I started this morning online – which I try not to do because that often leads to more social media than I intend. I needed to check the radar since the wind was picking up and the clouds were dark . . . and social media is RIGHT THERE, so I checked it while I was on.
A post by Harleena Singh, How to stay Focused to Achieve Your Goals, popped up in my Twitter feed and I had to take a moment to read it. Although I have been making some major changes, or at least some better choices, because of the 30 Day Family Challenge, her words stomped all over my toes.
It reminded me of a conversation I had with my younger brother, Dan. Dan was only 5’6” and still managed to land a college scholarship for basketball. His coaches urged him to pursue baseball, but Dan’s heart was not in that particular sport. He practiced more, studied more, and perfected his skills more. Dan, with the help of my parents, then created a packet to send out to college recruiters. He pursued his goal with boldness.
So I asked Dan, “What made you do it?”
His response surprised me a little. “I think it was because I was told I could not do it that I determined to do it.”
In her article, Harleena Singh brought this concept home for me. It is not about having the most talent, the most resources or even the most opportunities. It is about digging in and doing what I know that I can do despite what others around me might be saying.
Although the “Land of Focus” is more of a fairytale than a reality around my house – home schooling two teenagers and an elementary student (all boys), keeping the house, planning and implementing the activities, taking care of the pool and garden, cooking meals, making space (in schedule, life and home) for hubby to go back to school, and writing – I am usually juggling at least three things at once.
But, her tips about having priorities, having personal belief, and fighting the distractions (which are rarely related to the multi-tasking) are helping me achieve something that might look like focus. You could say that my life has started moving in the direction of a subdivision of the “Land of Focus.”
Harleena Singh also shares her 15 ways to stay focused and I am working to implement some of those into the activities of my 30 Day Family Challenge.
My Personal Journey to Focus and Change
1. Organization – ugh, my husband would be all over this if (or when) he reads it. He complains, and has complained since our marriage began, about my piles. I have always said that my piles were organized chaos, and to some extent they are. After the tornadoes, I discovered that I liked having space. Granted, I eventually filled most of the space with different piles. But, I remember and am working to regain that space. It makes it easier to breathe.
2. Reason – I had the opportunity to speak to a group of 11th Grade English classes recently. Many of them were pursuing careers or educations that would guarantee that they could earn a lot of money. I told them that if money was the reason they were pursuing the path then they would struggle on the path. My reason needs to be greater than financial gain. I have grasped this in my own journey – again- just recently. Having a deeper reason behind my actions makes the actions easier to sustain even when the circumstances are not lining up the way I expected.
3. Smile – because smiling makes it a little easier and leaves everyone wondering. There are going to be things I can do nothing about. I could complain, but complaining accomplishes little more than depleting the ozone. Just today, with all of my refocused vigor, I went out to assess the garden. I noticed lots of “weeds” growing up around my lettuce bed. I pulled one and realized it was no weed. I then noticed the same invader in three other of our six square foot gardens. My FIL – unbeknownst to me or my son who were planting and growing in the garden – scattered turnip seeds. Keep in mind that we do not eat turnips. Now, we have an abundance of turnips AND all of our other crops are being crowded out. I confess I was mad and brought in the one that I pulled up so that I could complain. I soon realized that it was better for everyone if I smiled and let it go because nothing is going to change except my focus.
4. Purpose – actions are not all good. Sometimes doing things just keeps me busy. There has to be purpose behind my actions if those actions are going to make a difference. My middle son has a habit of wandering around the house – just wandering not actually doing anything in the process. It drives me and my husband crazy because he needs to do something and quit wandering already! Actions with purpose are the ones that make a difference.
Many of the ideas suggested by the article were rolled up into my three. I need to keep it simple since there is already enough on my spinning plates to make things dangerous. I will keep smiling, holding to my reason, and continuing to plow my way through the piles to create some organization.
How about you? What are your secrets for finding focus and creating change? Share with me here and be sure to link back to any posts you have on the subject. I look forward to sharing.