avatarAkshad Singi

Summary

The article outlines a two-step process for achieving exceptional focus in life, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing goals and actively managing thoughts to maintain that focus.

Abstract

The article "How to Build Exceptional Focus in Life" on the undefined website discusses the power of focus using the analogy of Arjuna's archery prowess from Indian folklore and the scientific principle of a magnifying glass focusing sunlight to ignite paper. It suggests that individuals already possess the necessary resources and energy to achieve their goals, advocating for the elimination of distractions and the cultivation of a focused mind. The author, inspired by Warren Buffet's 5/25 rule, advises listing 25 goals, selecting the top 3-5, and ignoring the rest until the chosen goals are achieved. The second step involves actively dismissing intruder thoughts that fall outside the circle of focus, thereby training the subconscious mind to align with one's priorities. The article emphasizes the need for patience and persistence in this process, promising the benefits of a focused life, and offers a coaching service for those interested in further enhancing their productivity.

Opinions

  • The author believes that focus is not about accumulating more resources but about harnessing existing energy and time effectively.
  • A focused mind is equated with peace and clarity, as exemplified by the late basketball player Kobe Bryant.
  • The 5/25 rule is presented as a method to establish parameters for focus, but it is not a solution in itself; it requires further action to be effective.
  • The article posits that reinforcing focus involves a conscious effort to dismiss thoughts that are not aligned with one's priority goals.
  • The process of achieving a focused life is depicted as a gradual change in thought patterns, requiring time and dedication.
  • The author offers a personal coaching service, "The Harmonious Hustling System," as a practical framework to permanently enhance productivity.

THE HARMONIOUS HUSTLER

How to Build Exceptional Focus in Life

It takes two steps, but most people stop after the first one.

Photo by Stephen Kraakmo on Unsplash

In India, tales of Arjuna’s incredible focus are well-known.

In one story, Guru Dronacharya was teaching archery to his students. To do that, he hung a wooden bird from a tree branch — and told the disciples that they had to aim at the bird’s eye.

He called his disciples one by one and asked them what they saw.

The first one said, “I see the bird.” Guru told him that he needed practice, and sent him back.

Then, the second one came forward. He said, “I see the birds, and the tree, and the clouds.” Guru sent him back too.

Then, it was Arjuna’s turn. Guru Dronacharya asked him, “Tell me Arjuna, what are you able to see?” Arjuna replied, “Eye of the bird, and eye of the bird only.

Shoot, my son!” exclaimed Guru Dronacharya.

Arjuna did, and it hit the bird’s eye.

A relieving insight into the power of focus

We all know of the science experiment where introducing a magnifying glass between sunlight and paper — at the right distance and for long enough — can burn the paper.

The scientific principle here is that the converging lens of the glass focuses all the rays at a single point on the paper — the heat energy of sunrays adds up — and hence, a fire is produced.

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/magnifying-lens-with-sunlight-create-fire-diagram-education_12321577.htm">Image by brgfx on Freepik

But what I’d like you to focus on is the fact that no new sunrays were created. The amount of sunlight before — and after introducing a magnifying glass — is the same. And yet, in the former, the paper doesn’t even warm up. While in the latter, it starts burning.

That’s the power of focus.

Draw a parallel to your own life, and you’ll realize that you don’t need to accumulate more resources or energy. This should come as a relief to you. Knowing that you have enough time, knowledge, and expertise to begin your thing — whatever it may be — and create fires.

You just need to stop losing energy on useless pursuits or worries and focus better.

When we talk about focus, we could be talking about both:

  • Macro-focus — which refers to the big-picture goals you have in life.
  • Micro-focus — the day-to-day focus during work.

In this article, we’re specifically going to address how to establish a better macro-focus in life.

Two steps to a highly focussed life

Most people have no focus in life, whatsoever.

What they do have instead are thousands of unactionable worries, anxieties, and desires that constantly pull them here and there. This incessant pulling creates a breeding ground for crippling tension. There’s no clarity. And no sense of direction. And worse, this is the norm for most people today.

