Focus

I'm currently reading Erwin McManus' book "Wide Awake". The portion I've been reading today is about focus. One of the lines from the book is "You always hit what you're looking at.". Sounds simple doesn't it? However, with so much going on around us at any given time, it is easy to get distracted. I've always been a person with many interests. I jokingly say that I'm mediocre at many things and not really good at any one thing. Kind of like the old saying, "Jack of all trades, master of none.". In college I had a professor tell me that I'd never be great because I had too many interests. He said that most great people were focused on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. That used to bother me until I began thinking of people like Leonardo Di Vinci; Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Albert Schwitzer. All of these guys had multiple interests, and were accomplished in many fields. It seems to me that the key is not being interested in only one thing, but being able to focus on any one of thing exclusively for an extended period of time until a goal is attained. I often add to Paul's statement in Philippians, "This one thing I do" by adding "not these 40 things I dabble in."
My conclusion is that "focus" is not being totally single-minded, but is the ability to tune out everything except the particular goal of the moment. I'm learning to focus by deliberately taking steps to cut out the the extraneous "noise" around me. For example, if my wife begins to speak to me while I'm watching TV, I immediately activate the mute button. I'm beginning to compartmentalize things I do so that it is easier to focus on the task at hand.
At other times I find it easy to focus even with a lot going on around me. For example, I'm writing this in the family room at my brother's house with the TV on, and my nephew and his family here showing off their new baby. There are several conversations going on, and yet I'm able to continue to think and write. Maybe I'm learning to focus. Now, if only I can take this new ability to the golf course later today.

Comments

goooooood girl said…
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