How To be Focused : A Simple Habit For a Successful life.

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HOW TO STAY FOCUSED : AN ESSENTIAL HABIT OF SUCCESS AND SIMPLE LIVING

By: Donald Chukwubuikem Nwokedi


Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.
Alexander Graham Bell. 

 The best way to encounter the strength of your effort is to get it to be focused.
When I was small there was a small glass we use in playing. It is transparent. When the sun rises we let the rays incident on this glass surface_ what this glass does is to channel the sun's energy, as much as it can gather to one place .

Beneath the glass, you will see a beam of light_ The position of this beam can be changed by simply changing the position of this glass.

One thing amazing about this illustration, is that that beam can make a plastic, nylon, or other similar fible materials to begin melting down when once it is being shifted close to it. But left alone, it's had for the sun to melt down such materials.
What do you think that makes this materials to burn?
They burn not because they have any special ingredients in them, but rather because this glass was able to channel the solar energy into one place.

Instead of the sun's energy to be scattered, it helps to bring them at one place. And you know that the sun has energy. So the only power this glass has is 'focus. It attracts different rays of the sunlight and forms a beam with them by focusing them at a point.

I will tell you the secret behind success. And the one thing that separates highly successful people from the majority of the world's population who manages to survive.
The difference is 'focus. Focus is the one quality you must develop to achieve success or anything worthwhile.
When Andrew Carnegie talked about the secret of success he said you must "put all your eggs in one basket and then watch them carefully".
Focus comes in two major forms :

1. Mind focus.

We literally receive hundreds of thoughts in a day, which ranges from thoughts about what we do everyday and needs everyday to thoughts of what we fear or hope for_ or perhaps thoughts of new unadulterated ideas.Within those range of thoughts are contained thought of what we do want and thought of those we do not want. This is where the ability to choose plays an important role_ all you have to do is to choose those thoughts that leads to your goal. Then avoid those ones that are negative and are detrimental to a successful happy living.

Examples of negative thoughts to avoid are: envy, jealousy, arrogance, hopelessness, anxiety or fear , lust, selfishness, vengeance, greed, and laziness. They are poisons that are taken little by little.
So how do you go about avoiding these emotions, it is simple, when they come up simply shift your mind from them to positive ones, don't try to consider them or even fight them. Just think another thing positive , more often in case of fear, you can provide time to deal with it. Focus on the task at hand and if they persist on coming up on your mind, just say the opposite and let it go. Like for instance, when the thought of envy comes to your mind_ perhaps thought about a person who is always winning you, just throw it over and say things like, well even though this person beats me, he still gives me the opportunity to compete. And not everyone has the opportunity. And by thinking like this, you simply move your self from the negative plane of thought to the positive.
Other emotions you can practice to help you replace negative thoughts/emotions in your life, these are thoughts you need to encourage and entertain each time they pop up in your mind or each time you want to replace the negatives. Emotions such as: Love, perseverance , industry,friendship, frugality, loyalty, courage, trust, joy, good humour, enthusiasm, peace, serenity, patience, tolerance, harmony, and responsibility.
Thinking positive thoughts helps our mind to look up for possibilities and that's why highly successful people try as much as they could to stay positive. When you ask people like Carlos Slim the secret of success, he tell its practising positive emotions, also ask Warren Buffett, he will recommend you give unconditional love. Let me tell you what Jack Canfield said about successful people:
Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.
Thoughts do pop up like email messages in your inbox, but you have to decide which email to read from, and this you can do by reading the title they come with. When a new thought comes up, you will recognise it in your mind , then you have to check if you need to think it through or not.

2. Activities focus:

Newton's second law of motion states that action is equal to reaction. This law governs almost every aspect of life. Not just in science but in productivity.
You are not what you say you will do, but what you are doing right now. All your actions should be guided by a purpose_ first, you begin by asking this question :
will my present actions lead to my goals?
Will others benefit from it? Isn't there any better alternative?
When you answer to these questions are 'yes, in regards to any of your actions ,go ahead. Do it.
But when your reply is' no, it is time to retreat. Watch your steps and do the right thing.
Another important factor in this section is trying to catch all birds that flies over your head, when you try to achieve many things that most often are irrelevant to your goals you end up achieving nothing. You want to pass exams yet you want to play games, it won't work. As Warren Buffett said, "The difference between successful people and highly successful people is that highly successful people say no to almost every thing." So don't try to achieve too many things, or engage in every activity that catches your eye_ have the courage to say 'No. Be picky in action.
Do very few things that leads to your goal and do them well. A classmate one time said to me, " I only buy what I need". Well, I took that as an advise. From that moment onwards I have only bought what I needed. It have been saving me a lot of money. So only pick those activities that will contribute more to your life_ then give them all the energy it requires. As Swanni Vivekanda said, " Take up one idea. Make that idea your life . Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the secret of success. "

Another point to realise is that the opposite of being focused is drifting. Drifters rarely get what they want. They are like vehicles that rides with their back. They either moves so slow or moves fast to the wrong direction. As Brian Tracy the author of "maximum achievement", candour "you can't hit the target you cannot see." You must have something you are going after and then engage in the right thoughts and actions.
I will remind you on another point on the story of when I was growing up that we talked about initially, when the light from the sun incidents directly on any of those rubber or plastic materials it cannot get them burnt because the energy is not concentrated. The same goes with our lives. You need to concentrate your energy on few things, those that lead to your goal. If you are working, give it what is required, don't play while working. When you are at the office doing your job, you are working not having fun_ so work and give it all.
Are you a student? An employee, an entrepreneur? Put your ass down and read, do your work do something right,stop procrastinating and drifting, putting your responsibility off will create bigger works for the future and will hamper productivity.
The first step to a successful and focused life is to decide what you want in every area of you life. If you have not done this by now, choose a quiet time, pick a notebook and write down every thing you want in every area of your life, you health, finances, family and future enjoyment. Then make an action plan plan, making sure that every step is headed in that direction. You can simply search on the Internet to know how to achieve any of those goals.

Questions to determine how focused you are in your life at this point.



  1. Have I an objective, a goal that I'm going after?
  2. Have I attained the goal that I have established for myself this year? (you should work with a definite yearly goal to attain as part of your life goal.)
  3. Have I resisted the habit of procrastination to decrease my efficiency?
  4. have I been persistent in following my plan to completions?
  5. Have I wasted time or energy due to lack of focus?

If your answer to each of these questions is 'YES', then you are a focused individual and the sky is your spring_board. But if you answer is 'No, it's time to try and change your ways, life is not a practice arena where after making mistakes you can learn and go on to the main stage to perform well, every minute is your precious life passing away. One thing happens when you start setting goals and getting focused _ you become an achiever, a doer and not just a talker.
Sticking to my purpose has made this post a reality for when Gandhi was asked to tell a boy to stop eating sugar buy the boys mother probably because he was overweight, Gandhi told the boy's mother to give him(Gandhi) some time to stop the habit himself before he can tell the boy to do same. Being focused is a good attribute we can easily develop through practice.

Remember »

At first it will be difficult but with time, a period of one year, you will become powerful. An achiever who says what he wants and gets what he says. Like a beam, you can shine. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, mind, might and all your strength.

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