Yesterday I spoke about the dilemma that many find themselves in these days – great intentions, but no results. We dream of getting our life in order (spiritually or physically or relationally or financially) but we soon discover that dreams alone are not enough to get the job done. So what is the answer? How do we do it?
One of the things that I’ve learned from living my entire life in the DC metro area – one of the most fast paced areas in the country – is that going faster and doing more is not the answer. The secret of success has nothing to do with being able to do more in less time or working harder. I am going to assume that you – like me – are a hard worker and you are trying your best. The issue isn’t lack of effort.
The issue is LACK OF FOCUS. Focus drives success.
Look at it in terms of athletics. What makes Michael Jordan (greatest basketball player of all time) better than so many others who have played the game after him? Natural abilities? Intelligence? Hard work? Of course those all played a role in it, but do you really think that Michael Jordan was more physically gifted than the guys playing today?
NO WAY! Some of the guys playing today can jump higher, run faster shoot better than MJ ever could! And while MJ was certainly intelligent and a tenaciously hard worker, but I can’t say that others aren’t just as smart and don’t work just as hard as well. So what is it then?
IT’S FOCUS! Those who become truly great/successful in any field are the ones who learn to focus the most. The world’s best doctors aren’t necessarily the smartest ones, but the ones who are the most focused or specialized. The most successful musicians aren’t the most talented ones, but rather those who have the ability to focus on their goal and make the sacrifices needed to achieve it.
Focus focus focus! Think about how an unfocused life differs from a focused life. Imagine two sources of light – a standard 100 watt light bulb vs a 10 watt laser beam. What is the difference between the two?
The light bulb technically has more energy (100 watts vs 10 watts). However, the laser beam is much more powerful. Why? FOCUS! A laser is less amount of light but extremely focused and concentrated – compared to a light bulb which is more quantity of light but it’s scattered and travels in all directions.
Which of those two is a better picture of your life? Scattered and travelling in all kinds of directions? Or focused and powerful? The light bulb certainly has more light; but the laser certainly has a greater impact.
Which one are you?
Life is too short to do everything. These days the world is moving faster than ever before. There isn’t enough time to do everything that we want to do. We’d all love to spend more time at home, more time at church, more time at work, more time with friends, more time relaxing, more time reading, more time exercising and the list goes on and on.
But the bottom line is that there isn’t more time. Instead of trying to do more, we need to instead become more focused. What makes a business successful isn’t its ability to produce more products than other businesses; in fact it’s the opposite. The business that will succeed is the one that knows its specialty and its niche and focuses solely on that area.
The same is true for life. Focus drives success. We don’t need to work harder; we need to work smarter. We don’t need to become more efficient; we need to become more effective. We don’t need to do more; we need to focus more.
Discussion: in what ways does your life need to become more focused and what benefits might that focus bring into your life?