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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Focus Matters Most

Robert Stevenson Blog - focus

The great film director George Lucas once said, “Your focus determines your reality.” Psychologists have estimated that we have between 50,000 - 70,000 thoughts a day. With all that going on in our heads, no wonder it is no small task to get ourselves to focus on key issues. But, in order to achieve success, we need to learn how to focus these thoughts on WHAT MATTERS MOST. If we let our attention jump from one thing to another, we will have a busy, but most likely, an unproductive day. Simple example: If you chase two rabbits, both will escape; when your focus is scattered, your effectiveness is diminished.

I am preparing to present a program next week to a multi-national company who has been in business for over 150 years and has over 5,000 employees. We sent a 12-question survey to a few people who will be attending the meeting (36 who are in management positions), so I could get a better pulse on what is going on at their company.

One of my favorite questions is … “What is the #1 thing you should concentrate on, to be the most successful company in your industry?” I was searching to find out if the company is focused, is everyone on the same page, all pulling together for the same goal. Out of the 36 people I surveyed, I received 22 totally different responses. They are all in the same business, but yet 61% are NOT on the same page; they see what they should be concentrating on daily, differently. In fact, only 11% agreed on one answer. That is a problem.

An ordinary light will illuminate a room. But a focused light will start a fire. If you want to ignite your company to success … then start concentrating on getting EVERYONE FOCUSED on “What is the #1 thing they should concentrate on to be the most successful company in your industry?” Step #1, is to answer that question. Step #2, is to decide how that can be done. Step #3, is make sure everyone understands steps #1 and #2 and follows through.

One day a Zen master wanted to show his students a new technique of shooting an arrow. He told his students to cover his eyes with a cloth and then he shot his arrow. When he opened his eyes, he saw the target with no arrow in it and when he looked at his students, they looked embarrassed because their teacher had missed.The Zen master asked them, “What lesson do you think I intend to teach you all today?” They answered, “We thought you would show us how to shoot at the target without looking.” The Zen master said, “No, I taught you that if you want to be successful, don’t forget the target. You have to keep an eye on the target, otherwise you WILL miss.”

My question to you: How can you hit a target, if you don’t know what it is? Our destiny is consistently shaped by our thoughts, so we must FOCUS those thoughts on the most important TARGET. In my experience, focus is THE most important determination of whether we’ll achieve a goal or not. Having multiple goals spreads out your focus and makes it less likely that you’ll complete any of the goals. The great martial arts expert, Bruce Lee once said: “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like focus.

Ignore all the noise and don’t be distracted by the things that have nothing to do with hitting your target. So, I will ask again: “What is the #1 thing you should concentrate on to be the most successful company in your industry?” ASK … ANSWER … Determine How … THEN get everyone DOing it !


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