The sharper the focus, the closer to success we are. This is chiefly because, in order to get what we want, it must first be defined. As Joe Jackson’s song states, “You can’t get what you want ’til you know what you want”. When any part of the big picture is fuzzy, it is difficult to see all of the “working parts” and understand how they mesh to make achievements come together.
For many years I have needed to get certain things done, but have not managed to make any significant progress until now. The reason for this change is primarily due to improved focus. Clarifying what we’re reaching for makes it a lot easier to grasp. Part of defining our desires is a process of elimination. As we go through life and learn what we don’t like and therefore wish to avoid, it becomes more and more clear which things we are willing to work for and keep in our lives.
I am still a long way from considering my goals to have been met. I will never retire: I will die trying. This translates to trying new things and trying in every way to be a better version of myself. I know I’m not perfect and never will be, that is not something I strive for in any way. However, I refuse to accept my negative qualities as necessary. I also realize that people who have been hurt along my path in life have every reason to be skeptical, but that won’t stop me.
Whether I’m writing, building websites, pet-sitting, driving passengers around, or doing something else – I am living by intention. It is my choice to live the life I live and do the things I’m doing, nobody is forcing me to do so. This has a flip side to it: nobody is cracking a whip to help me improve myself, either. If I don’t take it seriously enough to bootstrap it, that slippery slope back to failure is always waiting. It’s far too easy to go that route, and never fun to hit bottom – especially when it happens repeatedly.
Motivational speaker Dani Johnson has a catchphrase that I’ve adopted, and which helps me to recalculate and alter my course periodically. She says, “live by design, not by default” and I even wrote it into a song at one point.
I have learned that when I really want something badly enough, I manage to obtain it. I don’t always keep it… but I do get it. So no matter how many times I may say I want something, if I haven’t cared enough to focus on it and do what it takes to reach that goal, I have only myself to blame.
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” – Mark Caine.
What do you strive for in your life, and how do you keep your focus sharp? Tell me about it in the comments below!