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The Power of Focus

Focus: a central point, of attraction, attention, or activity.

Does your mind ever race with all you have to do—not only today, but also this week, month, or year? How do you feel when the obligations and opportunities far outweigh your capacity to respond to them? Tired, weary, drained?

If you are frantically trying to pursue everything but feel like you are completing little or nothing, you are not alone.

It seems a high percentage of individuals lack a particular, but major, characteristic―focus. Today, with unlimited opportunities and continual communications from multiple sources, it is easy for life to become a constant distraction.

Focus is the single most beneficial strategy and habit I have learned, implemented and wholly embraced in the past several years. Many years ago, I was trying to manage no less than seven different business ventures at the same time. Crazy, I know, but I mistakenly believed that if I did not have all those choices, I would become bored.

Of course, the outcome was lack of focus and limited success. This is not to say that individuals can’t have multiple interests. But if you are required to run and lead them all, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Since purchasing CRG, I have sold or divested my interests in every other business venture except for real estate investing. Now that I am completely living on purpose, I have discovered more than enough variety and flexibility within CRG to meet all my needs—and more.

Staying focused within one venture is important. Think about the sports world. How many multi-sport superstars come to mind? Probably not many! Michael Jordan tried to switch to baseball—no luck. Bo Jackson, a gifted athlete, tried to play both football and baseball and ended up with hip replacements before the age of 30.

Successful playing-coaches are just as rare. Can you focus on playing and coaching at the same time?

Recent research confirms that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

Distractions, or lack of focus, makes you unhappy! Life can become a series of unfocused distractions if you let it. All of us are constantly being lured by other possibilities. The way you respond to this noise will determine your level of success (focus).

So, how do you achieve focus?

  1. Know where you are going.
    If you don’t, you can easily be moved off course. Once I acknowledged I could have all the variety I needed within CRG, I began the process of focus. One at a time, over a period of a year, I removed all other distractions. 
  2. Have a plan. 
    Know where you are going and how you plan to get there.
  3. Keep your own counsel. 
    Everyone will have an opinion about what you should do and how you should live your life to be successful. But there is only one person who knows what’s best for you—and that’s you.
  4. Stay calm. 
    When training to become a licensed scuba diver, I learned that the easiest way to die underwater is to panic. The result of panic is usually poor decisions. Keep your wits about you; think through each of your options.
  5. Be clear about your core values. 
    All your decisions should be ranked against your core values. Be clear about them and hold them dear, as if your life depended on it. One way to clarify your core values is to complete the Values Preference Indicator.
  6. Learn to say no―and feel good about it. 
    Too many times, guilt and the demands of others get us off focus. Stay true to your course.
  7. Play to your strengths; build a team around your weaknesses. 
    Especially in small business, many of us try to do it all. How can you be focused if you are doing everything? And how many of us are fully competent and gifted at everything?
  8. Create a process where you focus only on the current project and forget the rest. 
    A major hindrance to focus is trying to keep all your activities listed in your head. Set up a tracking system that works for you. It must be written down somewhere, other than that virtual place called your brain.
  9. Let go of the past and what was. 
    I had to let go of the assumption that I needed seven businesses to feel fulfilled. I now understand how wrong I was in that premise. Quite honestly, once the last business was sold, I never felt more energized. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
  10. Get going. 
    Focus requires action. There is usually an inverse proportion between how much something is on your mind and how much your mind is getting done.

Almost all of the most famous successful people of the world had focus: Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Wayne Gretzky, Stephen King, Walt Disney and so on. They are not known for hundreds of different accomplishments but for one focus. Focus is very powerful and invigorating. I hope you, too, can experience the freedom and power that comes from this level of focus.

Action Steps

The Power of Focus

1. Know where you are going.

2. Have a plan to get you there.

3. Stay calm. Nothing good comes out of being frantic.

4. Know your core values and start making decisions based on your values. Take the Values Preference Indicator to help you or consider the full eCourse, “What Do You Really Value?”

5. Start letting go of all activities that are not part of your plan or direction.

6. Say “no” to new opportunities and ventures that don’t align with your focus.

7. Play to your strengths and build a team to fill your weaknesses. Take the Personal Style Indicator to confirm your strengths.

8. Set up a system in writing to track your projects; you can’t stay focused without it. Don’t try to operate out of your head.

9. Notice the vigor that focus brings into your life.

10. And, of course, have fun and encourage others to do the same—which is focus.

Until next time, keep Living On Purpose!

Ken Keis



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