I’ve written about this topic several other times, even using the title “focus”. Hence, Focus (again). It’s an important topic and I find I need to continually remind myself about it.
As a younger dude, I would be keen on too much variety. But focus in training is essential. Focus in life is essential.
I have Stuart Briscoe (a Milwaukee area pastor I’ve written about before) audio CDs in my car. Recently, I listened to one where he was talking about purpose. The key to life, he said, is to live for something definite and transcendent.
Now, remember that this is a dude in his 80s who has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. He still travels the world. In short, he’s impressive and we should listen to him.
On this particular audio CD he talks about young people who think anything is possible and later learn that by choosing one thing, they can’t have another. And therefore, the possibilities begin to narrow. Hence, the need to select—to focus—and to live for something definite and transcendent.
It’s a challenge. Stuart says that there will be times when you have a calling. I agree. You’ll get a sense of direction and be compelled to follow it. If not, you languish.
In any case, let’s take a step back from these higher principles and address some immediate day-to-day challenges we might be facing. Focus.
I’ve learned to focus through training for quite a while now. As stress piles up, sometimes my focus wanes. But for people who haven’t spent years training in the gym and seeing how their body grows and adapts with intelligently applied focus, they are often distracted by shiny objects.
If you imagine your focus as a beam of light, you realize that the beam disperses the more things you try to focus on. It doesn’t work. You need to concentrate. So, this is a reflective post about focus, concentration, and meditation. I’m asking us to look at life and double check our focus.
Living for something definite and transcendent, by the way, is the key to focus. It’s far easier to focus if you are mapping your day-to-day activities towards higher objectives that act as a driving force for you.
I’m going to close with some thoughts I read in the NY Times today. It was about the Golden State Warriors and how technology can improve and break things at the same time. This team is playing phenomenally because of relying on technology (monitoring athletes sleep, stamina, on court movements, etc.) to their advantage. Yet, because of their record, now the team’s tickets are soaring in price, they are moving out of Oakland to San Francisco and the crowd is gentrifying.
Likewise, with the tech in our lives, we have a benefit and a cost. And the cost is focus. I joked a while ago that the next time I see someone texting and walking I was going to punch them in the face. it’s a joke, but I’m serious. We have to put the phone, stop endlessly scrolling on stupid apps like Facebook, and we need to pay attention to the world around us.