“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”– George Bernard Shaw, playwright
You cannot do anything if you hate everything about yourself. You cannot do anything if you keep comparing yourself to what others are doing. You cannot focus on yourself if your attention is on what people are saying about you.
If you want to be successful, you must first accept yourself. Accepting yourself means you are satisfied with who you are, how you look, your strengths and weaknesses, and that you are ready to learn from people who are willing and ready to help you grow, not those who will criticize you for no reason. It means you are ready to be vulnerable to learn what you need to learn to get better.
Don’t think other people are better than you. They are not. They have their own problems to deal with. Focus on what you are doing in life. The things that you are doing are the things that will take you to where you want to go.
If you keep worrying yourself about what others are doing or saying about you, you will not have the precious time to take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, if you don’t take care of your actions, if you don’t take care of your relationships, if you don’t take care of your health, you will find it difficult to change your life. To take care of your life, you must take care of your actions. Our lives change if we change our actions.
Where you are right now is as a result of what you did yesterday. Where you will be tomorrow will come from what you are doing right now.
Most people try to create their future from what happened to them yesterday. You can only create your future from what you are doing right now. Your future depends on today, not yesterday.
The question is, What are you doing right now? How are you shaping your future? Are you using your time wisely? Are you meeting with the right people? Are you taking the right courses? Are you challenging yourself? Are you doing the same thing over and over again?
You will reap what you sow. You will reap what you plant. If you plant great seeds, you will reap great fruits. If you plant bad seeds, you will reap bad fruits.
Spend your time wisely. That means, do the most important things first. Do the last things last. Don’t try to do what you like to do. Do what will make you a better person. Do things that will make you a better father, brother, sister, friend, neighbor, student.
Don’t live in the past. Live in the moment. Don’t try to create your destiny from your mistakes, weaknesses, or failures. Create your future from the things you are doing right now. Werner Erhard said, “Create your future from your not from your past.” It is okay to think about the mistakes we made yesterday, but it not okay to live in the past. The more you do that, the more you will miss the opportunity to move forward in your life.
If you want to move forward, if you want to create a great future, a future that is worth celebrating, you must create it from the future. You must create it from what you are doing today, not from what you did yesterday.
In order to focus, you have to set a clear goal for yourself. Without a clear and solid goal, focus cannot happen. You cannot focus on anything. You need a clear goal to be able to focus on something. If you don’t have a goal, a vision, a dream, how can you focus? It is impossible.
You cannot focus without a vision. Sometimes it is hard to remain focused on our goals. We are distracted by our own thoughts, the society, our friends, technology, and/or our own relatives. If you allow them, they can distract you from reaching your goals. How? They can talk you out of your dream. They will give you one trillion reasons why your dream is not going to work. Some will say it to your face. Others will say it behind your back. Remember, they are irrelevant. What is relevant is what you think and say about yourself.
Before we continue, let us look at what great
minds have said about “The Power of Focus.”
Kelvin Harrington said, “Get clear on what gives
your life value, and what your time is worth.” Source: Entrepreneur.com/
James Allen said, “The vision that you glorify in your mind, the idea that you enthrone in your heart- this you will build your life by, this you become.”
Dorothea Brande put it this way, “Envisioning the
end is enough to put the means in motion.”
If you want to really focus on your life, your
career, your personal and professional development, you need to change your
mindset. You need to change your mindset from negative to positive, from
impossible to possible, from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’, from ‘it is too hard’ to ‘it
is easy,’ from wrong to right. You need a change of mindset. Always focus on
what you can do, not on what you cannot do. It is easier for people to see what
is wrong than to see what is right in people. That is who we are. For example,
if you have a major presentation to do tomorrow, instead of crying the whole
night, instead of focusing on what can go wrong; focus on what can go right,
focus on how you want to do your presentation. Go into your presentation with a
positive mindset, and you will do well.
Why is Focus
so critical to our personal and professional success?
Focus keeps you grounded.
Focus helps you concentrate on what is important, not on what is urgent.
Focus helps you ignore what is irrelevant.
So, how do we focus on what is important, not on
what is urgent?
Here are some strategies that will help you focus
on what is important in your life:
Set your personal and professional goals, and follow through. You will achieve your goals only if you follow through. Do not quit. Stick to your goals.
Know your strengths and weaknesses. It is unrealistic to focus on what you don’t know. You will not do so well at it. But if you focus on what you are really good at, you will do very well.
Pay attention to details. The secret to success is to see what others do not see. You can only see what others ignore if you pay attention to details.
Do one thing at a time. Do not spread yourself too thin. Focus on what is important, not on what is urgent. What is urgent is not always what is important. To get the results that you want, you need to focus on what is important.
Learn how to say ‘no’ to assignments that will not help you reach your goals- short-term and long-term. Don’t take on what you can deliver. Don’t take on assignments that are more than what you know how to do. Take on assignments that are important, not on the ones that are urgent.
Write down your dreams. Write down your goals. Revisit them on a daily basis. It is not enough to just write them down. You need to visit and think about them every day. Make it a habit. It will become a habit.
Ask yourself great questions. Ask yourself these three questions: 1) What do I want for myself? 2) How am I going to get it done? 3) What will it take for me to reach my destination?
Motivation, motivation, motivation. When the journey gets really tough, you are the only one to motivate yourself. You know how far you are going to travel to reach your goal. You are so important to yourself, because the real motivation is from inside you, not from outside you.
Finally, if you want to achieve the unbelievable,
you need to focus on what is important, not on what is urgent.
No one wants to be second, but everyone wants to be first. We want to be the best. Yes, it is possible to be the best at what you do. But it takes lots of work, dedication, focus, determination, frustration, and hard work.
You can be the best at what you do if you focus on what you are doing, if you focus on the most important thing- the job at hand. Joseph A. Maciariello, author of A Year with Peter Drucker, said, “Focus on your core competencies; focus on your strengths; don’t major in the minors. If you want your life to count, if you want your organization to count, the secret is to focus. Do a few things well.”
It is important to focus on your core competencies because they will show people what you can do. They will show people what you are made of. They will show people what you said in your job interview that you are good at. Your core competencies are your strengths. Sell them well. Use them well. Your core competencies are your strengths, and your strengths are what will get you to the finish line, not your weaknesses.
You can also be the best by concentrating on a few important activities that will make a big difference in your life, and in your organization. Peter Drucker, the great management scholar and researcher, said, “Concentrate on the smallest number of activities that will focus on the greatest productivity.” If you want to achieve great results, focus on doing the right things. If you focus on doing so many things at the same time, you will not do well. But if you focus all your energy on the thing you are doing, without dividing your attention, you will do very well.
If you want to be the best, focus on your core competencies, and concentrate on doing one thing at a time.