We need focus if we are to succeed in what we do. It brings things into sharp clarity. Focus is about singularity of purpose, and fixation on the results; it is not about obsession or addiction (those are issues caused by lack of discipline and control). It can also bring things in contrast. What we faithfully focus on, at any one time, becomes important.
When practising yoga, we deliberately focus on our breathing or posture or sensations in our body. When we swim, we focus on our strokes, the way we glide through the water, and our target. When we lead we focus on the task, people, process, style or strategy. When appraising our people, do we focus on track record, performance, attitude or relationship?
What do we focus on each day? A better question would be: What do I choose to focus on today?
Sport has much to teach us about focus. At any one time, we can focus on one thing at a time (unless you chew gum, listen to your iPod, and walk – which is superficial multi-tasking). We can only focus on the moment, at what is happening in the here and now. If we have too much going on in our head, it becomes distracting. Focus on the uncontrollable and it becomes worrying. Focus on positives and you will can channel your energy elsewhere more relevant.
In the last few weeks, I shifted my focus from injuries to running more gracefully, focusing on economy of movements, movements in my running posture/gait that provided more comfort, ease of breathing and more speed. Instead of focusing on the certain wear and tear of my body, I focused on minimizing the negative impacts of endurance sports on my body. It is a calculated risk I choose to take, that is outweighed by the numerous benefits I gain from exercise and socializing in the endurance sports community.
Focus can be brought about with: finesse, ferocity of purpose, and fervour.
Do a SWOT analysis of your personal branding. Find out your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on the opportunities and threats that may emerge due to your abilities and capabilities, deficiencies and shortcomings. You choose to de-emphasise your weakness or enhance the potential of this area of less non-preference.
In triathlons, the triad of disciplines requires that we focus on strengthening our least performing area. If you are a weak swimmer, swim more and more purposefully. Seek a swim coach to correct your techniques, prescribe drills, and focus on your areas of greatest opportunity.
Shift your focus today. Focus on what is most relevant and important now.