DOODLE #1: “Unfocussed mind”. There’s so much “stuff” on your mind, that you’re overwhelmed and unable to act on anything.

On the other hand, a focused mind yields extraordinary peace. If you’ve heard any of Kobe Bryant’s interviews — whose sole focus in life was Basketball — you can realize the remarkable stillness he had in life. It’s palpable in his words.

Our goal in life should be to move from:

  • Having thousands of unactionable worries about a hundred different issues to
  • Thousands of actionable ideas and thoughts about only the few things we’ve intentionally prioritized. Followed by action.

This won’t happen on its own. You must train your mind to stop pulling you here and there and only send you thoughts about the things you have prioritized.

Here’s how to do that in two steps.

Step 1: Establish the parameters for focus

Warren Buffet’s 5/25 rule juxtaposes utter simplicity — yet immense power. Here’s how it works.

  • List down 25 of your goals in life.
  • Then choose the top 3-5. These go in your circle of focus.
  • And the remaining 20? Stay the hell away from them at least until your chosen 3–5 are not achieved — because they’ll be the most potent distractions for you.

Most people mistakenly assume that just doing this exercise will lead to magical focus. When in truth, this exercise only establishes the parameters for focus — it doesn’t establish focus itself.

Doing this exercise and expecting a focused life is like drawing plans for a skyscraper and then expecting it to magically show up in the skyline. That’s not how it works. Doing the above exercise only does this:

DOODLE #2: The parameter for focus is established, but the mind is still unfocused — as both things inside and outside the circle are equally visible right now.

It rearranges your priorities — and lets your mind know — only superficially — that these are the few things that you truly care about. But this discernment hasn’t actually been informed to the deeper parts of your brain — your subconscious reserves — which are the sources of your thoughts.

That’s what the next step is about — and it’s perhaps the most important part of the article because this is what most people forget/fail to do.

Step 2: Establish focus by shooing away the intruders

Just because you took out 10 minutes of your life and made two lists from the above exercise, doesn’t mean that your entire thought patterns will change henceforth.

In fact, inside your head — literally, nothing is going to change. You will have the same unactionable worries, anxieties, desires, and distractions that you did before doing the exercise above. You can think of these as “intruder” thoughts — trespassing your area of focus.

The next step is to deal with these “intruder” thoughts effectively — to keep reinforcing to your mind what you are focussed on now. The rule is, if any worry thoughts arise about the things not on your “focus” list, you dismiss them immediately.

An example:

As of now, I’m focused on three things: writing, fitness, and my medical career (and an insecurity and a worry that I’m trying to work on). If my mind sends me any “intruder” thought, which may be a goal for myself I want to address in the future like YouTubeing, or even a material desire like “How about buying a new, expensive car?” — I say to myself, “NO. That’s not what I’m focused on right now. At present, I only care about advancing in these three areas.

Every time you do this, you reinforce in your mind the distinction between:

  • The few things you care about.
  • And the things you don’t care about.

Done thousands of times, your subconscious mind will learn not to send you these “intruder” thoughts that you’re going to dismiss anyway. You will stop being pulled apart by worries. You will stop being distracted by other goals.

Most of the thoughts that emerge in your mind now will be about the things you’ve decided to focus on — which eventually will convert into action — and then, progress.

Everything else will start to blur in your mind’s eye — as depicted below.

DOODLE #3: Focused mind. Stuff is separated into two — in focus, and out of focus. Things in focus — you’re dealing with now. Things out of focus — you’ll address them in the future.

Of course, this process takes time. It’s naive to expect it to happen overnight — because you’re talking about significantly changing your existing thought patterns.

But trust me, if you are patient and persistent with the process — you will end up reaping the innumerable benefits of a focused life.

If you like this insight and are looking for a step-by-step solution that tells you exactly what to do to transform your productivity — check out “The Harmonious Hustling System which I coach one-on-one. This system ties together the above insight and several others into a beautiful and coherent practical framework that’ll enable you to transform your productivity, permanently.

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Goals
Focus
Ideas
Self
Self Improvement
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