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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 http://www.valueview.net

In The News:

On July 27, some people get a rare celestial treat: the longest total lunar eclipse of the century. As the Earth snuggles into perfect alignment between the moon and sun, its shadow will completely cover the moon. Rather than appearing as a black spot in the heavens, however, our sole natural satellite will exude a blood-red hue.
A boy and girl were bitten by sharks off New York's Long Island on Wednesday, officials said.
The bodies of nearly 100 people found at a school construction site in Sugar Land, Texas, have been determined to be the possible remains of African-American laborers, officials said.
BERLIN (AP) — An iceberg that has drifted perilously close to a remote Greenland village is so big it can be seen from space.
A pod of humpback whales put on a jaw-dropping display as they lunged for food right in front of a California tour boat in Monterey Bay last week.
Florida scientists have discovered a new species of dogfish shark with enormous eyes.
Explorers have found the wreck of a Russian Imperial Navy ship that was sunk 113 years ago and may contain $130 billion worth of gold bars and coins, according to news reports.
Expanding cracks and fissures at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming have prompted officials to close certain areas to tourists.
Archaeologists in Ireland have uncovered a megalithic tomb containing two burial chambers, complete with elaborate carvings.
A team of scientists made an enormous discovery when they recently uncovered a "quadrillion" tons of diamonds,buried more than 100 miles below Earth's surface, according to a new study.

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