“When I did make the decision to focus on acting, I think my mother was just relieved for me that I had finally started to focus.” – Daniel Day-Lewis. Your focus controls your reality. Let me say that again so it really sinks in – Your focus controls your reality.
David Emerald is the author and creator of The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic). He makes a very powerful statement about focus and the difference between negative and positive thinking:
“One of the fundamental differences between the Victim Orientation and this one [Creator] is where you put your focus of attention…For Victims, the focus is always on what they don’t want: the problems that seem constantly to multiply in their lives. They don’t want the person, condition, or circumstance they consider their Persecutor, and they don’t want the fear that leads to fight, flee or freeze reactions, either. Creators, on the other hand, place their focus on what they do want. Doing this, Creators still face and solve problems in the course of creating outcomes they want, but their focus remains fixed on their ultimate vision.”
If you wake up in the morning and think about nothing but negative things. If you focus on the things you are dreading, you will have a dreadful day. Instead if you wake up in the morning and think about the positive things, and focus on something you are excited about you will have a positively wonderful day. This seems like an easy concept right, focus on the positive not the negative. Honestly though, it is much harder to do than it is to say. Now, let’s try another…
What happens if you work on several things at one time; if you are in a constant state of multitasking? If you have fractured focus your productivity for the day will in turn be fractured. Dan Millman, author and lecturer in the personal development field, gives this advice. “Avoid fragmentation: Find your focus and seek simplicity.” Millman is not the only successful person with this thought. Here is what Steve Jobs said about focus, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
If you focus completely on the task at hand, you will be giving that task your full attention. It will then have the full power of your focus to be completed. Have you ever gotten lost in a job, a hobby, a task? When what we are doing fully envelopes our focus we lose track of time, we enjoy what we are doing, and our brains are working faster and better. Human beings are meant to be mindfully engaged in life. This elicits our body’s response to happiness. It is fun to get lost in a task. “Joy is found not in finishing an activity but doing it.” – Greg Anderson
If we both set out to declutter our lives and part of the way through you also wanted to work on your back yard. You would then be working on decluttering and the new task, the yard. Since you had already been working on decluttering it is most likely you will put more time into the yard for a little while. During that time, I would be solely focused on decluttering. At the end of our declutter time frame, I would have completed my task and have a much easier time in life without all the clutter. You would have a partially decluttered house and a partially done back yard.
Tony Robbins has figured out the power of focus and speaks about it frequently. “Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” – Tony Robbins. He also states that “one reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
What is your goal? Goals are vital to having a fulfilled life. Figuring out your goal is the first step to success. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho. How does figuring out our goals help us? Per Denis Waitley, best-selling author of the audio series The Psychology of Winning, “Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.”
Goals are about finding a specific thing to work towards. We cannot walk through life just doing. “It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau. “Never confuse motion with action.” – Benjamin Franklin. To truly achieve something, we must know what we are trying to achieve first. And once you have that in your sights, don’t let it go. Do not look elsewhere.
Once we have focus we must maintain it. If we truly want to have success, we must put all our power into the thing we want to be successful at. “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell. Clear the distractions away and maintain focus! How hot do you want to burn? The more focused you are the hotter you will burn. The more success you will see. Focus is something we must always work towards perfecting. Russell Simmons said, “A clear and focused mind will last a lifetime. Getting your mind in shape is nothing less than the key to sustainable success in the world.”
Focus is your hidden superpower. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar. It is simple, do you want to achieve your goal? Then you must focus on it. What will you do with your 24 hours today?