What I Set My Eyes On Is What I See

Look and you will find it—what is unsought will go undetected.

– Sophocles

I think there are two sides to what Sophocles speaks of. I can look for a negative spin on life, all of what’s wrong and what will forever be wrong. Or I can seek the positive of life, those moments that recharge me with love and laughter and hope.

Whichever one I put more effort into, the greater the manifestation.

I don’t say this to mean that I should only focus on the positive and never see what’s wrong or negative about the world. It’s just that I have a knack of only focusing on the negative to the detriment to myself and those around me, for I create a poor attitude and an inability to follow through and participate in life.

There is no positive angle to consider, because it’s all bad.

Maybe this pronounced negative-thinking is a human condition, one passed on from our ancestors. Maybe I’m ingrained with an instinctual need to always be wary of what could go wrong. Maybe there used to be a greater need for this type of thinking, you could say.

Not so much today though. I don’t have wild animals hunting me or rivaling chieftains trying to steal my land or people. There really is no need for the amount of effort my brain puts into scouring my life for difficulties to concern myself with. I definitely don’t need to be awash with negative outcomes and possibilities that haven’t happened, and have a minute chance of happening at that.

Sophocles hits it on the nailhead: what I set my eyes on is what I see.

If I want to balance my brain-scales, then I need to set my eyes upon what is positive in my life. If I can’t find any positivity in my life, maybe another’s life, whichever can give me anchor to different thinking.

In the meantime, while my thinking is attempting to adjust to a positive-focus, I can instill my action with positive effort. I can pause for a moment and feel the temperature of the air, a gift to experience. I can relish the sun’s warmth upon my hand. I can listen to the laughter of a child and note the miracle of existence. I can acknowledge kindness and courtesy when given.

I can begin to cherish the infallible energy of living, of hope, because I have a starting point to move from, and if I seek positivity, than maybe that’s exactly what I’ll find.


What’s positive in your life? What helps you stay balanced in your perceptions and ideas?



2 thoughts on “What I Set My Eyes On Is What I See

  1. For a couple of months this commentary has been in my mind periodically popping into my consciousness. I’m wrestling with the concepts of looking, seeing, recognizing, discerning, interpreting. I am able to look at something and not see it, or not recognize it or actually see something that isn’t there.

    I also know our minds can be trained to see certain things. A very successful hunter friend can notice a heard of elk on a hillside without specifically “looking”. A geologist friend can spot a rock formation change on a grassy hillside by noticing that there are shrubs growing in a horizontal line. There are clues out there for all to “see” if we practice removing subconscious filters and focus on recognizing patterns we consciously desire.


  2. I love your comment, Skip! Yes, it seems we see what we begin to focus on, similar to your hunting friend or geologist buddy. I notice when I’m learning something new, I can’t see what the person who is teaching me can see. They have a familiarity that takes time and practice to cultivate, but I can get there too if I choose to engage and focus. What I see is constantly evolving, and in essence, becoming more open to what could be then closing off to what I believe there only is. This life journey is a trip. 🙂


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