First Step to Success is Focus

How's Your Focus?

How’s Your Focus?

I suppose everyone has dreams and aspirations of having a very successful career. Personally I have earned many times more income in my dreams than I have in reality. I have always been one to build air castles. I happen to believe that everything is initiated in a dream. I also believe that when you stop dreaming, you cease to aspire for a better life and begin descending to normalcy. Building air castles is positive stimuli which are a requirement for increasing one’s mental capacity. I’ve always heard when you stop dreaming, you begin dying. Focus on that for a moment and you’ll probably agree.

One of the problems many people have is they don’t know how to capitalize on their dreams by making it a primary goal for them to accomplish in the near future. Back in the 70’s I was an avid deer hunter and spent much of my leisure time in the woods. The only way of getting my tree-stand up in a tree was to bear-hug  a tree, plant my feet so that the teeth on my stand would cut into the tree bark, stand up and grab another bear-hug. By repeating this process I could slowly reach twenty feet high in a tree. That was hard enough but getting down proved to be very damaging to my body on several occasions. I kept dreaming of how to make this process easier and safer. A friend of mine and I finally mastered a type of scissor jack tree stand, hand climber apparatus that we made from old metal bed frames. It actually looked good and worked very well. Everyone that saw it wanted one. We made a few for close friends but never attempted to market them. It wasn’t too long afterwards that a major hunting supply company began selling a tree climber using the same method as we had used. Did we actually invent the tree climber? I don’t know and it really doesn’t matter. We didn’t do anything with the idea and someone else put it into action. A dream is only a mental thought until it is converted into a tangible thing.Assuming that we all want to be successful, we need to define what success is. What one person considers successful, another might consider a failure. To determine what success means to us, we need to think it through very carefully. We must focus on our needs and our wants individually. When we really focus on our needs, we find that some aren’t real needs but they are just things we would like to have. So is there a formula that will help us focus on things to differentiate between our needs and our wants. I wouldn’t call it a formula but there is a sure fired way to narrow your focus on any one particular thing. When trying to make a decision between two things, ask yourself this question, “Which one (or what) is the most important to me?” This question will clarify your focus on any issue in life.

What is most important to you? The key word is most. Most is a singular word. It cannot be used in the plural sense. If I asked you, “What’s the most important thing in your life;” you couldn’t answer it correctly by saying, “my kids, my wife, my family, and naturally my job.” They are all important to you but if you’ll be totally honest with yourself, you will admit to loving one more than the others. It may not be very much more but it will be more. People are always saying, “I love my children equally. I don’t love one more than the other.” If you’ll be totally honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that you do love one child more than another child. Every parent who has more than one child has a favorite. They are a little closer to one than the others. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s just being honest. This is what focus is all about. Most of the time when we think of the word focus, we think about making adjustments when using our camera so the picture will be clear. When trying to focus a camera, there is only one position when the camera is in focus; that is the picture is at its clearest point. Make an adjustment in either direction and the picture will be out of focus. What is MOST important indicates that it is at the top of the list. There can’t be two at the top. Think about it. How many top layer’s are on a cake?

Now let’s focus on our career for a moment. On any given day we have multiple tasks that we must perform. All the tasks are not as equally important because of their very nature. In order to reach a high level of success we realize that we must manage our time very carefully or some important things won’t get done. And, when things don’t get done, consequences will follow. Therefore, in order to plan our work schedule for any given day, we must focus on determining which things are most important and which are less important. There will be some things that you consider to be equally important but if you carefully evaluate each, and consider the consequences that could arise should either of the tasks not be completed; you will find that one task is truly a little more important than the other. To focus to this extent is prioritizing in its finest. Learning to focus on each aspect of your business, in reality is managing your business rather than letting your business manage you. It is planning for you own success. And, if you aren’t planning for your success, you are planning for your failure!

To ensure that we get everything done that needs to be done during a normal work day, we need to prioritize things into a workable plan of action. That means that we need to list the things that we need to accomplish in their order of importance. After we have listed the things we want to accomplish that day, our next step is to block time out of our schedule to complete each of those tasks. This will ensure that at the end of the day, the most important things we needed to do will have been completed. If we will commit to planning tomorrow’s work schedule, at the close of the day before, we will notice that we have time left over for accomplishing other things. It’s amazing how much more we can accomplish when we carefully plan our work and then follow that plan.

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