How Focus Lifts Your TalentFocus brings tremendous power to life. Without it, you cannot accomplish much. But with focus, your talents and abilities gain direction and these pay off by producing results. One, focus does not come naturally to humans. Because of our culture of choices, most people are pulled in various directions. Worse still, you find yourself enmeshed in areas you don’t really care about. The solution to such a predicament is focus. Poet William Matthews wrote and I paraphrase: One well-cultivated talent, deepened and enlarged, is worth more than a hundred shallow faculties. The first law of success is concentration, to bend all the energies to one point, and directing all to that point, looking neither right nor left.
Two, focus increases your energy. If you desire to achieve something, get what your target is. The mind doesn’t focus on achievement until it has clear objectives. After the Americans landed on the moon, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) attributed their success to focus. Albert Siepert, Deputy Director of NASA asserted that NASA succeeded because it had a clear-cut goal and expressed its goal. By doing this, NASA drew the best of men to the goal and gained the support of every department of government to achieve the goal of landing a man on the moon and bringing him back alive.
Three, focus lifts you. Scholar and educator, David Jordan, said, “The world stands aside to let pass anyone who knows where he is going.” In a sea of mediocrity, just knowing what you want and pursuing it distinguishes you from everybody else. Four, focus expands your life. Narrowing your view or horizon widens your perspective. If you want to expand your capacity or talent, then focus on your objective.
Five, you have to intentionally sustain your focus to be able to attain your goals. What separates the superstar from the mediocre is that the winners concentrate just a little bit longer. In his book, Laughter, Joy and Healing, Donald Demaray narrated the story of a young journalist who was being criticized by his father because he didn’t seem to be making much progress from his career.
Undaunted, the young man wrote back to his father, explaining that he had a plan upon which he was focused. His intentions were as follows: At 30, he would be a great news reporter. At 40, he would be a distinguished editor. At 50, he would be a great writer. At 60, he would be a great novelist. At 70, he would be a great grandfather. At 80, he would be a great admirer of beautiful women. And at 90, he would be a great loss to the community. Demaray said that the father got a good laugh from the letter and was gratified when he began to see his son’s career progressing along those lines.
Several years ago, I memorized a definition of success to guide me in my career: success is the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. From this I realized, success is a process, not an event. And a process takes time and focus; only focused people can direct their talent for achievement.
Therefore, if you desire to be a champion, you must make focus your friend. Six, make every action count towards the attainment of your wishes. Editor, publisher and man of letters, Elbert Hubbard, wrote: “A retentive memory may be a good thing. But the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.” Champions forget because they know the past is irrevocable. You are running a race, so you cannot afford to look behind. Your eye should be on the finish line. You must be magnanimous by being too big to let little things disturb you.
Seven, focus on the present. Make your job your focus. Striving for success is like car driving. It is good to check your side view occasionally. You cannot give full attention to it otherwise you would be unable to make appreciable progress. Eight, stay focused on results. By doing that, you will find it easer to stay positive and encouraged.
In your march towards becoming a champion, you will meet various people. Their impact on you will reflect thus: refreshers will inspire your dreams and energize your talents. Refiners will sharpen your ideas and clarify your visions. On the other hand, reducers will try to reduce your vision and confine you to your comfort zone. Projectors will deny your talent, hinder your efforts and impede your progress. If you remain focused on results, you will stay grounded.
Nine, develop your priorities and follow through. If you chase two rabbits, both will escape. Focus on your targets, concentration is the key to achievement. Focus on your strengths, what you commit yourself to determines what you are. It makes you into a completely different person. Focusing on your weaknesses will deter and weaken you. Your goal should be to make every action count towards the results you desire.
Our champion today is Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915), the American editor, publisher and author of moralistic essays. As head of sales and advertising of a private company, he became a freelance newspaperman. Hubbard retired in 1892 to found his Roycroft Press in 1893 in New York. He modelled his company after William Morris’ communal press which he had visited in England. From 1895, he issued monthly, the famous “Little Journey” booklets that impacted greatly on the lifestyle of U.S. cities of the time.
Hubbard’s pleasant biographical sketches of famous persons became best sellers. He also started The Philistine, “A message to Garcia” appeared in the Philistine in which the importance of perseverance was drawn as a moral from a Spanish /American War incident. In 1908, Hubbard began to edit and publish a second avant-garde monthly magazine,The Fra which preaches originality as the art of concealing your source and that human progress comes outside of the rules, otherwise we would never have anything new.
Hubbard’s business expanded to include furniture, leatherworks and an art school. His radicalism paid off with a run-away success. But he died tragically in the sinking of the ocean liner, Lusitania in 1915. Valuable collection of his writing are Little Journeys, (1915) 14 volumes and selected writings, (1923) 14 volumes