How to Stop Obsessing About One Aspect of Your Life


Go into a dark room and turn on a flashlight and focus it on just one spot. 

What do you see?

Perhaps it's the clock. You can study that clock and study it, but it's still just a clock with no frame of reference. Gets rather boring, hmm? 

No matter how you obsess on that clock and how you wish it were digital, or you want it to glow in the dark, or wouldn't it be great if it was gigantic? Your one-stop focus becomes a vexing object of obsession. If you could just get the clock right, your world (which is anything in the flashlights shine) would be perfect - hmm???

The rest of the room is there, you just don't see it, so you focus on this clock. 

Now, go to the light switch and turn it on. See the contents of the whole room.

Life can sometimes be like the flashlight's focus. We think "if only I were (blank) pounds," "if only I had (blank) dollars," "if only I had a perfect home." and you target focus on one aspect. 

What happens in real world when we target fixate? We drive right into what we are trying to avoid, like a driver on the highway that sees a car pulled over and ends up fixating and aiming at the car instead of around it. 

But when you cast light on all the contents of the space, you see how boring that one focus was and how irrelevant to a true measure of the room as a whole. Maybe there's a wall with fascinating books, there's a comfy chair, some photos on the wall, a dog resting on the floor below the clock.

How could I focus so much on the clock when there was a puppy right near it and pretty artwork to enjoy? The clock means nothing in terms of the room's complete package!


Let's look at all the aspects of your life, the contents of your "room."

Physical appearance
Intellectual pursuits
Volunteering/helping others
New experiences
Awards and certifcations/degrees
Living in the present/past/future

Look around a room in your home, perhaps your living room. The size and impact of an item can be equated with the importance in your list above. For example, if you feel the most important thing in your life is family, choose the largest item in the room to represent it. Continue in descending order of importance. 

Family = sofa.
Finances = TV
Coffee table = health
Mirror = appearance

Mentally, take everything out of the room but that one item that is in your obsession category. Is it still a functioning room? 

Let's say the mirror (appearance is your obsession) is the only thing remaining. Not really a room you can use, right? But, what if you keep everything in the room and remove the mirror? The room functions just fine. 

Perspective is what it takes. We get caught up in the cultural determinations from magazines and TV that we must have it all together and we figure that one thing that is not "perfect" would answer all your low self-esteem. How many times have you said, "my life begins when (I lose 30 pounds) (get a new job title) (have a spouse)"?

But right now, without that item, you are a furnished room. If you dust off the sofa, clean the TV screen, vacuum the rug, you will have a room that shows up beautifully, rather than just windex'ing the mirror. It can sparkle, but only in the setting of neglected furnishings.

Hope this helps.  💓💓💓💓💓