The benefits of sharpening your focus in life
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
By focusing deeply on your objectives in life, you increase the likelihood of your success. Failure is not an option because you don’t consider a setback as failure; it’s merely a challenge to overcome.
What does a discussion on “focus” mean for you? Focusing in on what you want out of life is important to success. Most people who are very successful in what they do, when piqued for insider knowledge, state that in order to achieve something, one must be focused in all their endeavors.
This process begins with setting goals. If a person has a broad vision of success and where he or she ultimately wants to be in life, then that person must first set goals that travel towards that broad path of success. On the other hand, a person fixating on achieving a nearly impossible goal, without any extra planning, would be setting himself or herself up for failure.
What is focus?
Everyone knows the scientific meaning of the term — at least vaguely — which is to maximize the clarity and distinctness of an image with the help of an optical system. There is also a meaning attached to the word focus which comes from psychology studies. Focus is described as a naturally occurring process in which a person concentrates his or her attention or energy on a given object. This type of focus has often been used in therapy as well as more professional outlets such as the work office or the church group.
A psychotherapist by the name of Eugene Gendlin attempted to explain this focus activity by comparing its values to that of a “felt sense," which was defined as a “preverbal sense of something.” He claimed that much of what a person knows (gained through learning and experience) has never actually been consciously said or even thought. It’s as if the person is experiencing something internally. It’s not an emotion, since emotion most often results from conscious thought. Rather, Gendlin likened it to the body feeling something that was imminent, a “something is coming” sensation, as if a situation were developing or even the next few lines of a poem were being anticipated. Furthermore, he argued that the felt sense could not necessarily be explained in words but that it is “tangible.” He argued that by focusing, one could make the felt sense more tangible. Gendlin observed his clients moving from a phase of confusion (with long pauses and “uh” sounds) to a deeper level of clarity and understanding after working with the felt sense through focus technique. Focusing today
Gendlin’s theories aside, what does focus mean to the everyday man or woman looking for a change in life? Another definition of focus is to “cause to converge on or toward a central point.” This indicates a precise plan, as in creating a convergent goal, as opposed to arbitrarily moving in different directions. This is important in understanding the practice of focusing. Focusing allows the mind to converge progressively towards a certain image or idea. Rather than letting your mind relax and flow in any direction, you are restricting all other thoughts and concentrating on one specific object.
Focus techniques in therapy are usually associated with meditative therapy or even hypnotherapy, depending on the doctor and the case. Similarly, focus techniques are utilized in a variety of avenues far beyond the psychiatric community; these techniques are used by teachers, religious leaders, corporate owners and managers. This is because focus is essentially a tool of teaching. Focusing is practiced all over the world and for a variety of purposes, as you can imagine that millions of individuals, as well as numerous organized groups, have very different motivations.
Focusing on success
This is where the importance of focus comes in. When you focus on an objective, you are able to visualize the physical parameters of every component. You are able to imagine the end results with all five senses, prematurely enjoying your reward, which then serves as additional motivation. You can focus on the specifics of economy and logistics that most other people wouldn’t give much thought to. When you focus all of your attention and energy on achieving a realistic goal then you become powerful in all your endeavors.
You know that you will eventually succeed, and not because you are predestined, or because you naively predict everything will fall into place. Rather, you are motivated to stay on course. You are willing to regroup your efforts after a setback and determined to follow through with a new plan as long as it ultimately gets you to the same destination. This is the type of determination that most people, even the ones who are ambitious, lack. By focusing deeply on your objectives in life, you increase the likelihood of your success. Failure is not an option because you don’t consider a setback as failure; it’s merely a challenge to overcome.
The only failure that will result is an unwillingness to get started in creating your new life. Focusing on the end result of what you want to have happen (personally and professionally), and all the activities necessary to achieve your goals, is critical to your success. Many times, we allow various distractions to disrupt our focus and then we wonder why we don’t get done what we set out to do each day. Allowing these distractions to occur gives some people an excuse as to why they didn’t get something done or many things done.
An excuse is just that — an excuse. It doesn’t serve anyone and it doesn’t matter why you didn’t get the important activities done. I’ve heard it said: “Failing with an excuse, even a really good excuse, is not the same as succeeding.” Learn to minimize or even eliminate distractions and you will be amazed at how much more you accomplish each day. You will achieve even greater success with greater focus.