I find it very interesting that I’ve been trying to write this post for a while, but I’ve been unable to focus on it. Anytime I’m that resistant to something, it means that it’s something I really need to learn.
In the movie City Slickers, Jack Palance plays Curly, the rough & ready, tougher-than-a-$2-steak cowboy, who turns out to be the source of great wisdom. He encourages Billy Crystal’s character to find the “one thing” he needs to find success and happiness in life. (Click above for the film clip.)
Focus is the point here.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about focus. You probably know them all, but it never hurts to be reminded of such valuable ideas.
- You get what you focus on. When things are going well, it’s easy to stay focused. The thing to ask yourself is “How do you respond when things aren’t going so smoothly?” Are you focused on the problem or the solution? Are you playing it safe and focusing on not losing, or are you really playing to win?
- Focus leads to success. For an archer trying to hit a target, focus is absolutely required. If you allow trees blowing in the wind or birds flying by to distract you, the arrow will not hit the bullseye. Focus reminds us to keep our eyes on one thing. It causes the persistence that leads to action that leads to results.
- Focus takes practice. You can’t just focus on things here or there. That’s lack of focus. In fact, if you find yourself unable to focus, unable to choose one thing at a time to give your attention to, you might have an issue with perfectionism. (As a recovering perfectionist, this is something that I struggle with.) If you’re having problems in your business or with your people, I challenge you to focus on one thing so completely that it causes everything else to change for the better.
What will your focus be for 2013?