The Power of Focus

In 2014 I was hiking with my husband in Northern Thailand.  He was trailing behind attempting to take in the moment in many ways:  through a go pro, a point-and-shoot camera, and of course his own two eyes.  I cautioned him to focus on where we was walking and be careful.  My words fell on deaf ears.

Suddenly, I heard him scream and turned to witness him rolling down the side of the mountain.  I began to panic and screamed myself until I heard a thud.  Fortunately, he only fell about 15 ft.  When he got up he seemed okay to walk but was covered in fire ants.  Fortunately, we weren’t too far from a waterfall where he was able to wash them off.

When you juggle too many things at one time you will eventually crash or, in this case, fall off of a mountain.  Focus on one thing at a time.  This way you won’t overburden your body or mind.  A good way to do this is to make a list each morning.  You can write down the order of priority and start working on each task one by one.  A strategy for setting priorities is something I will go into detail about in a future article.  Making lists helps you keep track of things without fearing you will forget something.  Otherwise you will be engaged in one activity but your mind will be elsewhere worrying about all the other things you need to do.  Relieve your mind of that burden and allow yourself to focus on one task.  If that task is hiking a mountain you will thank yourself for it!

Master Your Craft

Another risk of doing too many things is that you may not do them all well.  When you don’t do them well you might think that you lack ability when what you truly lack is focus.  If you want to learn to play the guitar, become fluent in French, and learn to sail, I say do them all!  But do them in sequence.  Master one, then move on to the other.  By dedicating yourself fully to something you are giving it, and yourself, a fair chance.  Building upon your mastered skills is encouraged, but trying to master them all simultaneously can prove counter-productive.  Ultimately, it could adversely affect your confidence.

I have seen this myself in life as I was a habitual multi-tasker.  At any given time I would be bartending, producing a TV show, working a 40 hour/week job, and planning a vacation.  My entire 20’s were spent in the pursuit of many things at once.  In my thirties I was given sage advice to focus on one thing at a time.  By following it I have achieved success in many areas and cultivated greater confidence in my abilities.  Self-confidence is the golden key to expanding the landscape of your hopes and dreams.

If you are reading this article then you have a thriving curiosity that will take you far in your pursuits.  I encourage the desire to learn to continue burning, but suggest honing in one one feat a time.  Focus, focus, focus!  It could mean the difference between being a ‘jack’ of all trades or a ‘master’ of all trades.  Be the master!