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Focus Your Attention

Lately, there has been a collective challenge to avoid being embroiled in the media events of all that has been happening in the social, political, economic and military arenas of our great nation. Many recent events have left people with a sense of ominous foreboding, uncertainty, fear, despondency. At the very least, there is mild emotional discomfort and a sense of vague dissonance.

However, there certainly are a lot of other things that are worth focusing on and worth paying attention to. Some suggest that the negative news coverage in general is significantly disproportionate to the actual negativity that may impact one specific individual. These days, when micro events can be quantified and immediately reported to a world waiting to binge on a new serving of news every moment of the day, it's easy to see how one's focus can be disproportionately adjusted to see only the negative events that are happening. It's rather myopic and sad. While there has to be some value in keeping up with real risks that impact individuals and their families, a steady diet of too much news can be as mentally and spiritually unhealthy as a physical binge diet of sugar and cholesterol. Here are some areas that can be attended to as new focuses especially As the much longed-for Thanksgiving and holiday season approaches, let's focus on some areas that can become new sources of focus.

Family and Friends. Have we gotten so involved with life, living and the cycle of things that we are not paying as much attention to our families as we'd like? This is a great time to focus spending quality time with family and friends, perhaps planning new activities and creating new and inventive ways to spend that time.

Finance. A spate of bad news, or a slow economy, is a good time to regroup financially and determine what financial priorities. There's no need to struggle or fret. Instead, simply spend some time in assessing financial plans as they pertain to spending, investing, saving and building for the future. If there is no formal plan, this is a good time to find help creating one.

Short- and Long-Term Goals. The most successful people are the ones who look farthest into the future. Most people are focused on the here-and-now. They are bounced around by daily conditions and do not regard long term disciplines necessary to create a future. Goals involve the family, finances, vacations, work, personal development, spiritual development, education, etc.

Personal Values. Reassess priorities and look at personal values. In nature, winter is a "pulling-back" time when things slow down. It is a time for reflection and reassessment. Evaluate, and become grounded, centered and focused.

Whatever the area, pull away from, and avoid the news media binges. Try watching or listening to the news only once a week. Look for ways to maintain focus on the good things and on the things that are truly important to life, personal values, family and projects. Above all, and especially at this time, focus on being thankful.

Eric Johnson is a regular contributor to the Investor's Value View newsletter. To learn more about this newsletter or to learn how to contact Mr. Johnson, visit

In The News:

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