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You See, Then You See

May 06, 2018

A close relative (who is also a very close friend) got married a couple of weeks ago and even though I had hoped to go for the wedding to celebrate his good great fortune, I couldn’t because his wedding collided with a prior engagement I already had.  However much later he sent me some of their wedding photos and I must say they made an awesome couple, perfectly matched and suited for each other both physically and otherwise; of course the “otherwise” could not be seen on the photos but because I know a few things about them both, I can confidently say they compliment each other perfectly. They would have made the perfect cover photo for any wedding magazine out there.

So when he sent me the wedding pictures, there is one that caught my attention and had me laughing. As you know, the best photos are those that capture rare and priceless moments, moments that can almost show or expose the innermost thoughts of a person, or the most vulnerable aspects of the target at that precise moment.  The picture that caught my attention had these qualities and more. I believe whoever the camera guy was that took that particular picture must have a very naughty creative mind for him to have captured that particular moment. You see, he caught my friend literally staring at his wife’s bootie, it’s kinda like he wasn’t believing his good fortune. You could see exactly where he was eyeballing - and for good reason if I may say so myself.

I don’t know what he (the groom) was thinking but I guess your guess is as good as mine that he wasn't thinking of preaching the gospel at that particular moment; I mean, he had just gotten married! His focus was spot on.  

Anyway, moving on swiftly....Now, I need you to do a little experiment for me (to get your mind off the picture I just painted above)... 

If there is a mirror close to you, please walk to that mirror and look at your face. If you are not at home or anywhere with a mirror, you can improvise by using your smartphone or your rear-view mirror in the car. Ladies, this shouldn’t be a problem because I am sure most of you have a small mirror stashed up somewhere in your purses. But if you are not able to perform this exercise right now, please do so when you can and prove me right or wrong. 

It is not possible to look at your face as a whole, you can only do so in part. For instance, if you want to look at your lips, you have to specifically direct your eyeballs to the particular part of the lips you want to see. If it is the pimples on the right side of your face, you have to direct your eyes to that particular side and to those particular pimples, otherwise you won’t be able to see what you really need to see. 

I am not a scientist but I can tell you that through my own experience of trying to experiment in the same way I asked you to do above, I can confidently say that the physical human eyes are created in such a way that in order to intently look at something and see it in totality, you must fix your eyes on it specifically, ignoring anything else that is around it. That is why if you have a boil at the tip of your nose (I once had one and it was not funny), for you to look at that boil you have to ignore the rest of your face and focus on your nose, and not just any other part of the nose but the part with the boil only. That is the only way you will be able to fully appreciate (or not) the extent to which the boil has attacked your nose.

Do you know that a human being has two sets of eyes?

We have the physical set that you are using right now to read this article, and another unseen set that I’d like to call the “inner set of eyes”. Remember the story of my friend checking out his new wife’s bootie? I am sure most of you tried to conjure an image of how that must have looked. In so doing, you did not use your physical eyes but your “inner” eyes. Your inner eyes are there to see further than your physical eyes can see. These are the eyes you use to see envision your future, they are the eyes you use to create what we call a vision. 

Your physical eyes will show you where you are today, but your mental eyes have the ability to show you where you can be tomorrow. Your physical eyes act on FACTS, but your inner eyes act on FAITH. That is why someone can be physically blind yet the things they achieve in life end up shocking the world. Take the late Helen Adams Keller for example. She was born on 27thJune, 1880 and died on 1stJune 1968. She was a bachelor of arts degree holder, an American author, a political activist, as well as a lecturer. Well, I know there are other women who have been degree holders, authors, political activists and lecturers too, but get this, Helen Keller was the first physically deaf-blind PERSON to earn a bachelor of arts degree. 

Now, let that sink in for a minute. 

Being a woman was bad enough those days when women’s roles were limited to bedroom activities (to please their husbands) and the kitchen, to cook for their families and entertain the husband’s friends. Those were the days when women were seen as having no value to add to society, besides being human “photocopiers”. Now imagine with all those limitations, then you add the fact that Hellen was both deaf and blind!  

