Focus does not come naturally to us, yet it is essential for anyone who wants to make the most of his talent. Having talent without focus is like being an octopus on roller skates.
If you want to be successful, you must focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.
THE POWER OF FOCUS
1. Focus Does Not Come Naturally to Most People
“Ours is a world where people don’t know what they want and are willing to go through hell to get it.”
“One well-cultivated talent, deepened and enlarged, is worth 100 shallow faculties. The first law of success in this day, when so many things are clamoring for attention, is concentration—to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right nor to the left.” – William Matthews
2. Focus Increases Your Energy
If you desire to achieve something, you first need to know what your target is.
If you lack focus, you will be all over the place. Attempting everything, like attempting nothing, will suck the life out of you.
“Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used.” – Richard E. Byrd
3. Focus Lifts You
“The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he or she is going.” – David Star Jordan
In a sea of mediocrity, just knowing what you want to do and then making an effort to pursue it distinguishes you from almost everybody else.
4. Focus Expands Your Life
Narrowing your view widens your perspective. On the other hand, if you actually try to expand your view, instead of taking more in, it simply wears you out. If you want to expand your capacity, then focus.
5. Focus Must Be Intentionally Sustained
“I think what separates a superstar from the average ballplayer is that he concentrates just a little bit longer.” – Hank Aaron
“Success is the progressive realization of a predetermined worthwhile goal.” What I learned most from that definition is that success is not an event; it is a process. And anytime you engage in a process that takes time, focus is essential. Only people capable of remaining focused can expect to direct their talent and achieve a level of success.
A TALENT-PLUS PERSON PUTTING THE TALENT-PLUS FORMULA INTO ACTION
a. Be Intentional—Make Every Action Count
“You’ve removed most of the roadblocks to success when you know the difference between motion and direction.” – Bill Copeland
You must determine where you want to go and how to get there.
People who are undecided about what they want to do or where they want to go cannot tap into their strength of will—or their talent. As a result, they will merely drift along.
Have you asked yourself what you really want to do? And have you determined that you will pursue it against the odds, despite the obstacles, and regardless of the circumstances? Being intentional is about focusing on doing the right things, moment by moment, day to day, and then following through with them in a consistent way.
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – President John F. Kennedy
b. Challenge Your Excuses
We all have reasons for not doing what we ought to do. We don’t have enough time. We don’t have enough resources. We don’t have enough help. We have problems. We have shortcomings. We have distractions. Should we let these things get us off track? No!
c. Don’t Let Yesterday Hijack Your Attention
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” – Will Rogers
Too many people yearn for the past and get stuck in it. Instead, they should learn from the past and let go of it.
It’s only the small people who cherish revenge. Be a good forgetter. Business dictates it, and success demands it.
Striving for achievements is a lot like driving a car. It’s a good idea to check your rearview mirror occasionally, but not to give it your complete attention.
d. Focus on the Present
Your focus needs to remain in the one area where you have some control—today. What’s ironic is that if you focus on today, you get a better tomorrow.
You can’t change yesterday. You can’t count on tomorrow. But you can choose what you do today.
e. Stay Focused on Results
If you remain focused on results, you will stay grounded. The praise of others is less likely to go to your head, and the negative impact of people such as the reducers and rejecters will be minimized.
f. Develop and Follow Your Priorities
There’s an old saying that if you chase two rabbits, both will escape. Unfortunately that is what many people seem to do. They don’t focus their attention, and as a result, they become ineffective.
“Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration . . . Our motto seems to be, ‘Let’s do a little bit of everything.” – Peter Drucker
g. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses
When you focus on your priorities and put first things first, everything else is more likely to fall into place.
Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths is like having a handful of coins—a few made of pure gold and the rest of tarnished copper—and setting aside the gold coins to spend all your time cleaning and shining the copper ones in the hopes of making them look more valuable. No matter how long you spend on them, they will never be worth what the gold ones are. Go with your greatest assets; don’t waste your time.
h. Delay Rewards Until the Job Is Done
If you know that you have talent, and you are energetic and active, but you don’t see concrete results, then lack of focus is likely your problem. It takes talent plus focus to reach your potential and become the person you desire to be.
Disclaimer: I’ve taken these lines from John Maxwell’s book, Talent Is Never Enough. I posted them in my blog to share it with others and may they learn from these. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do so. 🙂 It’s one of the books really worth reading.