• Patrick McAndrew

Trapped Without Focus

Focus, focus, focus, focus, focus! What a word, right? The ability to focus is truly an art that one must master in order to become exceptional at something. Some say focus is the key to success. Others praise focus for its ability to manifest incredible relationships. Many health gurus will shout about the magic of focus in losing weight or eating healthier.

It’s no secret that focus is a beneficial skillset to train. We all understand the value of focus, theoretically. Why, then, is focus is so difficult to practice?

It’s Okay to Have Multiple Hobbies

Most of us have varied interests. This is a good thing. It makes us interesting human beings. I love to read, go hiking, and spend time with family and friends. These are interests of mine. I think when it comes to our personal lives, for the most part, we don’t have to have a laser-beam focus on certain hobbies, unless we are looking to master them. Eventually, many of us do choose to focus on a specific person to marry someday. Focus in the romantic realm truly helps develop a healthy relationship, at least in my opinion.

When Focus Is Crucial

Focus becomes crucial when we are talking about our professional lives, our careers. In order to see any sort of progress or results, we must be focused in on a specific area. Why is this? It’s because if our focus is spread across several different platforms, it will be near impossible to reach any sort of goal. While we reach for one goal in one area of life, our other hand will be reaching towards another.  We end up not actually moving anywhere.

This reminds me of a famous tale. Once there was a donkey who was both hungry and thirsty. He stood equal distance apart from the bucket of water and bucket of hay. The donkey was looking back and forth between both buckets, unsure of which one he should go to first. He couldn’t make a decision. Eventually, he died. Little did he know that if he had just decided to go to one bucket, he could’ve shortly after gone to the other bucket.

Why We Don’t Make Decisions

Tony Robbins, the famous motivational coach and speaker, has a great quote. He states, “Most people don’t have the guts to make the tough decision because they want to make the right decisions, so they make no decision.” Woof…that’s deep and so very true. We paralyze ourselves because we are unable to focus on one thing. We are unable to make a decision.

There are many days and weeks where my priorities are scattered all over the place. “Should I pursue this? Should I pursue that?” I do a decent job at taking action, but my action may not be as strong as it could be because I’m taking bite-sized actions from multiple different pies. Because of this, I become full before I am even close to finishing the pie. Therefore, I never end up finishing it.

We Need Focus Now More Than Ever

Focus is an increasingly rare commodity in a digitally distracted world. There are engineers working to snag our attention from anything that may be meaningful or important to us. If we think something will give us a sliver of instant gratification, we drop everything and turn our attention to that thing. Our minds are being wired to crave distraction. This has always been the case, but the influx of the Internet, social media, and smartphones has only expedited this issue.

I want to challenge us all to be more intentional with where our focus is concentrated. We must make decisions, even if we are unsure if those are the right decisions. Chances are, the fact that we made a decision will give us better context for what life we should be leading than if we hadn’t made a decision at all. Yes, we learn more about what we want by trying multiple things, but we accomplish the things we want by focusing on one thing. This is something I need to remind myself of constantly, and I hope that you will do the same.

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