But here is the thing, all the odds that were against her did not deter her from leaving a mark in this world. So, what made her do the impossible? She says it in her own quote, The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. The set of “inner eyes” that each one of us has is what made her break through glass ceilings of impossibilities. She envisioned her future by faith through her inner eyes and because of that she was able to realize that future. She proved that disability is not inability.

Question to you is, what are your “inner eyes” seeing? What are they focusing on? Are they “all over the place” or is there a specific place they are focusing on? When your inner eyes are focusing on the right stuff, your physical eyes will follow that trend. It is not until you have your mental eyes aligned that you can break barriers like Helen Keller did.

Successful people maintain a positive outlook on life no matter what is going on around them. I think Venus Williams captured this very well when she said, I don’t focus on what I am up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest. There are many things in life that are campaigning and lobbying for your focus but until you yourself have a very specific focus, a very specific goal in mind, then you will never get to achieve what you are looking for.

That is why this week in the on going #52BooksIn52Weeks2018 Book Reading Challenge I am recommending the book, “The Power Of Focus” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. I just started reading it myself and I have to admit I am hooked. I have already seen a few mistakes I have been making, which I must admit have caused me to shift my focus several times to things I should not even be bothered about.

Get your copy of this book from House Of Wisdom Bookshop in Dar Es Salaam and together, let’s get back on track by learning how to focus on what is important. 

I cannot finish this article today without sharing a story that has been shared many times, (I think I’ve shared it too in one of my past articles) but it won't do any harm to repeat it.

Here goes:

One day the Zen master wanted to show his students a new technique of shooting an arrow. He told his students to cover his eyes with a cloth and then he shot his arrow. When he opened his eyes, he saw the target with no arrow in it and when he looked at his students, they looked embarrassed because their teacher had missed.

The Zen master asked them, “What lesson do you think I intend to teach you all today?” They answered, “We thought you would show us how to shoot at the target without looking.

The Zen master said, “No, I taught you that if you want to be successful in life, don’t forget the target. You have to keep an eye on the target, otherwise you may miss a good opportunity in life.” 

They looked at each other, impressed with the lesson.

What is the moral of the story?

The story teaches us that we need to consistently focus on what we want. You cannot achieve any goal in life unless it is constantly in your sight, unless you are always thinking up ways of achieving it and making it a reality. 

Secondly, it teaches us that if we want to achieve our goals, we must apply the right approach(es). When we fail the first time, we should not give up but instead, we need to go back and analyze the reasons for our failure, then apply the lessons and start again. If it was not for this approach, most of us would never have learned how to walk for fear of falling and getting hurt all the time. Failure should be a pit stop for learning but not dead end to progress. 

I am sure the book I have recommended will be an eye opener to many but let me point out two important things to all of us:

  • Whatever thoughts you allow in your mind, those thoughts are usually translated into FEELINGS. In other words, your thoughts have a direct effect on your emotions. So if you are feeling low/down/depressed, please check what you are allowing your thoughts to feed on because your thoughts feed your emotions. If you are telling your thoughts that you can’t achieve your goals, then your emotions will align themselves accordingly and eventually you will exude defeat.

  • Secondly, always remember that what you focus on and feel, you will always attract in your lives. The power of attraction is very much at work, on that unlike in physics where unlike poles attract, what you think is what you see.

Many people don’t realize this but our destiny is consistently and constantly shaped by our thoughts! Your thoughts are your inner eyes! What are your inner eyes "seeing" right now as you read this article? Are they seeing anything positive or are they focusing on the negative things surrounding you?

Today I’d like to leave you with a quote from The Power Of Focus that says, Successful people have successful habits. Unsuccessful people don’t”.

One of the successful habits successful people have is that they FOCUS on the right things. Get the above book and learn how to do that.

 

Be Ignited. Be Inspired. Be Influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.

 

PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 6th of May, 2018, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".

 

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