The Roots of Focus
At its most natural core, the Latin term “focus” refers to a “hearth,” which is just another name for a “fireplace.” In the 1600′s, the hearth was the foundation of a home. It had three core capabilities:
- The hearth was used for light (so that one can see)
- For warmth (so that one doesn’t feel cold)
- And for hunger (for cooking)
It was the life-blood of the home. It was its most critical feature, as well as its most delicate feature. In fact the famous World War I song, “keep the home fires burning,” refers to the “hearth.”
The three capabilities above are true of those who develop the ability to focus today:
- Light: Your character will project a light to others. Focus gives you the “it” factor. People won’t be able to put a finger on it, they’ll just feel that you’re driven by something unique.
- Warmth: You will experience life as it was meant to be felt; with love and warmth; with purpose and pride.
- Hunger: You will meet the hunger that you thirst for to this day (success, happiness, achievement, pride, love)
Definitions of Focus
- The center of interest or activity
- The state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition: his face is out of focus.
- The point at which an object must be situated with respect to a lens or mirror for an image of the object to be well defined.
- A focal point.
- An act of focusing on something.
Yea, but isn’t focus just concentrating?
The reason most people lose focus in the first place is because they think “focus” and “concentration” are the same thing.
Concentration is short-term focus. Long-term focus is driven by purpose.
This is the furthest thing from the truth. For one to get focused, they must first sharpen their skills in both short-term focus (concentration) and long-term focus (purpose).
Concentration (short-term focus):
You’ve likely heard that the average human mind can only concentrate for about fifteen minutes. That’s the average human mind. Most people concentrate for much less than this. Why do you think commercials cap out at around 30 seconds? As technology and entertainment has grown, so to has our inability to concentrate for extended periods of time. Here’s the good news: you can train yourself to concentrate for longer periods of time. I will be unveiling how.
Purpose (long-term focus):
A concept that will resurface itself again and again is “sustainability.” So often successful people slip because of what their success is built on. It’s typically built on hard-work and “things.” Once you discover that the most valuable things in life aren’t things is when you’ll begin the path to building sustainable success. This sustainability is driven by establishing your purpose, not on dreams of fame, owning a yacht or traveling. Sustainability is built on uncovering a purpose that has nothing to do with you. Sustainability is built solely on using your gifts to assist others. I believe it was Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche that said, “The ‘me plan’ leads to a path of endless suffering.”
So, without further ado, here’s what you’ll learn
This book will take you a series of processes, modules and lessons that will retrain not just the way you think or act. It will recalibrate the lens through which you view life. Change takes time. Lots of it. Sometimes it will seem like changing to become a more focused person is taking too long. For me, this was the case. Even after two weeks of attempting every day to establish focused habits, I would relapse, getting sucked into watching the Real Housewives of Orange County when it was “accidentally” on. Know this. The human body has an innate, amazing way to adjust. Your body and your mind are one. You’ll be going through changes as if you’re having withdrawals. That’s where Hard Work comes in and that’s where focus comes into play. If you’re the type of person that rarely finishes something you start, this journey is for you. But again, the Hard Work is for you.
More Readings, Sources and Resources:
- Thanks to Kristen (from the comment section below) for helping me edit this article. You can read Kristen’s blog, “Factotum’s Rostrum” here