1. The ability to focus is one of the most important mental skills to learn.
2. Each day you need to overcome the distractions of our world to focus on what is most important for you to accomplish, be it at work, at home, or during your passionate pursuits.
3. Focus is a powerful tool for managing stress, directing your mind, taking care of yourself, and reaching your goals.
"In all my years working with Olympic athletes, I have learned that focus and concentration are the most important skills. Those who attend to the things that will make them successful, succeed. Those who get distracted are left wondering why they didn’t win. It’s that simple." - Dr. Greg Wells
Focus is effective in helping all of us perform, control stress or improve mental and physical health. It can also be critical for success of a business, such as when Steve Jobs came back to Apple. The struggling company was making many different configurations of computers, printers, monitors and accessory products. None were great and none were selling well. The stock price had tumbled.
At the first board meeting, Jobs walked to a whiteboard, picked up a marker and drew a huge + sign. In each of the four quadrants of the +, he wrote one product. He said that they would make a personal and a business version of a laptop and a desktop. Everything else had to go.
The results were unreal. By focusing on just four products, Apple established a culture of excellence to support great new ideas and designs. And they laid the foundation for the creation of the iPod, which revolutionized the music industry, and the iPhone, which revolutionized the mobile phone industry.
Without focusing on essentials and eliminating distractions, these achievements would never have been possible. Here's another example from the sports world.
Jose Bautista’s famous “bat flip” home run – a three-run shot in the ALCS against Texas on October 13, 2015 – is now up there with the most famous home-runs of all time. Jose may no longer be a Blue Jay, but this moment remains a perfect example of how an athlete uses focus to get into the zone.
Here’s how Jose described it in his Player’s Tribune article, “Are you Flippin Kidding Me?”:
"We knocked in the tying run…the crowd just exploded…50,000 people going crazy…Then I took that lonely walk to the plate with everything on the line….My adrenaline wasn’t 10-out-of-10. It was ten-million-out-of-10. The stage was set. I was so locked in that all I could see was the pitcher. Everything else was out of focus. It was so loud that it was quiet."
What he was describing is the ability to channel the intensity of the moment into his performance by focusing on one and only one thing – the ball. That’s how an elite athlete gets in the zone and stays there.
It’s no different for you and me. Each day we need to overcome the distractions of our world to focus on what is most important for us to accomplish if we are to reach our potential. For you, that may happen on the days you’re working or between shifts, depending on your life goals. Distractions may be preventing you from living to your potential in any area of life.
But what is focus? The Focusing Institute (www.focusing.org) puts it like this:
“'Focusing' is to enter into a special kind of awareness, different from our everyday awareness. It is open, turned inward, centered on the present and on your body’s inner sensations. When doing Focusing, you silently ask, “How am I now?'”
Here’s what’s key in that description: attention is turned away from the world around you and toward the task so that only the current mission and present moment exist. These are required precursors for getting into the zone or a flow state.
The ability to focus is one of the most important mental skills I want you to learn. It’s a powerful tool for managing stress, directing your mind, taking care of yourself, and reaching your goals. It helps you to think clearly at work, at home, and during your passionate pursuits. And it all starts with realizing how important focus is.
Today's POWER-UP: The Power of Focus
1. SCHEDULE TIME IN YOUR CALENDAR WHEN YOU FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY ON ONE TASK. THIS TASK SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOU.
2. AS AN AIRLINE EMPLOYEE, THIS MIGHT NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU ON A DAILY BASIS, HOWEVER IF YOU DO THIS ON YOUR DAYS OFF, THIS WILL ENABLE YOU TO GET YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS DONE WELL IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME, WHILE SUPER CHARGING YOUR LIFE.
Dive Deeper: The 90 - 90 - 1 Principle
ACCORDING TO MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE ROBIN SHARMA, YOU SHOULD SPEND THE FIRST 90 MINUTES OF YOUR DAY ON THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK YOU NEED TO ACCOMPLISH. TRY THIS FOR 90 DAYS. HENCE THE 90 - 90 - 1 PRINCIPLE. CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT IT.
The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.