The Power of Focus

Posted on November 28, 2011



Focus is a pretty awesome thing. I mean, it is. It can either destroy or distract (contradictorily) or build. Here’s an example. I’m following Tim Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Body. There’s a few crazy suggestions in there and I’m crazy enough to follow them. One of the suggestions is to plunge your body in freezing water for 5-10mins, morning and night. Now after the fifth day of doing this, I’m in the bath thinking “I’m not sure if I can continue this, I’m not sure I’m really that crazy.” But then I think why I’m doing this. “I’ve been wanting to shed these last few pounds of fat for ages now and I’m sick of seeing these love handles trying to gorge itself on my mid riff”. My thoughts endlessly wander off around this passionately frustrating topic for me and before I know it, 10mins has gone past, I don’t feel as cold as I have previous mornings and I’m motivated to continue doing this. Ok so it could have been a warmer morning or that I’m suddenly getting used to this fool’s therapy, but I’m thinking its not any of these things.

Example number two is when I play tennis. I’m not a bad player, I’m a sore loser but not a bad player. Like most right handers, my backhand needs some work and I’ve read more books about backhand technique then the number of late night parties the Italian prime minister has thrown. Whilst I’ve read the books and practised to the wee hours in perfecting the backhand, its inconsistent. Some days Roger Federer would have a hard time keeping up with me, other days, my 5 year old niece with a broken racquet would trounce me. However, there is the time that I told myself to stop thinking about technique as I’m tearing out the backhand and just think about…..boobies. My backhands are amazing that day. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a guy and that kind of diversion helps men move mountains or that it was one of my good days. Hmmm, doubt it, but maybe.

At work, distraction is commonplace. Everyone and everything is vying for your attention and most people give in, unknowingly of course, to it. However I’ve made a stance to set goals in the morning and nothing, I mean nothing, not phone calls, emails, people, offers of free Apple gear, get in my way of achieving those goals. I get all my work done in 3 hours. There’s something about focus.

Whether at work or at play, focussing on the right things, I think, paves a path to help you remove distraction, lets your sub conscious mind do what it can do well or power and motivate you to get you what you want. Have you got examples like mine?