I wrote another piece about the importance of focus. To me, this is the single most important element that determines your success. Without the ability to focus it is doubtful you will ever achieve your desired results.
There are two areas that focus pertains to: long term and short term situations. Both require the ability to have a singleness of purpose. The only difference between them is the time required that the concentration is needed.
We all have goals. Many of us went through the exercise of breaking these goals down into manageable parts, usually 90 days. I would say this is common among all students of self improvement.
Here is my question: have you ever opened a notebook and found your 90 days goals left untouched? What was the results of your efforts over the time period? Most likely, most of the list was left incomplete. The reason is you lost focus. Your goal list was put out of sight, thus putting it's contents out of your mind. It is easy to get distracted when you follow this pattern.
I will give an example of where long term focus is shown. Consider the athlete who suffers a season ending injury. Often, this requires surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Once the athlete begins his/her rehab assignment, nothing else is thought about other than returning to the playing field (court). This person is not distracted away from the overriding goal. His or her focus is on that single objective.
Contrast that with the 90 day list you wrote and put away. Many of the items were not even considered since the time they were written on the list. You did not spend one second focusing upon that task again. This is an example where your inability to focus long term on a specific outcome creates less than desirable results.
In the future, if you do set down 90 day goals (which I suggest), keep them where you can see them. Choose a couple to focus upon exclusively. Make them your overriding objective just like the above mentioned athlete. You will see how just the habit of focus will enable you to accomplish incredible things.
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