People are naturally attracted to intense focus. That’s why we admire so many celebrities, musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs—they have mastered the art of focus. On the surface, it might appear that we love celebrity because of the attention that celebrities receive, but this too is just focus-envy. We want to be the center of focus. Yet, gaining other’s attention requires that one showcase their own form of immense focus. Overnight success is rarely that. It’s a culmination of years and years of intense focus that comes to a point in a seemingly fast period of time. True talent is not given, but cultivated with years of practice—or focus.
Focus is something that I have always struggled with, as many do. Those who know me will often have trouble defining exactly what it is I “do.” I have been a film producer, actor, music promoter, internet marketer, community manager, real estate agent, real estate appraiser, blogger, and held many other titles over the years. I’m the classic example of “Jack of all trades, master of nothing.” Even with this blog, I’ve struggled with focusing on an end goal. Whimsical fancy is a freeing thing until you realize that it is preventing you from finding what Gay Hendricks calls your, “Zone of Genius.” Genius is just focusing on the same thing exclusively for an extended period of time. Without focus, you have no genius. I’ve started directing my focus on writing this year. I am a writer. This is where I put my focus—most of the time; and that’s the rub. Focus is more difficult than we first think.
Spiritually speaking, all religions and practices are based around the idea of focus. Meditation is anti-focus—focusing inward into infinity. Prayer is focus upon that which is wanted or a focus on gratitude. Affirmations serve that same purpose of focusing on desires. Mantras are merely devices for focus. So, the first thing one must do is decide what they wish to focus upon. Until there is an object of focus, it is very difficult to line up energy to make significant progress.
Too often, I have found myself wanting something very broad, without allowing any fine-tuning of the desire. This, I believe, is a defense mechanism that many of us carry around subconsciously. If we do not define the things that we really want, then we do not have to suffer the failure, should we not achieve them in any grand fashion. And so, without a real focus, we might be content, but we never experience the excitement, thrill, and exhilaration that comes with the journey of attempting something and succeeding. Or often, the intense learning and expansion of perspective that comes with failure. Without focus, we never make real progress.
As a living meditation to remind myself of the power of focus this week, I’ve been hand-folding my business cards into double tetrahedrons. Each “secret universe letter” requires intense focus, as it is slowly signed and folded into place. With each fold, I hold the intention that these letters will get into the hands of those that need my assistance and those that can further assist me in my own desires. I’ve tried to fold these in the middle of public places around SXSW, and have found that, indeed, people are drawn to my focus. Many conversations have been started without my doing anything but focusing on these folded letters, and waiting for people to ask me about them.
We’re quick to try and cut corners or find the easy way out, but we might be doing ourselves a disservice. Intense focus allows the universal energies to rally up behind your thoughts and ideas, and then effortlessly draws to you the people that can exponentially move you in the direction of your desires. We look at the way things have been done in the past, and mimic or copy them to save the time and effort of thinking about whether it is the right way to do them. If we would lend our focus more often to forming our own creative solutions, we might find that we start to break away from the pack and move closer to true innovation.
Focus does not mean doing something the way someone else has done things over and over again until you’re as good as them. That, of course, is one way to start moving. When you focus on the way you want to do it, though, regardless of what you’ve seen work in the past, then things just start to fall into place. I’ve seen people who do nothing but stack rocks in public places take home $500+ dollars a day. People are drawn to their focus, because deep down, we all wish we could focus so intensely. Focus allows us to send ourselves hypnotic suggestions that alter our beliefs to fall in line with our desires. The only goal for this lifetime, or any other, is to master the art of focus. When you learn to focus, the world literally begins to revolve around you. Focus is that which creates realities.
What are you focusing on?