Are you focused on what you don’t want, or aiming for what you do?

“And what’s that building???”

That,” I said, “Is the old Post Office Pavilion, soon to be Trump’s newest hotel. If that man gets elected…”

“He won’t get elected.”

“That’s what everyone always says, but no one expected him to get this far!!”

“That’s because everyone keeps saying they don’t want Trump to get elected. What they don’t realize is, by saying those words, the emphasis is still placed on Trump.”

Two weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from my friend Danika Portz. A singer-songwriter living Nashville, Danika is the first person I ever met in college. We introduced ourselves at freshmen orientation, and talked about cross-country and choir. We didn’t travel in the same circles over the next four years, but I always liked her creativity and fearless personality. We both majored in marketing, and a week before graduation neither of us had offer letters. My dream was to live on the East coast, hers was to live in Nashville. When I asked her plan, she said, “Move to Nashville. Even if I don’t have a job, I’m going.” Things worked out for both of us.

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After completing her second tour abroad, Danika got stranded at the Baltimore airport en route to a concert in the Midwest. I got my car out of parking and drove to BWI to get her. She crashed on my couch for two nights, we got the chance to catch up, and I gave her the abbreviated tour of DC. We were three miles through a 4.5-mile run when we ran by the Old Post Office Pavilion.

Focus on what you want to happen—not on what you don’t. 

There is a big, fat line between focusing on what you don’t want, and aiming for what you do.

I have never discussed politics on my blog and never will again, but let’s continue with the Trump example. To Danika’s point, the general public is not rallying behind one candidate, chanting, “We want Hillary!” Instead, the whole focus is centered on not wanting Trump. Thus, at the end of the day, whose name are we hearing? Trump, Trump, Trump.

Even if the attention is negative, it’s still attention. And at the end of the day, it’s all we’re thinking about.

Where are you placing your emphasis?

I don’t live on Capitol Hill for a reason, so let’s move away from the campaign example.

Never have I ever completed a diet. Seriously. Once for New Years, I completely eliminated carbs. I made it eleven days. After all but passing out after a ten-mile run, I took a two hour nap, then woke up and ate crêpes.

Here’s where I’m going with this: I have never completed a diet because I always place emphasis on losing weight. [Which seems reasonable, considering that is, by definition, the point of a diet.] My mind is focusing on not gaining, not eating sweets, not binging out, et cetera.

Weight, weight weight. Trump, Trump, Trump. We’re running away from what we don’t want, not shooting for what we do.

What do you really want to happen?

Here are a few things I want.

I want to be healthy. I want to run fast. I want to lift heavy weights. In the past, whenever I focus on those three things, the whole weight thing just takes care of itself.

  • “I want to quit my job,” is not the same as, “I want a job where I’m successful and fulfilled.”
  • “I hate my roommate; I want to move,” is not the same as, “I want to find my dream home.”
  • “I want to stop procrastinating,” is not the same as, “I want to get the most out of every minute I have.”

Think about what you want. Are you moving toward something, or moving away from something? Are you actually thinking about what you want to happen, or just praying something doesn’t happen? If you can twist it around in your mind, and turn it into something to aim for, you’ll be much better off.

Danika’s newest (and personally, my favorite song she’s ever written) single is available on iTunes. You can download it here. She wrote it for her military tour—the same tour she returned from when I picked her up in Baltimore.

Proceeds from the song will go to the No Excuses Charitable Fund created by wounded veteran and motivational speaker, Noah Galloway, who lost both his left arm and leg during the Iraq War. The former Dancing with the Stars contestant currently stars as a team leader on the new Fox reality TV show, American Grit. The Fund is currently providing resources to Operation Enduring Warrior, Homes for Our Troops, and the YMCA of Alabaster, AL,.

To download My Superhero:


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1 Comment
  1. This is perfect. Seriously. First of all, it is a perfect explanation for why I get so ragey when people (ahem Bernie supporters) say they are going to abstain from the election rather than voting for Hillary (who is not my favorite, but is far more qualified and generally preferable than Trump). Not to mention that I always welcome a reminder to focus on moving toward the positive, rather than away from the negative!!

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For All the F Words
You have flaws. You f-up on a daily basis. And that should be ok.