Today, we’re talking about 10:10. Why 10:10? I was creating the video for this very blog. And when I looked down at my computer screen, it had just changed it to (surprise!) 10:10. Now, back when I was a young, poor college student, my best friend Deb and I used to comb through the circulars in the Sunday paper to find sales. Back then we didn’t have all the online resources that we do now to find the best deals (shocking, I know, given my wildly youthful appearance 😉), so we would scour the paper and set out on our shopping excursion. As we leafed through the circulars or watched ads on TV, we noticed that all of the alarm clocks (all the clocks of any kind, actually) would always be set to 10:10.
So, Deb and I played this silly little game; every time we would see a clock set to 10:10 in the circulars, in the stores, on TV, or anywhere else, we’d act astonished and a little unnerved, shocked and awed, as if the 10:10s were taking over the world. I have probably a hundred pictures of one or the other of us, eyes wide, mouth agape, hamming it up for the camera and pointing at the 10:10.
The reason this matters is because, to this day, I think of Deb every single day, because every single day either in the morning or at night (often both), I look at the clock exactly when it’s 10:10 or about to turn 10:10. That’s because I’m hyper-aware of it. I paid attention to it back in the day, so I pay attention to it now. We had fun and made a great memory then, so it brightens my day now. I experienced it with someone I cared deeply about then, so it reminds me of her soulfulness and sense of humor now. So, all these years later (OK, many, many years later), 10:10 remains incredibly significant and it makes me happy just thinking of it. It connects me to the story of my life journey and my connection to people who travelled it with me.
The reason this is relevant now is, what you focus on expands. If we focus on… the challenges, hardships, chaos, uncertainty, difficulty, fear, aggravation, overwhelm —we get more of those things! Similarly, if we focus on keeping ourselves grounded in the positive, in the acts of kindness we witness, in the way people are showing up with love in the world, how we are finding our way through this time with tenacity and grit—we get more of those things!
There are so many positive things that we can choose to focus on and expand, even in the face of hardship and very difficult times.
I’m wearing a sweet little necklace that my friend, Molly, gave me. On it, are the words, “You Can.” It reminds me of the old Henry Ford quote that says, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” My dear friend and colleague Dianna sent me this beautiful little bracelet that says, “joy.” If joy is what you focus on seeing…you will see joy. Often when you least expect it.
This week, when you find yourself in one of those states where you’re sort of spiraling (and we all do at times, right? because these are uncharted waters for us). So, when you feel the tug to focus on the negative (and trust me, there will be ample opportunities), just do your best to find one small thing to acknowledge as a positive. A bit of progress, a kindness witnessed, strength you didn’t know you had, the ability to close your eyes and breathe deeply, a happy memory. This is progress. It’s a step toward the light even when you feel surrounded by darkness.
Consider it this week. These aren’t easy times. I’m not saying that this process will neutralize every difficult thing right now, but it will help you able to explore your next best steps with a lot more peace. Because what you focus on expands.
I’ll be thinking of all of you at 10:10, my friends.
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