14 Jan Focus and Awareness!
Just like every coach has told every student or athlete since the beginning of time! Focus! And rightly so. Little is accomplished without Focus, Purpose and Accountability (you can quote me on that!). On the other hand, focus goes hand-in-hand with awareness. Let me explain. Until you ARE aware of something, until it enters your consciousness, it really doesn’t exist as far as you are concerned. (4Cs of Change – Conscious, Clarity, Commitment and Consistency). Once you are aware of something it begins to take up real estate in your mind. It is pretty hard to think about something of which you are not aware!
Ride the Bike with Focus!
Assuming you do know how to ride a bicycle, I will take you back to when you were first learning. As soon as you got on your Dad or Mom or older sibling probably started to push you along. You got up enough speed to have some semblance of balance and you suddenly became AWARE of things that were potential obstacles! The car, the curb, the tree and so on. If you are anything like me, you did NOT jump on the bike and pedal evenly down the road with nary a wobble or fall!
Focus became a part of your reality. You had to focus on making one pedal at a time go down. AND focus on keeping the handlebars from going sideways. Then focus on staying over the middle of the bike – not leaning off to one side or the other and so on. To ride the bike you had to FOCUS!
Be Aware – DON’T Focus!
Just about then, you found out that you needed to NOT focus on the car or the tree or the curb! True or False?! If I focused on the car parked on the side of the road, no matter how much I told myself, “don’t hit the car, don’t hit the car, don’t hit the car!” the car was like a magnet to my metallic bike! CRASH! I learned that I had to be AWARE of the car (or curb or tree) but NOT to focus on it! Here is a bit of truth for you: where you focus is where you will go! When you ride a bike, you focus on the path ahead, on the road … not on the obstacles, not the car, not the tree, not the curb! You MUST be aware! But you MUST NOT focus on obstacles!
Life IS like a bike ride! You are constantly learning and growing while you ‘pedal along’. Whether it is business or personal relationships, the old bike-riding technique holds true: focus on the path, not the obstacles!
Focus AND Awareness!
That really does take us to the whole point. There is Focus and there is Awareness. BOTH have a critical part in our development and in our success. If you fail to be aware of critical obstacles in your path, you are probably going to crash. Maybe not right now – but eventually! When you focus on your obstacles, you are going to have a hard time being successful and maybe not get past those obstacles anyway! It takes focus AND awareness to get you where you want to go. Maybe you need to treat your life a little bit more like a bike ride! Start with making it enjoyable! Don’t stress so much, relax, take a look down the road and enjoy the scenery!
Yes, you WILL have to pedal, but some of the journey is bound to be on level ground or you may even get to coast a bit on a downhill part. Don’t fail to be aware of difficulties and bumps, but try not to focus on them. I can tell you that my life seemed a lot easier when I got to the point of learning better when to focus and when to just be aware!
Looking back- Awareness
When you are riding your bike, you have the opportunity to look around a bit (once you get good at riding!) and you can even look behind you – once you KNOW it is safe to turn your head! It is OK to look back a little once in a while, but not for long! Just like in a car, you may have a rear view mirror. Even on cars the rear view mirror is only about 1% as big as the windshield. Because you need to be looking forward most of the time – not looking back. Be aware of your past – but don’t focus on it! Your past can tell you from where you have come, but it DOES NOT tell you where you are going!
Focus on the future, focus on what is ahead! GLANCE back but LOOK forward! Your success depends on your ability to know the difference between Focus and Awareness! Looking back can give you valuable insights, but your future lies ahead – Focus there! Don’t fail to glance back – but really learn the difference between FOCUS and AWARENESS. Use it to your advantage!