What I Learned in Just 7 Days, Part 2 – Focus

 Yes, even after going back to work yesterday and not getting much sleep for the last 2 nights, I'm still riding high in a euphoric dream of what I accomplished and how my life changed i just 7 days.

My vision became so much clearer and I became focused on what I want and trying to live by the mantra - "Do what you love and Love what you do." I found myself loving EVERY single minute of the past week, no matter what was happening and you can't ask for anything better than that.  I am so grateful I had this experience on so many different planes. I certainly became much more clear about what my primary dream/desire/goal is for 2013. And I'll probably be sharing this dream and the process I go through in achieving it with my Define & Conquer 2013 group that starts on the 8th.

Kay (my EFT practitioner) and I talked last night and she said that I would now be more likely to focus on what I want to achieve in 2013. As I thought about it, I said that I was focused already because my goal had to do with two things primarily (one of which is - yep, you guessed it - running) but as I sit here and write, I realize that I have not really been focused on these two things. Focus is an intense direction of energy - this is not a dictionary definition and for once I'm not even going to go look it up, I'm simply going to use what I define as focus here. So I'm asking myself "when have I been focused before" because we always operate best from a frame of reference.

The answer(s):

- When I decided I wanted to be a doctor. From the age of 4 until I graduated from medical school I was focused completely on that one goal. Although that was a long time ago,  I still remember what it felt like through all those years.

- In 2010-2012 while working with a team to create this software application that we use at work now. I was almost singularly focused on that for several months at a time - NOTHING else got in the way. That's all I thought about and all I did.

- Training for the 2012 New York City Marathon. Especially from June through October 2012. All my efforts and actions were directed toward that goal.

Yes we do other things while focused but always with that primary goal in mind - we ask ourselves things like "how will doing x, y, z affect, impact or interfere with my training (to use that example)". Any further action or effort put into x, y, z is all dependent on the answer to this question. Even if x, y, or z is completely unrelated to running (or to creating the computer application for instance), doing it or putting time and energy into x, y or z impacts my primary goal in some way. Often it's not a significant impact nor is there any or much interference. So, it's almost a 'no-brainer' but achievement of my primary goal is always factored into any decision I make.

How much you focus on your goal can tell you alot about that goal - and especially if it really is YOURS - that is,  in my opinion, the number one factor in whether or not you succeed at achieving a goal or dream - is it really YOUR dream. I remember (believe it or not) when I was 4 years old and all of a sudden (literally) I decided I was going to be a doctor. From that moment on I told anyone who asked what I wanted to be - "a doctor" - well, back in that day girls didn't become doctors, they became nurses. So I would emphatically correct those well meaning folks who tried to inform me as to what I really meant - "oh, you mean you want to be a nurse".  This shy, chubby little red-head would stand there and defiantly state - "NO, I'm going to be  doctor!". This was truly my goal. No one else was going to change that no matter how hard they tried. And I stuck to it and stuck to it - I was rejected at medical school for two or three years before I got in - thank God! (Believe me, my life is a perfect picture of how everything happens a) for a reason and b) when it's supposed to but I don't want to digress any further). No one and nothing was going to deter me. That is true focus.

As I said above, there really have only been a few of these true desires that have been the object of my intense focus.

Just as with the overall goal selection process, however, focus applies to multiple stages in the process. My overall dream/goal was to become a doctor. But I didn't just decide that when I was 4 and then at 4 1/2 became one. No, I had to continually achieve "sub-goals" or mini-goals along the way - graduating from elementary school, high school, get into college, take the required courses, apply and then get into medical school, etc etc...

I didn't decide last fall that I was going to run in the New York City Marathon and then the next day go do it. I couldn't even run a quarter of a mile at that point. But my focus became running a short distance without stopping, then another distance, etc etc...I set a plan for developing my abilities - that's so important because otherwise you get discouraged. If I had decided I was going to be able to run a marathon one day and then the next day tried it and failed, where would that have led me?

Same with this smaller progression of events last week. I didn't even think about doing the marathon on day 1 or day 2 of the half-marathons. But the thought started to creep into my head on day 3 (in fact, I hadn't even planned on doing the 7 half-marathons in a row). As it kept popping into my brain, I refocused and re-evaluated my level of skill (endurance) at that time. Each day I thought about my inner workings (will, endurance, motivation, desire etc) and my external environment (environment is so important and we have to optimize that) which I was learning about - new people, new situation, new expectations etc...as I processed these inner and outer workings I came to believe I could do another day. As I kept on moving one foot in front of the other I maintained focus. As I finished one day my focus shifted to recovering that day and then returning the next "if I could".

Side note: It's funny but it's taken me several days to complete this post and I even lost part of it in the middle for technological reasons (or else I didn't hit the right button...LOL..."technological reasons" sounds so much better). So I'm hoping you all have gotten the point about the importance of focus and I'm going to end this part now and continue with another section.

Terrie

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