Focus on the good, bad and the ugly?

It’s a classic one, right? Everyone knows that melody when the three cowboys did a stare down. Well, it’s happening in your head every day too. And it’s often not the good one that wins.

Maurice Zondag
6 min readJan 20, 2022
Photo by Joeri Bogaert on Unsplash

It’s easy to just let our brain go where it wants to go. It has done that for most of your life probably, so it’s good at that. Thoughts come and go and you feel how you feel. Some days are better than others, but that’s just how it is. That’s life! Like Frank Sinatra sang back in the old days.

But what if it’s an automation just like a computer program? Or your Alexa or Google home for that matter? It’s just an autopilot that does it without you noticing it, but influencing your mood for the day?

What would you do if Alexa would wake you up and say:

“Ahhh yes, today you have to make that appointment at the dentist, you know it hurts so bad. Damn it hurts. Maybe you can hold on just another day. Tomorrow is a better day to call. Yes. Tomorrow is good. No wait you should today, we’ll let’s ignore it now it will go away. Because if you go, he’s probably going to have a larger drill and his sedation isn’t working well too like what Selma told you the other day, oh what a horror, you’ll see! It always happens to you things like that! It always happens to me. Damn.

Oh and remember what your boss told you yesterday? Are they going to downsize? Am I losing my job? You might lose your job… oh my god. Do not think of that right now. Losing my job. Shit. What would I do if I lose my job? Would I lose my house? Live on the streets? What about the car? I could sell the car…”

Would you let her say that every morning? Probably not. I know I wouldn’t.

But still, your own internal automation does say that the moment you wake up. Or something in that order.

It also says more, but in a way, you don’t consciously become aware of it. Where you are, what day it is, how old you are (that becomes more aware the older you get!), and your other deep-rooted beliefs. If you’re not a morning person, it will acknowledge that by making you feel ‘ugh’ and in need of coffee. Your morning routine goes automatically too. Probably every morning the same routine. Every single day we live in a repetition of yesterday.

It’s just how we are. And we listen to all of the thoughts. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, actually the bad and the ugly have the upper hand over the good.

How often do you look in the mirror in the morning and say: “Damn! You look handsome today!” And do you do that every day?

And how often you think: “shit, I’m getting old, I look like shit, your eyebrow is weird, again, your bold and ugly” I bet more often than how awesome you look, right?

Lighten up!

We’re so hard on ourselves. We’ve got to lighten up a bit. You won’t say the things you tell yourself to your worst enemy. Let alone your best friends. So why would we say that to ourselves?

We are conditioned in that way. We look for what’s deviating from the normal. And asses if it’s a threat or not. Negativity always wins from positivity that way because we’re primed to look for that.

We’re raised like that too. Think back to school. You wrote a story to practice grammar. You got your 4 pages back with red circles around all the mistakes you made. And a score to categorize it. You’ve got a C. Again. You’ve got it so often you start identifying with the C. You become a C.

And that goes on for the rest of your life. Everything we do is focused on the mistakes we make instead of the praise for the good.

Photo by on Unsplash

That is actually what I love about the theater. We’ve practiced for so many months for our play, and when we perform, the audience doesn’t know your mistakes (if you do it right…). And the praise, the applause, overrules the mistakes that were there. Unless you’re really screwing it up. But then again, most of the times people will start to laugh. I know, it might hurt your ego if that happens, but that’s your mindset. They laughed and had fun. So isn’t that a good thing? And they’ll still give you applause at the end (because the ones who couldn’t stand it left during the break so you won’t notice it).

So much for my theater experience.

It is important to know that what you think of, grabs your attention. It’s becoming in your focus and the feeling that goes with it sets you up for the next moment.

And whatever has your attention, you attract. You start seeing more of what you focus on. Our RAS takes care of that.

And the cool thing is, it also does that when you focus more on the positive.

You start your day with a good feeling and your whole day can be different. The rain doesn’t bother you, traffic is okay, you might even recognize the good fortune you have that day. What you focus on, grows.

How to fix this?

So how do you focus more on the good than on the bad and the ugly?

Well, first you have to be aware of what you’re focusing on. Listen and feel to what you feel. Are you feeling agitated? Well, there’s a sign. What do you feel when you receive a call from your boss? When you see his name on your phone? Or when your spouse calls you at a time she (or he) normally doesn’t call?

Those emotions are a signal where you’re focusing on with your thoughts.

Feeling a positive emotion? Awesome. Keep feeling it. And use the thoughts that ignited that feeling.

Feeling a negative emotion? That’s a signal you’re out of balance. You think of something you don’t want.

So, you’ve identified your feeling and thoughts. Now, just as driving a car, when you go from R to D you have to go to Neutral first, right?

Same with this.

The easiest way to go to neutral thoughts is to become also aware of your present moment. Focus on a neutral feeling, like how your feet fought the inner side of your shoe. Or how your clothes feel on your body. Just feel for a second. Now, what feels nice? The fabric of your shirt? The warmth it gives to your body? Feel how nice that feels. And then remember what you felt when you bought it. How did you feel looking at yourself with those new clothes on? Good? Cool? Beautiful?

Well, there you go. You’ve changed your feeling from negative to positive.

Outer reality often triggers these feelings. So you could also try to limit those external triggers.

I have no clue what those triggers are, only you know, so try to come up with ways to limit those triggers.

That will make the process even easier.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The more you feel good, feel joy, the better you feel afterward. So make it your new goal to feel good. No matter what.

Because you know, the moment you feel good, your focus is on that good. So you’ll find more good.

In other words, feel good first to feel good more. Start with feeling good before you feel good.

Feel happy before outer reality makes you happy.
Feel love before outer reality makes you feel love.
Feel abundance before outer reality makes you feel abundant.

That is the playing field. The good, the bad, and the ugly are always there.

It’s up to you where you put your focus on.



Maurice Zondag

I help men create their desired life as a certified Life Success Coach and LoA Coach. I love sharing ideas on how you can improve your life. Follow me for more