To reach your objectives, you need a certain amount of focus. In fact more the objective is ambitious, coveted and rewarding, the more competition there will be and more intense the focus required to achieve it will be. Having the appropriate focus you need to achieve what you desire in life is nothing more than a skill that can be developed and you might find that the process can be easier to accomplish than you think. Devoting a little time each day to the development of that skill is a great investment considering the long-term advantages it will give you in return.
The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. – Bruce Lee
What is focus?
Let’s first define clearly what we are talking about here.
As a metaphor; if you deliver 100 watts of power to a light bulb, it will throw a bunch of proton “light” in every direction, and, in turn, those protons will bounce around and eventually get lost. In return, this will enlighten a certain area around you. Now if you deliver that same 100 watts of power to a laser that produces a light beam with a 2 millimeter radius and aim that beam at a sheet of steal, you will be able to pierce it, and cut it as you want in a fraction of a second.
You have probably heard in the mass media that humans only use 10% of the capacity of their brain; as usual, it is most likely to be a ridiculous claim, but I do believe that most people’s mind use a good 90% of their power to process useless, impractical, erratic and parasitic thoughts. Like a bunch of malware and viruses making your computer slower by preventing you to achieve proper focus.
Realize that those thoughts do not represent you; they are just pieces of information that come, get processed and go. Most of them are totally incongruent with your goals, and thus they are nothing more than noises that prevent you from having a clear focus.
What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that. -Eckhart Tolle
Define the scoop with alignment and congruence.
In order to blast your way from point A to point B with the most efficient and rapid manner, you must avoid interference and pitfalls, and for that matter the first and most important step is to have a clear plan of where you are going. The same way some thoughts act like noises and distractions, some objectives and daily tasks do exactly the same. It is important to clean that up and prioritize the tasks at hand.
Life’s purpose <-> Secondary objectives <-> Priority task and high value target
Starting from establishing your life’s purpose, you also have to set up clear secondary objectives for each aspect of your life. They must be in alignment with your purpose. Try to keep their number as low as possible, under five at a time, if possible. Focus is the keyword here.
For each objective, you must establish priorities and target each accordingly. Use the 20/80 rule to your advantage. Remember that 20% of your action will give you 80% of your result. You must focus on that 20% and proceed one by one.
Try to Keep it Stupid Simple (KISS). Clean up those unnecessary targets and be aware of scoop creeping.
Video gaming, face-booking, beer drinking, TV watching, Web browsing … if it’s not in congruence, clean them up! It’s not about prioritizing what’s in your agenda for the day; it’s about putting your priorities and high value targets in your agenda for the day.
You can create a mind map or a work breakdown structure (WBS) kind of diagram in order to clear up your high level objectives, but you can also take the time to do it on a subconscious level before you begin any small daily tasking.
- Why am I doing this? Is it in scoop? With which of my objective it is aligned?
- What are the greater importance tasks that may suddenly take priority and sidetrack me?
- What subtasks must be done before I can complete that one?
- What additional tasks will I have to do after that one to reach my objective?
- Who else could be involved in getting this task done, and what impact that person could have?
Ask yourself those questions; take the time to clarify the path in front of you before you start anything. Planning and strategizing are of great importance for creating focus in anything you do because that is how you aim your laser at the right target.
People who consistently win have a clear and thoughtful strategy. They know what they need to do and when they need to do it. They write it down so they stay on course, and avoid any alternative that does not get them closer to the finish line. – Dr. Phil
Clean up your physical and software surrounding
If you want to develop and keep strong focus, you cannot be contently distracted by toys and garbage all around you. Do you think the boss’s house is full of gizmo, toys, garbage, oldies, empty pizza boxes and cans of beer all around? No, it’s clean, and it’s lean. If you live in a clean and lean environment, it’s going to influence your mind the same way.
Everything is connected.
Same thing goes for your software and files. You don’t have time to lose to search around for stuff that are located somewhere around there. If you want to keep focus, you must keep things simple, organized, clean and lean. Distraction and disorder are only preventing your from keeping the main objective in focus.
It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. – Bruce Lee
Clear your mind
Not being able to keep focus on an idea or on a specific task for more than 10 seconds is a very common problem. Don’t let so called “specialists” label you with some ADD or ADHD bullshit tag. You’re the one in charge here; you can take action each day to fix that problem.
Here is a great exercise that will allow you to take control and discipline your mind in a few minutes every day.
- Install yourself in a quiet place.
- Close your eyes, and focus on your breath.
- Slow down the rhythm of your breath a little and take the time to do proper and complete cycles: inhale /exhale.
- Now clean your mind, focus on your breath and let your complex thoughts be dispersed completely.
- Still focusing on your breath, count the complete breathing cycles. You can visualize the number. Think about nothing else.
- The goal is to reach 10 cycles without thinking about anything else.
- Each time you catch yourself drifting into thinking about something else, you must stop and start the count all over again.
You can do it for about 5 minutes daily, and you can use it for preparing your mind just before a specific task must be completed. This simple exercise can be very difficult at first; you might not be able to reach 3 cycles the first time. But little by little, from day to day, you will get better at it. In a month or two, you should be able to complete 10 cycles.
This exercise will give you a powerful capacity to clear your mind and to enforce focus at will. Once you get good at it, just add little visualization sessions after the 10th cycle. See and feel in your mind the achievement of your goal. Like I have already mentioned in another post, visualisation is a very powerful tool to shape your beliefs. If you can see it, believe in it, you’re then ready to do it!
Also, one of the most powerful mind training methods to increase focus and clarity is the Shamatha meditation training. If you insert a Shamatha session in your daily schedule, believe me, adios ADD! Seriously, if your attention deficit is ruining your chance for success, I say, take off and nuke the entire site from orbit!
I mean, don’t waste your life for a problem like that! Just get doctor Chuck’s recommendation: The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind By Alan Wallace, learn how to do it, and blast it out of your life for no cost and no side effect. Also available in audio.
Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise willpower, discipline one’s body and train one’s mind. – Anil Ambani
Once you have chosen your top objectives, identified high value targets, and cleaned your life from the junk, just clear your mind, visualise your victory and execute the required tasks one by one. There is nothing to overcomplicate here; it’s a simple and easy way to change your way of life, a new mind training routine, and there you go: laser focus is now at your reach and everything else you will put your mind at!
One of the keys to thinking big is total focus. I think of it almost as a controlled neurosis, which is a quality I’ve noticed in many highly successful entrepreneurs. – Donald Trump
Subscribe and share it if you like!
Recommended Strength Training Program