Hell or high water I was going to write this article. I made a commitment to myself that every Monday and Thursday I would post something new no matter how good or bad it is. So here I am at the end of the day trying to pound out something that is coherent.
It's about focus. Because one of the things I am trying to figure out with my self-exploration is I want to learn something new every day, but what do I eventually focus on. You probably have probably thought about that question, haven't you?
I have heard experts who say," You need to focus on a couple of specific things in order to be good at or become an expert in that thing.
That approach works if you know what you want, but I am the kind of person who is the Ready, Fire, Aim. I just try and maybe it works out, or maybe I fail. To me, that's ok because you always look back and learn something from the process.
Go ask Tony Fadell the guy who created the iPhone and iPod if planned to invent something revolutionary, he probably had no clue when he was in his twenties, he just knew he liked to tinker.
But in doing some research for this article I did find some interesting things that when you are ready to focus on what you want to do how to do it.
This may sound a little counterintuitive, but if you want to focus you have to unfocus. What? That makes no sense. In order to do the thing I most want to do, I have to do the opposite. YEP!
There was a study done by the Harvard Medical School that shows that there is something in our brain called the Default Mode Network (DMN) and it is responsible for toggling your brain from focus to unfocusing.
The DMN allows you to switch from past and present so your brain can make an estimation or connect memories you have in order to help you figure out what actions you might take in the future.
What it does essentially is it helps increase your-self awareness and creativity, and this can lead to better decision making.
To active the DMN If you want better focus, you can, use positive constructive daydreaming (PCD) just let your mind wander a little, either by doing some light reading, gardening, or something that allows you to disengage a little.
I love this one. When we are tired or feeling a little stressed taking a nap will clear some of the needless occupying thoughts out. It's a little reset for the brain and you will be better at being able to focus when you wake up.
Create New Experiences
"A Mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." In order to grow, you have to try new stuff. It's casting a wider net at first of what you are interested in.
Until you try something new you may never know your true passion.
A new experience will introduce something unfamiliar, something that may challenge you or you may get incredibly bored with. But here was a bit of wisdom I found from James Clear who said, "Do something till it comes easy."
I think we all know that feeling of when we engage with something we really enjoy, and we get into the zone or the flow as it's also known. Where you could spend hours and hours and it feels like a few minutes went by.
So by creating new experiences and then whittling them down to, where something comes easy, is another way of finding your focus.
Eventually, you have to switch from trying to doing. That can be a hard thing, but if you have tried enough things and done it long enough you may have figured out what to focus on.
It is a leap of faith, its that fork in the road that all of us eventually need to take.
Welcome to the Grind
Congratulations you have decided what you want to focus on... but this is where things get hard. Many of us say we want success, to be a founder of a tech company, or invent something revolutionary and want those results. But are we ready for the process? Are we actually ready to commit to the day in, day out grind we have to go through to get to the other side?
James Clear said, "We do not rise to the level of our goals, we rise to the level of our process." You could love playing the piano and want to be a concert pianist but if you can't handle the every day of practicing it is going to be difficult for you to accomplish that goal.
The same can be said for becoming a healthier person, or wanting to start a business.
A good example of having a process is Neil Pasricha who is an author and world-renown speaker and an overall great human being. His story is pretty remarkable about how he got to where he is today. It started as a simple habit of posting something he observed every day.
It was nothing extremely hard other than he did it for 1000 days straight because his life wasn't where he wanted to be. It was called 1000 awesome things the focus of it was just observing what he thought was awesome. For example here were some fo his posts, "When hiccups stop, Coming back to your own bed after a long trip" and 998 other things.
From that little habit and focus, he went from just a blog to writing a book to achieving incredible success. It didn't happen overnight. He started something that he did consistently for 1000 days that he enjoyed.
Where to go from here
You may have come to this blog wanting a specific answer about how to focus on what you want to get out of life, or work or something else, and I walked you through a few possibilities of solving that problem, but I'm not sure I can give THE answer.
I am still figuring that out for myself. What I can tell you is that you start with something you think you like, and try a few things. You'll start to feel what works for you. Eventually, it will come more easily to you.
Don't be afraid of the work it's the process that will make you who you want to become.