The Power of Focus
The world we live in offers an immeasurable volume of choices and opportunities; however, if we don’t make the conscious decision to live our lives with intentionality, we will be pulled in different directions that influence us off the path we’re meant to be on. It is true that individuals often find themselves spending too much of their time and energy on things that truly don’t matter. In the words of Don Marquis, “Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.” The power that comes from focusing our energy on our purpose will allow us to gain both the momentum and direction that will lead us towards our talents and abilities. Once we begin to unleash our true potential and focus on our path, the results materialize.
Focus cultivates our energy, lifts our spirit and expands our lives. In a sea of mediocrity, just knowing what we want to do and making an effort to pursue it, distinguishes us from almost everybody else. By striving to become better than we were yesterday, we have taken a step towards our elevation. As Richard E. Byrd said, “Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used.” One of the reasons human beings often leave their potential untapped, is due to a lack of focus. When we decide to set SMART goals and streamline our focus, the magic happens. The mind doesn’t reach toward achievement until it has clear objectives of how it’s going to get there. Focused thinking promotes the capacity to eliminate mental clutter and distractions, so that we can concentrate with ample precision. Most people are conditioned to believe that success is an event and that it can be achieved overnight. They see others reach pinnacles of success, but don’t see the efforts and time put in, prior to their championships. Ultimately, success is the progressive realization of a predetermined, worthwhile goal. It is a process. Once we begin to fully engage in the process, that takes time, focus is an essential aspect. The individuals who are capable of remaining focused, can expect to achieve levels of unimaginable success.
If you desire to become successful, here are ways to increase your focus.
1. Become Intentional
To be intentional, means to make every action count. You must determine where you want to go and what needs to be done to get there. Most individuals have yet to figure out their purpose, and as a result, they drift along through their lives with no direction. These people who are undecided about their path, cannot tap into their strengths of will. The truth behind being intentional is about focusing on doing the things that will get you closer to your dreams, day by day, in a consistent manner.
2. Challenge Your Excuses
We all have our own reasons for not doing what we should be. We blame it on not having enough time, not having enough or the right resources, not having enough help, having too many distractions, and fearing the unknown. However, we should not allow these things to pull us off course. Instead, we should use these excuses as the fuel we need to move forward towards growth and success, as everything we want is on the opposite end.
3. Make Peace With Your Past
One too many people long for the past and get completely caught up in it. Instead, they should look at their past as lessons and learning experiences, let go and move forward. Elbert Hubbard wrote, ” A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness. Successful people forget. They know the past is irrevocable. They’re running a race. They can’t afford to look behind. Their eye is on the finish line. Magnanimous people forget. They’re too big to let little things disturb them. They forget easily. If anyone does them wrong, they consider the source and keep cool. It’s only small people who cherish revenge. Be a good forgetter. Business dictates it and success demands it.” If you desire to make the most of your talent, then you must make what you’re doing now your focus. If you continue to focus on the past, you will eventually be incapable of moving forward at all.
4. Focus On The Present
As important as it is to make peace with your past, it is as important to not constantly wonder about the future. Your focus needs to remain in the one area where you hold majority of the control , and that is today. The present moment. Fascinatingly enough, if you focus on today, you will get a better tomorrow. You cannot rewrite your past, and you cannot predict the future; however, you can choose what you do today by complete focus. It will pay you back with dividends in the long run.
5. Stay Focused On The Results
If you feel as though you are constantly discouraged, it is due to the power you are giving the difficulties of the work at hand, instead of giving that power to the results that will come from facing these challenges. In dwelling on your fears and the difficulties for too long, you will begin to develop self-pity instead of self-discipline, and your attention will become disseminated instead of focused. Intentionally focusing on the results, will bring you inspiration, greater positivity and grounding.
6. Develop & Follow Your Priorities
Most people don’t focus their attention, and as a result, they become ineffective. This is due to our culture being exposed to too many options. If you want to develop your talent, you must inherit the art of focus. If you are going to focus, you need to work on knowing what your priorities are and then following through. It is so important to become highly selective and intentional about where you spend your time and energy.
7. Focus On Your Strengths & Not Your Weaknesses
When you learn to focus on your priorities, everything else is more likely to fall into place. In the words of Anthony Campolo, “What you commit yourself to will change what you are and make you into a completely different person. Not the past but the future conditions you, because what you commit yourself to become determines what you are – more than anything that ever happened to you yesterday or the day before. Therefore, I ask you very simple questions. What are your commitments? Where are you going? What are you going to be? You should be somebody who hasn’t decided, and I’ll show you somebody who has no identity, no personality, no direction.” Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths is like having a handful of coins. A few that are made of pure gold, and the rest are of tarnished copper. Setting aside the gold coins, to spend all your time cleaning and shining the ones made of copper in the hopes of making them appear more valuable. No matter how long you spend on them, they will never be worth as much as the ones of pure gold. Go with your greatest assets and stop wasting your time.
8. Pay Now & Play Later
Too often people want the rewards before the results, and for that reason they don’t stay as focused as they should. A secret of a life well lived, is making every action count – being intentional. That is the kind of focus that helps people live without regrets, because it provides direction and allows them to make most of their talents. It takes both ability and focus to reach your potential and become the person you desire to be.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot