Jul 052014

These words caught me by surprise and brought me sudden burst of laughter.

My face in the mirror isn’t wrinkled or drawn.

My house isn’t dirty. The cobwebs are gone.

My garden looks lovely, and so does my lawn.

I think I might never, put my glasses back on.

There are people who have lost their focus, not because they have not put on their glasses, but because they do not know how important focus is.

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They are easily bored; they feel like they want to try out new things immediately yet tire just as easily. Many of them work for a company for about two and a half years, and then they get bored and think they are wasting an entire lifetime because things are moving so slow. They jump from one job to another and they think that this is the best way to rise in their careers and get better pay. But in doing so, they did not focus on a particular skill, knowledge or an area of specialty and a few years later, just as when age caught up with them, they have not created a name for themselves in the industry, they have no skills that are marketable, all they have are regrets because they let their careers slip away.

I have also met adults who could not focus. They could not hold their attention long, their eyes drift while I speak to them and their thoughts wander. Now they hear, now they don’t.

This is a weakness that must be addressed. Here is the key:  Focus is not a skill; it is a decision.

Focus is intentional, it is not accidental.

Not focusing meant that the person is embarking on a perpetual sense of useless energy.

This sense of urgency may come in the form of worry. Worry based on misplaced urgency, like an important tweet they may have missed, a post in Facebook they need to answer, SMS messages that need reading, emails that need responding or perhaps, a call from the President of the Philippines requiring their service for the country because of a national security crisis only they can solve. And thus they live in a continuous state of non-stop partial attention. This zombie-like stage meant that they could not focus. Everything is a blur. These are not qualities of a person who wanted to be successful in his or her craft.

You need to decide to focus. Life is not a digital game you play on your tablet, that every time you feel bored, you swipe it away. Focus is discipline in action.

What are the areas you should focus on?

Focus on excelling in your craft. Focus on building additional skills. Focus on personal growth and development.

Focus on increasing your network of friends and business contacts, on building trust and credibility and on being a specialist at something that would make you relevant and marketable, so that you can secure a good future.

The future will be very difficult for those who do not know how to focus.

Television journalist Diane Sawyer said: “I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.”

Be like the champion archers, they do not aim at the bull’s eye, they aim and focus at the center of the bull’s eye.

Every successful business person I have met is skilled in the art of focusing.

The question is, are you focused?

(Spend two inspiring days with Francis Kong learning leadership and life skills as he presents Level Up Leadership on July 22-23 at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. For further inquiries contact Inspire at 09158055910 or call 632-6310912 for details.)

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