virgin islands scene

You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.
-- Mahatma Gandhi


The MONTHLY Motivator - March 2004

Focus and Direction

We live in a world of infinite possibilities. Yet infinite possibilities are worthless unless certain specific possibilities are followed and acted upon. The challenge we face is not a lack of material, or ideas, or people, or information or opportunity. We live in a universe that is full of abundance. Our challenge is to fashion meaning and value out of it all, and that demands focus.

Focus is what ties everything together, gives it a context, gives you something productive to do with it all. Without it, you’ll be pulled in 15 different directions at once, and will never get anywhere. Focus is the ability to effectively use the abundance that is all around you, to get what you want from life.

The need for focus is becoming more and more critical. There is simply too much to deal with. If you are not focused, your time gets eaten away by all the thousands of details that make up life. If you are not highly focused, you’re probably not getting much accomplished.

The power of focus

You can have, do, or be whatever you want if you will commit to it consistently. That means doing something every day, every hour, or even every minute, over and over again until your goal is realized.

Each moment is an opportunity to achieve just a little bit, to get a little bit accomplished. Little things, done again and again, have enormous power. Picking up the phone and calling prospects, practicing a musical instrument, writing chapter after chapter in a book. Success comes from the consistent application of effort.

When all the moments are aimed in the same direction, you achieve great things. And that is where focus comes in. Focus makes things possible, that would just not be possible otherwise. A winning body builder must work out every day, and follow a strict diet every day, day after day, for months and years. There is simply no other way to build and tone the muscles of the body.

Focus makes time your friend, because it enables you to keep yourself traveling, each moment, in the direction of your dreams.

Focus also brings clarity. It enables you to see opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed. It helps you to understand and make sense of the world around you, and gives you a context in which to operate. Focus gives you a clear understanding of what you need to do next.

Focus makes your efforts more efficient. When you’re constantly starting and stopping, you simply don’t get where you’re going as fast. Working with little or no focus, is like taking the “back road” to your goal. Every few blocks there is a stop sign or a traffic light. There are side streets which can divert you away from the direction you’re traveling. Working with focus is like taking the freeway -- it speeds you directly to where you’re going.

Know your purpose and direction

The driving force behind an effective focus, is a clear sense of purpose and direction. Knowing and remembering your purpose, and your goals, will keep you focused. Staying focused without a goal is impossible, for there is no object on which to focus. Focus, to exist and continue, must have a focal point.

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--Ralph Marston

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