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A male holding a bow at an archery range.

A Lack of Focus

Why most of us don’t succeed

For most of us life is a series of experiences, settling into a job or a career that we do because it’s part of the way we make a living, it’s what society expects us to do. And yet, regardless of our best efforts we never rise above the average crowd or at worst we sink below the average. Then we ask and wonder what it takes to reach the heights we want to reach and somehow miss the point. What we fail to see is the lack of focussing on one goal. It takes desire, a goal, persistent effort and a focus inspired by a will to succeed.

Nothing is ever attained overnight; everything is the result of a build up of events in our life, actions and decisions taken towards a specific goal. But you can’t reach your goal without having focus on it.

Take this article for example. I have to sit down, in front of my screen and type what I want to tell you, only getting up to think, to make a coffee. But all the time, I am singularly focussed on this article and it’s ultimate aim.

The Master Chef

Have you ever heard of a master chef ever wanting to be anything else but the best chef he can be? What about a golf player, a basketball player, a football player? It takes practice, knowledge and understanding in their own specific fields and then some more, to get to where they want to get to.

In my own life I have been many things. I’ve worked in a high street store in London’s Oxford Street, I’ve been military, I’ve studied and qualified as a teacher – I do none of those things anymore and I play no part in any of those fields. But, had I focussed entirely on any one of those occupations, put more effort into them, given more, learned, understood and set goals, I would have undoubtedly been more successful in any of those fields.

My fears, my beliefs, all that I held to be true then, that I no longer hold or cling onto, are what held me back.

If I had set a goal and fully focussed on that, the chances of overcoming these beliefs and fears would have been greater, because the focus would have increased the desire, the passion and I would want to put more effort into achieving my goals.

A Single Target

In movies we’ve seen how an archer hits multiple targets by firing multiple arrows. I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but I do know that each arrow must have a target to hit. That the archer must focus to ensure that the arrow hits it’s target. And without a target the arrow will have nothing to hit.

The same goes for any goal we may have. First, we must have a goal, otherwise we have nothing to aim for. We then need to keep that target constantly in focus. If we fail to do that, then we are unlikely to hit our target. And then, we need to keep at it, whenever we fail to hit the target to keep in mind that we can only succeed by learning, adjusting our aim until we hit our target.

Every goal we have is the same. But we cannot have multiple goals and expect to reach them all at a high level. Multitasking is fine when it comes to minor matters. But when it comes to that thing that matters the most to us, we have to keep that as our main goal.

We may procrastinate because we don’t know how to get to the next stage we want to get to, but never lose focus from the main event – your goal. You may have to change direction or take a step back to be able to “see the forest from the trees”, to get better clarity, but always keep your eye on the goal.

Don’t go from one thing to another, because it seems that it’s the next best thing. If what you are doing is something you want to do, what you desire, where your passion lies, keep up the effort. If you worry that it may be outdated, then use your imagination to see how it would look like 10 years from now and make that your goal.

You don’t have to change what you want to do, but you may have to change the way you will be doing it.

A final word

In our lives we will take on different roles, but to succeed in anything, whether it be career, job or relationships, we have to know what we are aiming for. We have to keep focus on what it is that we are aiming for.

We cannot succeed by chopping and changing, by going from one thing to another and hoping to succeed.

There has to be something to aim for, a goal, a reason, a purpose to what we do and why we do it. Realising our reason, the why we do what we do, clarifies matters and helps us focus more on what we want to achieve.

This is no simple or easy task. But, because it takes effort and time, it’s why so few achieve their goals and live the life they want.

Failure is not a result of environment or circumstance. It’s a lack of goals, focus, determination and understanding that failure is only part of the process. That total failure only comes along when we quit on our dreams of the life we want. Adversity is part of the process and something to learn from, not where we stop.

And we can only move forward by focussing on our goal, on our target. No arrow that was ever fired with purpose, skill and faith ever missed it’s target. Our mind is no arrow – it’s more than that. It never fails to hit the target when we know our target, we are passionate about it, we have faith that we will hit it and know that it is an inevitable condition of life.

Focus on your goal. Don’t get blinkered, because serendipity is part of the process – you never know where it will take you. Changing your focus, changes the target, the goal.

But keep your eye on the target. Lose sight and you will miss every time.

I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.

Venus Williams

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Proverbs 4:25

Photograph by: Vince Fleming on Unsplash


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Comments

    • D D Bahadir
    • 20 November 2018
    Reply

    Thank you for your article. It hit the spot today. I have difficulty on focusing, perhaps because I am not sure what I really want.

    Thanks again.

    Deborah

      • Christos
      • 20 November 2018
      Reply

      You’re welcome Deborah. Being a natural procrastinator this has been one of my challenges as well. I believe the greatest reasons most of us fall down on focus, is either because we don’t know where we want to get to or we don’t know how to get there.

      The first is defining what we want to do and why – the why is the key to any reason why we do anything. The how, is a bit more complex, because there is so much involved, so I keep in mind what Allan Watts said -let go (https://www.christosharrison.com/letting-go/ – the video is at the bottom of the post). I am a “control freak”, as my wife tells me and she’s right. But, when it comes to reaching our goal, it’s a matter of seeing where we are going (goals, targets, visualisation) with clarity, having faith in the process and acting towards our goal as if it already has happened (acting as if).

      There’s a question I’ve asked so many – if you were given 10 million tomorrow, would you still do what you’ve been doing or would you do something else? The answer lies there.

      Thank you.

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