If I’m so blessed, why can’t I feel good? Maybe it’s because you are focusing on not feeling good. In this episode I talk about what I call the eternity paradox, the gap and the gain and mental discipline.

What are you focusing on?

“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” That is a quote by President Russell M. Nelson, from the October 2016 General Conference address entitled Joy and Spiritual Survival.

What do you focus on? Is it joy? Is it feeling how you want to feel? Or do you think more about how you don’t feel good? how your life is a mess, how you fall short?

I know when I first started my transformation journey, my mind was almost completely filled with what a terrible mother I was, where I was falling short, all the things I wanted to do, but hadn’t done yet.

And now I spend much more time thinking about what I want to create, where I am going, what I’ve already accomplished, and all the things I’m grateful for in my life.

Give Yourself Credit!

There’s a great book called The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. The thesis of the book is paraphrased by “Look how far you’ve come instead of how far you have to go.”

How does it feel to focus on the gap, the part we still have left to go? It feels discouraging, right? Overwhelming, perhaps? How does it feel to focus on the gain, the part we’ve already accomplished? Do it! Right now! Think about your life. What have you done? No, not in comparison to how far you “should” be. But just in absolute terms.

Have you learned how to walk and talk and pour a glass of water?

Did you get through kindergarten? 1st grade?

Did you graduate from high school? If you did— congratulations! My parents didn’t even do that!

Have you gone to college? Have you received a college degree? Well done!!

Have you met and married anyone? Lots of people are still waiting for that.

Have you had children?? And taught them and kept them alive. Win!

Do you know how to feed yourself?

How many books have you read?

Do you hold a job?

Do you have a business?

Have you painted a wall? Bought a house?

Ok, this is starting to sound like a Dr. Suess rough draft, but I think you get the point. If you are a living human in this world you do so many things EVERY DARN DAY to be proud of. When we focus on what we have already accomplished, we feel better. It can be overwhelming in a good way, encouraging even. Focusing on what we want to create requires firmness of mind or, to put it another way, mental discipline. Even if you have a neurodivergent brain, it is still possible to focus on what you want. It may be a practice that develops over time, but it is possible.

Positive Ability

I think about what I call the Eternity Paradox. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we believe in eternal life. Sometimes, I think that means we look toward an eternal GAP instead of seeing eternity as a way to get a million tries at something.

I am a mother of three amazing children.

When I think about their futures, it is real easy for me to feel discouraged and see all the ways I’ve fallen short as a mother. But when I look back at all the experiences we’ve had together, all the things I did teach them, I feel pretty good!

Even more specifically, my oldest child- whom I love dearly- can be a messy slob. This used to drive me crazy because I thought it meant I was failing as a mother.

But then a friend pointed out that when the circumstances are right she knows HOW to do laundry and clean a toilet and she CAN do it.

It inspired me to look at all the things I have done. And she was right. My kiddo knows HOW to do a lot of things. She just chooses not to. That’s way more about her than it is about me!

Changing gears slightly, sometimes we do want to think about the future. We just want to do it in a way that feels good. If you look to the future and feel some version of bad, then you are holding a vision of the future WHILE believing you can’t have it.

When you walk outside in the dark with a flashlight, you don’t point the flashlight 100 yards away; you point it just in front of your feet. You want to know about the path and the possible obstacles right where you are, not the whole path all at once.

When you are thinking about your future, it can be helpful to paint a long term vision of what you want, and set that as the lighthouse in the distance. But then you get to work with what you need to know or do today, right now. Focus on only a small part that you are capable of right now, and trust that the compound effect of small actions consistently over time will build to your vision.

It’s A Process

When you have an infant, it might be easy to get overwhelmed by how to set them up for success in college because that baby isn’t going to college right now. Right now we just gotta figure out how to help them burp!

Focus on what feels good- the gain and not the gap; and focus on only a small piece at a time, the piece that is your challenge right now, but that you are also capable of figuring out.

This requires disciplined focus, and when we get off track we re-focus. So it’s really not about sustained focus, but the ability to consistently re-focus.

If you are blessed but don’t feel good, maybe it’s because you are focusing on what doesn’t feel good.

Last thing, before I send you off: This is a brand new podcast, and I think it has the potential to do a lot of good in the world. If you want to give some good back and help this podcast grow, please take a moment to leave a rating (that’s where you choose 5 stars, please), or a review (that’s where you give a sentence or two about what you like about the podcast), or share it with a friend (that’s where you grab the link and send it to a friend saying “I think you should listen to this” or share on your social media.

If you’d like to be eligible to win some juicy prizes please consider joining the podcast launch team.

That’s enough for now, and so are you!

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This contest is hosted by me, Denita Bremer and prizes are not affiliated with Apple or Apple podcasts, Instagram, Facebook, Meta or any other company.

Cello music is written, recorded and produced by Jacqeline Walker.

This podcast is recorded by me, Denita Bremer, and produced by Denita Bremer Studios.