hours and same opportunity to grow. No matter what you think will happen in the future - none of it will come to pass if you don’t humble yourself to the work, actions, and attitudes needed today to get you one step closer. And while that’s humbling for those that have accomplished a lot, it’s the only way to get an accurate outlook of what we need to be doing right now to become the person we were made to be.


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