Focus

The human brain sees through attention. Focused effort improves mastery. Managing attention shapes success. Where’s your focus?

We see that to which we are paying attention. Our brain screens out things that aren’t changing and can ignore the raft of elements irrelevant to our focus. We are programmed for confirmation bias. This also means that focus often brings us that we seek. Shifting focus enables us to see things we missed before.

Focus also creates the positive sensation of flow. When we concentrate on matching our rising skill to rising challenge we become absorbed in the task. We enjoy the timeless feeling of growing mastery in that focus. Sustaining focus is essential to continued development over time. Focus and you create your own unique expertise.

In coaching, you often find people can’t see the opportunities and the strengths that they have. They are so focused on barriers, issues and threats that the opportunities surprise them. That has been my personal experience of taking the leap from corporate life to consulting. I was so worried by the risks that I was surprised by the opportunities. I needed to retrain my attention to the opportunities.

Where’s your focus? How is your focus helping you achieve your purpose?

Mindful

Mindfulness was a common theme of discussion at the first Australian Do Lectures. Many of the speakers referenced the importance of their practice in some way. Many of the attendees were practitioners of one technique of mindfulness or another.

In one discussion, we explored the many mindfulness techniques that people did not even consider a practice. These ranged from a deep breath at frustration, to a long morning walk or the powerful time alone with your thoughts when swimming.

Why would an event of doers be so focused on discussion of meditation, yoga, reflection and the other practices of mindfulness and reflection?

Mindfulness is a precondition to presence and focus. A mind that is not present and that is cluttered with thoughts and emotions will struggle to focus on the opportunities for change. Irrelevant thoughts, distractions and doubts eat at the capability to deliver and create change.

The simple practice of being mindful can help you to help make the world a better place. Importantly, it will change you in the process too.