Focus is an elusive creature.
Always “late for a very important date”, the white rabbit of attention scampers about lacking rhyme or reason. Encountering an ever-increasing bombardment of information, the mind is susceptible to wandering from stimulus to stimulus and losing its way.
I’ve had this problem in choosing my own path.
Just when it seemed I’d settled on one option, my brain has leaped to another with little warning.
I spoke with an entrepreneur well on his way to becoming a billionaire several months ago. Unemployed and uncertain, I had managed to use what I call “polite persistence” to secure an interview for a job. I’d been impressed by a speech he gave at an event I attended in October, his calm personality oozing through every word–the same easiness with which he approached our half-hour phone conversation.
At some point in the 30 minutes, when my nerves had settled enough, I innately realized I had been granted a unique opportunity to pick the brain of someone I admire. The tenor of our exchange shifted from that of “prospective employer to jobseeker” to something more akin to “wise friend to confused buddy”.
In desperate hours, it is easy to lose track of what you’re hearing.
My stress-induced haze prevented me from committing much of what was said to memory. Of the few snippets I do recall, I became transfixed on his description of a period in his life “15 years ago” he believed was similar to my situation. Having struggled for a while and bounced across the country, he made a decision and “leaned into it”.
I am still learning what it means to have that level of concentration.
He’d given me a window into his mind and, over the last four months, I’ve looked through it again and again and again. Every time, I’ve been left with a singular question:
“What stirs me so much I must pursue it to my very end?”
I’ve been blessed with the intellect and talent to really do anything I choose. After months self-analysis, I have accepted this as fact and, in the future, I’ll help you understand why I was afraid to admit that (to myself or anyone else) for a very long time.
I’ve shed my bashfulness because I’m grateful to have the option, and–arrogant as it may sound–in much of my life I’ve struggled because I didn’t know where to take it.
It’s humbling and confusing.
The resulting misguided chase led me to where I am today.
Without a sense of purpose–a destination–we end up going nowhere.
Clarity, the gold sifted from the muddy waters of a lost mind, can strike in a flash or grow deliberately like a tree. For me, it has been more the latter than the former. Over weeks, in a painstaking search through all of my life, I have discovered my true love.
Like any relationship, time must be set aside for nurturing and growth. Producing a beautiful garden requires constant pruning and planting, weeding and watering. Quality is a direct reflection of the inspired energy poured into the endeavor with tireless consistency.
When this focus is absent, the flower withers.
By pinpointing my direction, I am certain to blossom.
ALSO IN THIS SERIES
The Faith Soliloquy