Focus On What You Want!

Don’t focus on what you DON’T want.
Instead, focus on what you DO want: 
Changing your focus

Many people focus on what they don’t want instead of what they really want, because people tend to avoid pain, rather than pursuing pleasure. Most successful people, however, focus on what they want instead. Focusing on what you want gives youclear direction and motivation to specific action. With this right focus on action, youcan achieve a greater outcome.

Looking back on my freshman year in high school, I was so focused on what I didn’t want. I didn’t want to get kicked in my face. I didn’t want to get beat on by the coach. I didn’t want intense training making me puke and nearly have a heart attack. I didn’t want to get bruises all over my body. Every day, I had this pain physically and mentally. It came to the point that I couldn’t take it anymore, and I realized that I had to do something different to make it better.

Every year in October, Korea has a national sports event called the Korean Olympic Festival. All of the best athletes represent their state, and have a competition just like the Olympics. I had always dreamed about participating in that event, not expecting to win a medal, but just to contribute.

In October 1984, one of my teammates got to wear the new warm-up suit representing Seoul’s special city team for the Korean Olympic Festival. He was in the middle weight division, same as me, but he won many national titles, and his skill level and mine were not even comparable. He was one year my senior. When I looked at him wearing that uniform, I was so happy for him, but on the other hand, I wanted to be the one wearing it. I wanted to be on the Seoul City Olympic Festival team. I started to focus more on what I wanted, instead of worrying and complaining to myself about what I didn’t want. I started feeling better. I looked for the positive side, and it motivated me to work harder. After that day my life started shifting from hell to the bright future. Just changing my focus to the positive side, I felt a lot better.

Step One Know What You Want

Magic moment: Discovering the power of writing what you want

After the hard training of my high school freshman days, I was motivated by my teammate’s warm-up suit for the Korean Olympic Festival. I wanted to wear that uniform, and I started imagining myself wearing the warm-up suit that indicated that I was a member of Seoul Special City’s Taekwondo team for the festival. It felt so vivid that I began to get excited.

Every evening before going to bed, we had to write in a diary. One night I started writing, “I want to participate at the Korean Olympic Festival.” As I wrote this, I felt better and happier. Then I wrote, “I want to win at the Korean Olympic Festival.” That felt even better; just going from wanting to participate, to wanting to win the tournament. So I wrote, “I want to win a gold medal at the Korean Olympic Festival.” I felt even stronger.

Then I asked myself what would happen if I just won the gold medal at the KoreanOlympic Festival? The answer was an awesome, outstanding, better future and ascholarship to a university... the list went on. So I dropped the word “want” and turned the sentence into present tense, “Yong Hyeok Lee is a gold medalist in the 1985Korean Olympic Festival.” As I finished writing that sentence, I felt my face lift and I was smiling. I filled the whole page with, “Yong Hyeok Lee is a Korean NationalTaekwondo middle-weight champion of the 1985 Korean Olympic Festival.”

Then I thought, why not win other national championships before the OlympicFestival?
I wrote, “1985 Korean President’s flag National Taekwondo Championship middle-
weight champion Yong Hyeok Lee.”

Then magic happened. I couldn’t stop my pen. I wrote another full page of this, and all of a sudden I was not tired at all. I decided I could be a national champion. I was going to be a national champion. I was so excited I could not go back to sleep, so I ran to the dojang , and started kicking the bag, not because somebody pushed mewith sticks, but because I wanted to. I pushed myself. That was my first experience

with positive self-talk and this shaped my destiny in a positive way.Know What You Want

If you want to achieve something, why don’t you write down your goal? Be very specific. Don’t just write, “I want to achieve a black belt.” Be more specific like, “I will achieve my black belt by November 2010,” or “I am a black belt.” It certainlyhelped me, why not you?


-----Exerpt from the book "From Bench Warmer To Champion" By Grand Master Yong Hyeok Lee

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