We all admire some people’s ability to concentrate, whether they’re training for the Olympics or solving a great societal problem. These folks with great focus have discovered something very important: If you’re focused on a goal, you have an easier time getting where you’re going.
But can you really create focus just by willing yourself to have it? Or is this trait a secondary characteristic of something else?
It’s All About Passion
Broken down to essentials, caring about something is the foundation of focus. After all, the more passion you have about something, the easier it is for you to pay attention to it. Focusing on something that holds no meaning to you can be very challenging.
If you look at anything spectacular that you’ve ever done, it probably involved something that you cared about very deeply. This isn’t just a coincidence. Focus isn’t about discipline; it’s about passion.
Notice the people you know who really struggle with life. You’re likely to find that they haven’t found something to really care about. If you’re in this position, you can really suffer. However, when you’re able to open your heart and truly find something you’re passionate about, happiness is the result.
Ask yourself what makes you cry. Is it the images of starving children on TV? Is it music? Can you imagine the focus and clarity you’d experience if you spent the majority of your time on the thing or things that matter to you the most?
Caring puts you into the perfect state of mind; you’re stimulated enough to take real action, but not to the point of feeling apprehensive or overwhelmed. In fact, when you truly care, it’s harder to not take action!
Finding Your Passion (And Your Focus)
So now that you know what you need to gain focus, let’s get back to finding the thing that you care about the most.
This process will help you find your passion, your focus, and greater happiness:
1. Make a list of the things that you’re truly passionate about. These aren’t necessarily the fun little things you like to do when you have some free time, though they might be. These are the things that you consider to be most important, the worldwide challenges you would fix if you were given a wish.
- These should be things that fascinate you so much that you’d gladly spend your life studying them
2. Organize your list. Put the items on your list in order by the amount of emotion you feel when you imagine yourself being part of each one.
- If there is nothing on your list yet that makes you cry, keep writing. Don’t stop until you’ve found the one that does make you cry. You’ll know your passion when you see it.
Using Your List to Your Advantage
Now that you have your list, ask yourself how much discipline would be required to be part of those items. Would you have to force yourself to focus on them? Or does the mere fact that you care about those items so much simply result in focus? Although each item will certainly involve times when you have to enlist some self-discipline, the big ones won’t take much.
If you feel it’s a challenge to focus on your career, relationship, or any other part of your life, that’s a great sign that something needs to change. Go to your list for ideas and options. Try a new career that fills you with a sense of caring and you’ll never have to “work” another day again.