Today on the podcast we are talking about focus. If you are chasing big ideas and dreams you need focus (some would even say Hyper Focus). As an entrepreneur you need focus. I don’t know about you, but it seems that everyday the noise of life gets louder and clarity, true focus, is harder to find. We live in an age to 24/7 news with the cable news networks, constant connection the internet and through our social channels. Our lives are dictated by texts, immediate connection by phone, constant feeds of data about our friends on social networks, the latest on our favorite celebrity or tv show…and so much more.
When I was a kid back in the 80s and 90s life was different… I know, I know I just said when ‘I was a kid’. But things have radically changed. Back then we played outside, got bored, watched network news or Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. If we played sports it was one or two days a week (not every day, all weekend). We were more connected in an intimate way… but now things are different, the demands are different. Maybe we were just naive, but I think it’s a deep change in our society.
All this noise, these responsibilities, expectations pull is in a million directions. It clutters our thinking, tells us what to think, how we measure up (or don’t), and keeps us running at a pace that makes life impossible. We have lost our focus, lost our moral compass, lost our voice…all because we have let the noise dictate our every move.
Do you feel it? Do you see it too? I know for me it makes me feel like we live in an impossible world. It’s overwhelming. But what happens when we lock this noise out and start to focus? What happens when we choose to live on our terms, create a new way, and make what’s impossible…possible?
That’s why we are talking about focus. So what is focus? Mirriam-Webster defines is like this:
a center of activity, attraction, or attention
a point of concentration, to cause to be concentrated
directed attention, to bring into focus
a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding
adjustment for distinct vision
your focal length
a point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) converge or from which they diverge or appear to diverge
a point of convergence of a beam of particles
the place of origin of an earthquake or moonquake
Focus is massively important to the journey of making dreams and ideas become reality. The only way to get focus is to be intentional. It can be hard to do. It will cost you something, but it will be worth it if you really believe in what you are doing and creating. So what are some steps you can take to find more focus?
Turn off the noise - It’s time to turn off the devices, stop watching the TV, checking the news every 2 minutes, spending hours on your social channels. It’s time to untether from the distraction and find your voice, your ideas, your path forward. It’s not bad to be informed and entertained but many of us our finding that it’s also stealing our life by stealing our time. Not only do you find more clarity, but you will find more time simply by disconnecting from the noise.
Be selective in who and what you connect with. Many of the messages today are stealing our own identities and beliefs from us. Many of these messages and people are well intentioned (some are not) but if they aren’t building you up and encouraging you to push into your dreams they actually start to steal from you. You are what you consume. Is what you are consuming encouraging you, causing you to grow, driving you to your dreams and destiny?
Nerd out - When you focus you geek out on what you are doing and learning. It might drive others crazy, but it will drive you to making things happen. When you focus on the task at hand and ‘go down the rabbit hole’ it will cause you to learn. Consume as much as you can about the topic. Have fun and experiment. You will grow. You will see new ideas, paths forward, and begin to realize those dreams.
Be selective in what you do - There are millions of organization, programs, activities you can do. Many of them you might even love, but you need to sacrifice being busy doing things with choosing to do the ‘right’ things moving your dreams and ideas forward. Focus is a choice and sometimes the choice is hard to do. Focus on the ideas and doing things that more those dreams and ideas forward.
Take time to be with the ideas instead of doing. Often we believe that we need to do. In that process we don’t stop to reflect. Slow down so that you can learn from your focus. Reflect, learn, evolve the dreams and ideas…and keep moving forward.
Ultimately living a life of focus is your choice. The world around you typically will keep you from your destiny. It will not encourage your dreams and ideas. It will give you someone else to listen too, clutter your life with busyness, steal from your dreams and ideas. You have to chose to be focused to move forward and make your dreams and ideas a reality.