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It is okay to focus on you. There is no one more important in this world, and a recent Harvard Business Review article articulated this point. It told a story of a man who, right after his child was born, chose to go to a business meeting. He hated doing it, but his wife let him make that choice.

When it comes to choices in life, there are very few “have tos” and mostly “choose to” moments. But you have to choose to make your life intentional.

When you decide that is how you want to live, that is when you decide to focus on you. It is a powerful moment when you do decide to control your own life and your own destiny.

One pillar of the FOCUS message is to have compassion for yourself and others. You have to put yourself first. It is not selfish, it’s life. And in life we only get one chance to live the life we want.

According to a new San Francisco State University study on happiness, they found: money can lead to greater happiness if it is used to buy experiences, not possessions.

There was a time about eight years ago when I almost let my negative attitude impact a major life decision, and ultimately my happiness. I remember it pretty clearly. I was upstairs in the UNI Dome Athletic Media Relations office in the morning. My friend Eric was in marathon mode and I was thinking of running one as well. As I sat there, I thought for a moment that I could do it, but then quickly shot down the idea.

But as I focused on another passion of mine, the choice became clear: I would run a marathon.

Because I knew the decision to actually do this was a choice, the experience provided the joy. Sure I could have been working and making more money, but it was about the journey and, ultimately the experience.

And guess what? I ran a marathon! I truly never thought I would be able to cross that finish line and when I saw it for the first time, I knew all the hard work, the pain, the challenges were worth it.

You get to make the choice. You truly do in everything in your life. Its time to choose to focus on you, and the happiness will follow.

Richard Dedor is a speaker, coach, consultant and author. His session FOCUS: The Other F-Word is scheduled for Monday, October 8 at 4:15 p.m. at the 2012 Nonprofit Human Resources Conference. Twitter: @RichardDedor


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