Want to thrive? Stay focused on your ideal outcome!

One of the main reasons why I see so many people unhappy when I start working with them one on one is because they are so focused on the cause of their problem, aka – the pathology.

And while it’s all well and good to know where your problem came from, and very important to know where your problem came from, if you only stay focused on that (the pathology), you will not thrive.

To thrive, in any way – medically, mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually – you’ve got to have an ideal outcome or scenario or destination that you are headed towards.

This isn’t to say that you should be SO fixed on an outcome that you are inflexible and rigid – on the contrary! I am a BIG believer in flow. But, if all you do is spend time focusing on what the problem is, you leave no room open for the solution.

This isn’t as easy as “being positive”. I would not be so naive as to say that a positive attitude is enough to make you feel better or heal – especially from very extreme illness. However, what I am saying is that without a positive and optimistic outlook, the possibility of healing and THRIVING is almost 0%.

When we focus only on the problem – we get MORE of the problem. And it becomes not only the story of your life, but also your IDENTITY. And when you identify – as in  – who you are is now the problem, the likelihood of thriving reduces significantly.

If we wish to thrive, if we wish to live an extraordinary life, if we wish for miracles and to be able to SEE solutions – we must go looking for them. This means that we become aware of the pathology, understand the pathology and then set our minds (i.e. our psychology) on to an outcome of thriving, rather than on the pain of the problem.

This is not a prescription for a spiritual bypass of your pain. You must feel your pain fully in order for it to heal. You cannot will your pain away or just wish for life to get better.

The body responds to what your mind feeds it. Healing is a medical process, an emotional process, a physical process AND a spiritual process. To have fixed in your mind a thriving outcome of ideal health and abundance are the cornerstones of creating miracles in your life.

Anyone who has come back from massive failure or had a medical miracle in his or her life operated this way.

Can you? I’m curious.

As always, the action happens in the comments below. Leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



  • Mastin,

    One of my favorite quotes is “The answer to HOW is YES!” I think it was from Peter Block. That has been huge for me – because whenever we are entertaining a new idea, dream, or better reality – it is the HOW that stops us and kills our plan. 

    I think it was Rumi who said, “Say yes quickly!” Yes is the power that gets us moving – even if just a step. The HOW is the pathology you speak of, and if we stay there – we will never allow ourselves to move ahead.

    Thanks again!


  • You must feel your pain fully in order to heal- words of wisdom. Sad that in these times so many want to skip this step them wonder why they revisit it so any times. Great post. Would love your thoughts on http://igniteyourevolution.wordpress.com/

  • Paloma

    Rather than a destination, sometimes it helps me to have a direction. I am willing to go in the direction of a complete and healed self. This allows me to be not focused on the outcome, but the steps that could lead me there (or somewhere even better). I’m not responsible for the future, but right now, and the NOW that I create can contain the spirit of my imagination and dreams. If I plan to run the half-marathon in February, I must start training now. And even if I don’t run it, the training will have done me good. It will have given me G-O-D (good orderly direction) to live with in the meantime.

  • Michelle

    Honest question: why, in advertising for the new class is Jenna only identified as The Love of Mastin’s Life? A name is a big part of someone’s identity, and it’s been bothering me all week that hers isn’t used in the publicity for the class. Just something to think about.

    • Mastin

      She prefers to keep a low profile, weve discussed at length 🙂

  • I would say that my left eye has been a medical miracle. I was diagnosed with eye cancer at the age of 24 and have had numerous surgeries, radiation, extraction of the tumors, and etc. Yes, I said tumorS. I had two recurrences and one whole NEW cancer just about 2 years ago in the same eye (2 in 10,000). TOTAL? FOUR TIMES. And, I still have my green eye. NO prosthesis. I still have my peripheral vision, AND it never metastasized. It feels just like my right eye: completely comfortable. The details can go on and and on. “LOVE GETS LOST IN THE DETAILS (Lofton), much like my 7 years of therapy. So, how am I NOW thriving????  Well, first…it took the 4th time to say, “I HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH!!!  I SURRENDER!”  BY KNOWING that EVERYTHING that occurs in our life is FOR US-NOT AGAINST US, I say….”YES” and trust that I can handle it (and no, I am not happy/happy about it)! It is here for my spiritual growth to go through and then help others’. This is a VERY hard one for the EGO/MIND to grasp. It is in “giving that we receive” and when we are too focused on our issues…we just do not have anything to give. Therefore, in a way..we are FLAT BROKE. I was. For years. I am now thriving by knowing that ALL my so-called challenges have given me the opportunity to see that…I AM NOT IN CONTROL. Since I am not in control, and I am going to die someday anyway…WHY NOT LIVE NOW???  Live by giving, dreaming, imagining, and of course….LOVING!!!! The dead past is gone!  BYE! BYE! Time to move on and rock on! Gratitude.

    The Daily Commenter.

    • Chatwjuls

      Thank you for sharing your inspirational story Kathleen. It reaches out to my heart. I have struggled and am still struggling with loosing my right eye. I just got back from UCSF and will be getting another prosthetic in January. I have had major medical illness from allergic reation to the eye replacement for over six years now. I have been searching for answers and help and it wasnt until I said I surrender and can not try to solve this alone and reached out for help from family that I am now on the path of discovering answers. I have been in a domestic violence situation with my daughters dad during this time as well and your posts have been giving me the extra positive energy to remind me that I can change my life at any time and I am on that path now. So thank you old time friend for sending out your love.

