Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Power of Focus

Singleness of purpose is essential for success. When David Bear was born prematurely back in 1998, the survival rate for little boys was dismal but we did not concern ourselves with those who did not survive but rather, we wanted to know about the ones that did. We made it our chief definite aim that our son would come home from the hospital, that he would thrive and that we would remain intact as a family. Then we went out and found the best advice we could find, followed it and created a better outcome for our son.

The first time I met David’s neo-natal specialist was when she walked into my room almost two days after his birth and she was noticeably upset. She very carefully said:

“Your son has a grade-3 brain bleed on the right side of his brain and a grade-4 brain bleed on the left side of his brain. Most of his brain has not developed; it is gray matter. It may never develop. He has an open artery between his heart and his lungs, which is causing bleeding into the lungs. If we can’t close it with drugs, we will have to do surgery. He is never going to walk, never going to talk, never going to see, probably will not crawl or dress himself, may never control bodily functions.”

I could tell by the look on her face that breaking this news to us was breaking her heart. Then she asked us, “What do you want us to do?”

There was no question. David Sr. and I both told her to “Save our Son”.

We were both very focused on saving our son, and we focused all of our mental, emotional and physical energies on keeping the hospital staff excited about saving our son. David was the smallest baby (744 grams) born at Hoag Hospital and his initial prognosis was “less than 12 hours”. Considering that he had already beaten the odds by surviving those first critical hours, we refused to allow anyone with negative energy to care for our son.

I’ll say that again. We refused to allow anyone with negative energy to care for our son.

Napoleon Hill (author, “Think and Grow Rich”) writes: “the dominating thoughts of my mind eventually reproduce themselves in outward, bodily action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality …” We made our dominating thought that our son would survive and thrive and we refused to allow anyone with negative thoughts to transmit their negative thoughts to our son. Considering his size, one negative thought would do him considerable harm.

I’ll say it one more time. WE REFUSED TO ALLOW ANYONE WITH NEGATIVE ENERGY TO CARE FOR OUR SON! We did not accept … no, we DID accept the medical opinions of his treating staff. We accepted them for what they were, opinions.

FACT: 15.5 weeks premature
OPINION: Nonviable life

FACT: Brain damage caused by bleeding in more than 75% of his brain
OPINION: Vegetable, cerebral palsy, developmentally delayed

FACT: Excessive blood vessels in the retina
OPINION: Blindness

FACT: Lack of surfactant in lungs resulting in lung damage
OPINION: Oxygen dependent

David’s healing started the minute he was born. It started with FOCUS. We set a goal and then focused on achieving that goal. If you read one motivational book, then you have read them all. They will all tell you the same thing, you just weren’t paying attention:

Stephen Covey:
Begin with the end in mind.

Tiger Woods:
My main focus is on my game.

Tony Robbins:
Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.

Dale Carnegie:
One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it.

Normal Vincent Peale:
When every physical and mental resource is focused, one’s power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously.

Whatever life gives you, if you focus all of your attentions and energy (and all the attention and energy you can borrow), then you dramatically increase your odds of prevailing.

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