Is Focus Really Important?
I was at a basketball game last week (Cleveland Cavaliers.) After the game, as I was walking to the car, I was really focused on where my feet landed. It was icy. I had five knee operations and I did not want to fall and risk another injury.
I almost ran into a police officer who was directing traffic for cars leaving the parking garage.
He looked at me and said (rather sarcastically) “don’t you see the other people waiting?”
I said “Actually, I didn’t. I was watching where I was walking so I do not fall.”
When he realized I was not being an idiot and trying to ignore his authority, he was very polite and let me pass.
As a business coach and consultant I realized right then the importance of focus. I always knew of and taught about focus but I really understood focus at a whole new level.
Focus allows you to stay clear on the desired outcome (in my case not falling). It allows you not to be distracted. I was so focused on not falling that I did not see the other people to my right – no more than 5 feet away. That can be both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because it allows for great achievement; a curse because you might miss other opportunities or situations that would suggest a different path.
I like what Henry Ford said. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” If we focus on the desired outcome we do not see my obstacles others see.
So how can you become focused and stay focused? It is easy to talk about and hard to implement. Simple put, you must decide what is important to you and stay focused on the desired outcome. Some call it a goal, some call it a strategy, some call it a behavior. Being focused, some call it tunnel vision, is critical to achievment.
There are many systems for setting goals. Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, and Stephen Covey all discuss systems for setting goals. They discuss the different between a goal and a dream.
Let me suggest some things I do and maybe they will help you if you implement them.
1. Get clear on what you want and set a specific date you will make it happen. This means it must be measurable with a specific date determined.
2. Get an accountability partner and have them hold you accountable
3. Be honest with your accountability partner.
4. Create a group of people you meet with regularly that can help you with objective feedback. Provide others the same objective feedback
5. Make it a priority: your accountability partner, your advisory board, your goal. Define some action you will do daily that moves you forward to your goal.
6. Pay someone to hold you accountable to help you achieve success. Why pay them? Because if they don’t perform you can fire them.