I get bored very easily and when I allow my boredom wolf to take hold, there is very little chance that I will be back. Sadly throughout my life that wolf has been fed very well and in turn has become very strong. My focus wolf has not been fed so well and so has often given ground to his ugly counterpart.
This sibling war must be such a common story in so many people’s lives, but I know that in my story I never paid enough attention to the long term outcome of these squabbles. I just figured that learning to focus was simply one of those things you would learn when you become a ‘grown-up’, but like many of those grown-up things I found that it was the opposite. The reality was instead that I grew up learning french, expecting to know how to speak english when I became an adult. I had no idea how to focus, and I found that learning to turn the tables became harder and harder with each year I let go by.
A Life without Focus
Even while writing this I find myself being pulled away from focus by the smallest things. Despite the work I am doing on my weaker wolf, he is easily over-shadowed by his overdeveloped nemesis.
My life thus far is filled with multiple titles and chapters of unfinished stories, incomplete projects, and discarded goals set aside for the promise of the glass beads of an easy win. My long suffering wife has seen first hand the results of my focus deficit – from the small things like not finishing the washing up to the life changing things that include incomplete qualifications and failed businesses.
In his book ‘Outliers’ author Malcolm Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. If we are to look at how this works out in years, based on practicing your skill for 5 hours per day, it would take nearly 5 and a half years to earn the title of expert in your field. The reality of this for regular people like me is that 5 hours per day is a very tall order indeed. Even more so if you suffer with a lack of focus. Without focus, success in anything must rely solely on somebody else’s hard work and efforts and your luck.
Focus is a Muscle
If you are thinking that my story is hitting home with you, or maybe its doing more than hitting home and you’ve already got distracted, then lets look at what actions you can take to turn the tide on your stronger wolf.
Focus is a muscle, if you want it to get stronger and last longer then you must work at it and practice it. You must teach the little wolf stamina and strength. Here are the 2 tasks I have started investing my time in to try to build my weaker wolf;
- Read – I have started to read, but not fiction. My mind needs to learn and practice taking on instructions and then following through with the actions to create results. There is no point in focus if its not leading to improvement, growth,and reward. I personally struggle with reading so I have started ‘learning to read’ by listening to audiobooks related to my goals and vision. I use Audible by Amazon for this (www.audible.co.uk).
- Stop Multitasking – Learning to focus on many complex things must start with mastering single things. Quality over quantity.This will require some resilience with the people around you, particularly at work which on balance is probably another muscle worth growing. I try to make a to do list at the end of my day so that I am prepared for the next day ahead.
A Life with Focus
Imagine what life you would be living right now if you had finished everything you had started or wanted to put your mind to. Consider what job you would be doing, what business you would be running and what rewards those things would have made available to you. A life with focus allows for the life you deserve and allows for the results your vision will create in the world.
I believe that there are only two things that keep us from obtaining our goals and they are a lack of FOCUS and an abundance of FEAR. That however is a subject for another post. I hope that my insights and experience have given you the chance to reflect on your life, perhaps giving you the chance to acknowledge similar downfalls I have, or maybe it has given you the confidence to reach further because you have a strong ability to focus. GO FOR IT!