      Your friend from high school

      • Thank you for sharing your story of courage and vulnerability! Change requires change, and keep busting through your fear! It is soooo worth it! Huge love to you! 

  • Michelle

    Any tips on how to stay focused and fix your mind on the outcome?  Thanks for everything you post, I enjoy it, use it, love it.

  • Chloe

    I believe you need to drop the medical.  The body is a self healing organism.  It is affected by trauma(physical), toxins (chemical) and thoughts (mental/spiritual).  The biggest drain on the body is the mental aspect.  The only thing man can cure is a ham.

  • Maybe I’m missing the point of your post…but I think a great deal of our suffering comes from being fixated on outcomes. Sure it’s important to have a good/positive outlook, but when we are attached to things/circumstances being a certain way, we’re often disappointed when “xyz” doesn’t happen. Present moment awareness in my mind’s eye means living fully in the moment as it’s happening and being grounded enough to see things through (good or bad).

    • Mastin

      Hey Susan – you must have missed this part “This isn’t to say that you should be SO fixed on an outcome that you are inflexible and rigid – on the contrary! I am a BIG believer in flow. But, if all you do is spend time focusing on what the problem is, you leave no room open for the solution.”

  • I understand what you are saying in this post. Basically, you have to focus on the outcome you want rather than focusing on how you got there. For example, if you were diagnosed with an illness, you could spend all day beating yourself up over what you ate or how you didn’t exercise or what you didn’t do to prevent the illness. Or you can decide that you are going to take care of yourself now and get healthier while following whatever is suggested to keep yourself well. The outcome is optimal health. If you think this way, then anything bad that happens in life is an opportunity to raise yourself up instead of tearing yourself down. Thank you for that reminder. 

  • TDL Reader

    After suffering from panic attacks & anxiety for many years, it has taken me this whole year trying to heal myself so that I can thrive. In the past, when I have started to thrive I self sabotage & collapse into anxiety as something always holds me back – me. Last year I gave up an opportunity that amazed me at the time – it was painful letting it go but at the same time I really felt I was not ready for it and I was already pushing my boundaries with a lot of other things in my life. I’m not spineless – but my risks tend to be more calculated with major life changes, with a lot else I’m pretty spontaneous.

    This year I’ve been lucky enough to have taken the opportunity to take better care of myself. At the start if the year I juice cleansed, followed by a six week Metagenics detox, then saw a naturopath for another more fine tuned mini detox & lifestyle change. Ive started meditating and eat really healthy 90% of the time….weeks without refined sugar, coffee, no alcohol & if I do have dairy it’s the unpasturised sort. Drink my Chinese herbs like a tea, get regular acupuncture to clear any energy blocks, stuck to a non grueling form of exercise I enjoy, and did 9 months of therapy the year before, and doing 5 more sessions just now. If your body & mind are so connected, then why not focus on healing your mind with a healthy body inside & out. Emotional stuff comes up & I deal with it but if you have said the harder you fall the higher you rise then I want to rise up & thrive & I’m doing all the ground work for it & dealing with the uncertainty too. I’m also a bit perfectionistic so I’m hoping I’m not faffing around with all this, but it’s certainly helped me to feel more capable & in control.

  • imm

    I was drawn to your ‘thrive’ in today’s heading. I recently came across this well-researched movie http://www.thrivemovement.com/the_movie, recommend you watch it. We’re all working towards a world we can thrive in =)

  • TheDailyLover

    thanks as always for sharing Mastin, i have been in the middle of processing some past ‘stuff’, it was related to past sexual abuse as a child.  i was avoiding ‘feeling’ this and so its been very uncomfortable when it came up — a lot of sadness and anger, mostly sadness.  as i release this stuff, i feel better and making room for more light and joy to come in so i can thrive.  i certainly don’t want to ‘cling’ to this stuff and use it as an excuse for me not living.  i keep checking in with me to see, am i done yet? because i truly want to move on with the intention of NOT bringing this ‘shit’ into my future experiences.  not to say i won’t be challenged in the future, just believing i now have the consciousness and power to make healthier choices.   — without dwelling, i am entering the last stages of this process which is FORGIVENESS, ahhhh — how can i be scared of forgiveness — i know i want it badly because i really want to release myself from the past and move on.  please keep inspiring me, this is huge, and a huge step towards freedom.

  • Jen

    I completely agree. I had heart surgery at 8 months pregnant. I acknowledged the dangers, and the stress, and the doctors appointments, and the fear. But really, the only thing that got me through was getting to see the little baby in me, and the idea that this was an easy price to pay to see the little life my husband and I created. A lot of things could have gone wrong, and I am very blessed to say we’re both healthy now. Unwavering faith that any of your problems will work themselves out and that you’ll see yourself on the otherside,  moves mountains.

  • Lkdodge72

    Love It!!

  • Jaf100861

    Great piece, I am currently undergoing my second bout with Cancer since 2010. A persons will to change and accept change is critical to life in general. I find that a positive mental outlook is critical to any and all efforts we put forth. I recall back in college a meditation class that helped me identify the meaning of Pause, Reflect & Progress are keys to helping me follow the path… We all get a hand of cards, it’s how “we” individually choose to play them that allows (me) us to change and grow….