Lacking focus and aim throughout a man’s life can leave him wondering—and wandering—in different directions. Joe Rutland knows a thing or two about not being totally on the mark all the time.
“Focus, you idiot. Focus!”
That’s some of my inner dialogue coming out for you this week. Now I have learned not to talk to myself in this way all the time, yet there are times where … admittedly … I will beat up on myself more than any other person can do to me.
As I said, I’m getting better about it.
See, I’m talkin’ about focus, man.
Focusing on what matters — in life, business, health, finances, family, friends, etc. — can be challenging for me. I’ll knuckle down, really pumped up to start working on a new project or something … and then a butterfly will go past my window. A pretty white, puffy cloud passes along in the airstream as the beautiful Arizona blue sky provides a backdrop. Ah … oh yeah, back to writing this column.
“Focus, you idiot!” No, no, not those words again. Yet I do wonder if I’m the only man or woman out there that has trouble with the “F” word (and it’s not “that” word, either).
In tough times where life is fuzzy, become an archer. Get a bow and arrow (figuratively speaking), pick out your target, aim your arrow in its direction and let go. How do you and I become like archers? You’ll see in a little bit.
Can we all make a case for having good intentions when it comes to having attention on a particular subject matter? Yes, we can make a case. Will it hold up in court? Calling Perry Mason to the white courtesy phone, please!
There are so many distractions around our daily life that many men and women rarely take time for a breather. Some find time to go for runs, take their road bikes or mountain bikes out for rides, or even just sitting by a beautiful window inside their home, apartment or condo. I do believe that taking time out to daydream is OK. Having it become the only thing that you do and lose sight on the things that matter most … well, it may work for some people.
When I get hung up on some subject or topic and I can’t let go of it, then it becomes the point of attraction for my focus. Many times when I look at my personal financial situation, I’ll start up with the “focus” beating-up-on-myself language. I mean … hey, I’m 50 years old, I should know how to handle money and finances and investments and be much, much better off than I am today.
If I was more focused on that area of my life, then I’d be doing fine. I have no one to blame really. I can blame this or that … but that would be weak. My role now in life is to focus on the important things to me … what gives my heart, spirit and soul a reason to keep beating.
Keeping my focus on things like business ventures, personal development work, and a healthier lifestyle matter to me. Yes, having a focus on supporting the emotional well-being for children, adults and parents in the cleft and craniofacial community around the world matters to me, too. Obviously.
And having a focus on a host of subjects is not hard to do. I’m not sure of the physiological facts or data around emotions and focus, yet when I find something that provides me joy and happiness, then my focus is likely to stay upon it. If it feels too hard or I perceive it to be too hard, then my focus lessens.
Yet I know, much like you do, that taking on those challenging moments and learning new skills, new ways of approaching situations, is really where the mettle of life meets the road. That makes focus worthwhile and very tangible to the naked eye.
Grab your bow and arrow, please.
Remember the archer analogy a few paragraphs up? OK. For an archer to be successful (and win the prize of Maid Marion’s hand a-la “The Adventures of Robin Hood”), four actions have to take place.
Selection. Aim. Fire. Connect. Let me break these down.
Selection. Before you, Sir Archer, are a number of targets from which you can select from today. These might include “Emotional Health,” “Relationships,” “Joyful Living,” “Making a Million Dollars,” “Giving Back to the World,” and others. Pick your own targets, though. Everybody is different and, well, thankfully we are all different in many ways. Make sure that your selection of targets is filled with meaningful subjects. Also, make sure they are life-giving ones … not soul-sucking, obsessive stuff.
Aim. This piece for the archer is important. Know which target you want to shoot your arrow toward, then position your physical body accordingly. In order to hit the center of the target, archers have to get their body position just right, their arms in alignment, their sight line impeccable, and their mental focus sharp. Should an archer have one of these pieces off a little bit, then their arrow may miss the target.
Fire. All of the preparatory work has been done. Everything is set. Each piece of all target selections has been reviewed thoroughly. Now all that’s left for the archer to do is fire the arrow. So … ready, aim, fire!
Connect. This part is where you see all of the hard work, preparation, sweat, tears, fears, mental work, and emotional state crystallize into a successful achievement. It might feel like heaven on Earth, nirvana, bliss, joy galore … heck, you might end up doing The Hucklebuck, too.
In the end, focus is not really a dirty word. Some of the greatest inventors and wisest minds harnessed the power of focus and intention so well that they created telephones, phonographs, televisions, and computers.
Men and women have mixed focus and imagination for centuries. While I touched on focus this week, imagination will get some attention next week. Mix both into your life at home and work this week and see what happens. It might be, well, magical.