Life can be rather tricky. Things can be going smoothly for an extended period of time, and then, out of nowhere, you find yourself mired in a conundrum. Sometimes the surprise alone is enough to throw us into a tailspin. We end up losing control, losing focus and losing ourselves in the confusion.
But there is a way out. You are capable of straightening yourself out and steering yourself back on the right track – all it takes is a bit of focus.
Depression, laziness, tragedy, failure and boredom can set us off our path of choice and onto a path in the opposite direction. Getting your life together is simple in theory. Doing so only requires two things: a goal and the focus to get there. Putting this into practice, on the other hand, can be more difficult than it seems, but only because we make it so.
Much too often I hear people complaining about how their dreams will never be fulfilled because other people are doing their best to make sure they fail. Well, sure – there's always competition; if there weren't, life would be boring. But if you were to sit down and really figure out why you aren't successful, why you aren't living your dream, you'd come to the conclusion that you and only you are to blame for your incompetence.
Focus is the key to success. It is the one thing that every single successful person has. It's one thing to know where you want to go and it's another to keep the vision of your destination alive in your mind every moment of your waking day. I am sure many of you fall into the same mistakes as I have in the past. You get super motivated — you have a revelation — you figure out what you want in life. You find yourself a goal.
You then sit down and plan out how you are going to achieve what you set out to do, step by step. When you are done, you have a flawless plan of how you will get from your shitty work position all the way to the success that you know you deserve. Then, once you have everything down in writing, you put the piece of paper away in your desk drawer and forget about it altogether.
Maybe you're not quite as bad as I was; maybe you keep that paper on you for a few weeks. Maybe you actually do start to get things rolling in the right direction. Yet, somehow, you end up finding yourself lost. You had a plan — hell, you still have a plan — but you are no longer following it.
You lost focus. It may have been only for a second — a millisecond. But here you are, finding yourself just as far away from your goal as you were when you first planned out your trip to success. That's all it takes, just one second of laxity. One second of taking your focus off the finish line and putting it onto something of lesser importance, and you find yourself either drifting further away from your goal or spinning wildly out of control.
And that's okay. Keeping focused for extended periods of time takes practice. This is what most people fail to realize: losing focus isn't the end — it's only a pit stop along the road to success. The trick is to catch yourself once you do lose focus, and steer yourself back towards the right direction. There are many reasons why people lose focus: outside forces can most definitely affect it. Having relationship problems? Friend going through a difficult time?
Roommate's birthday this weekend and you already know the after-party will be taking place in your living room until the early hours of morning? Falling off your path is not the end of the line; if you find yourself spinning out of control, grab the wheel with both hands, set your gaze in the direction you want to go and swing the wheels in that direction.
You may not be able to straighten out instantaneously because of all the force that you created, which is now working against you. But keep your gaze — your focus — locked on that finishing line and you will get there 100 percent of the time. If you want success, then you must stay focused. What you focus your mind on will manifest itself in reality as long as you put yourself into action, and head in the right direction.
Sure we may live in a time where it is hard to focus with the myriad of distractions around us, but that the challenge, to figure it out and break through. If you look at all the people who have come before you and became successful, you will notice what they had in common: focus and belief in self. Once you have those two things you are halfway there.
The saddest thing in the world is wasted talent, and with the way so many people in this generation diluting their time and talent with bullshit, it seems as though there will be more than a few “what-ifs” and “could-have-beens” in a few years. Know how to control your focus and that is how you will control your life. It comes down to self-discipline, and knowing how to steer your life in the direction you want it to go.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
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