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What is Focus and How Do I Get Some?
We all know what focus is, and we all know it's at a premium.
So why is it so hard to get it?
I think it helps if we're precise with our definitions, and the dictionary is a start, but it doesn't always offer enough contextual meaning.
I have a much simpler definition:
Focus is doing and thinking the same thing.
Right now, I'm writing this issue of my newsletter. Focus means that all I'm thinking about right now is this newsletter, while I'm doing it. Sounds easy, but you and I know this is getting harder and harder.
There's so much to distract us, and we can't blame the smartphone all the time either. (Most of the time, maybe...)
There's so much we could be thinking about and as life becomes exponentially more complex than it was for our parents' generation, this is only becoming more challenging.
We're plagued by opportunities, choices, worries and interruptions.
Now we know that focus is doing and thinking the same thing, how do we get better at this?
Mindfulness practice is focus practice. That's all it really is if you strip away the mumbo jumbo, but what many of us forget is that it doesn't mean sitting still and bringing our attention to our breath, though that works.
You can practice focus anywhere, anytime.
You know how becoming more active is no longer thought of as doing some exercise and stopping there, but rather, incorporating movement into our entire day, right?
Focus is the same. 10 minutes of mindful breathing is a start, it's better than nothing, but how about:
Making a coffee, mindfully
Brushing your teeth, mindfully
Taking a shower, mindfully
Playing a video game, mindfully
Every activity that we normally do automatically, unconsciously, is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, to practice focus.