Seems easy, right? It’s the ability to concentrate on something. That definition right there makes focus a verb. With focus, you are concentrating. However, what if you thought about focus in terms of a noun? For instance, a distinct goal such as getting a raise can be someone’s focus. Now, focus is a person, place, or in this case…thing.
One of the biggest keys to success is finding the right balance between these two focuses, the verb and the noun. This is no hocus focus pocus. Here’s how to focus on focusing.
Grasping the Big Picture
What makes Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, or Bill Gates so successful is their ability to see the big picture. This is the use of focus as a verb. You have a long-term destination and you will check every box on your checklist off to get there.
Focusing the verb is taking action. That’s not just because verbs are actions (Hello, didn’t know you were getting an English lesson today, did you?). Focusing on the big picture is what drives you through all the little stepping stones that get you to your desired destination. This form of focusing is an ongoing process that you will continue to go through as you strive to become the best form of yourself possible.
Think about a camera lens. When you first set it up and start to shoot, the shot in the viewfinder might be a bit blurry. So, you need to adjust the focus of the camera. In order to adjust the focus, your camera needs to make sure that the iris is taking in the right amount of light and that the lighting correlates with the distance from the subject. Then it takes the framing into consideration. All of these factors work in unison for the best possible outcome. It’s a constant process.
This kind of focus works the same way in our brains. It’s our drive toward an achievable ending. The verb focus is that crazy idea in the back of your head that isn’t so crazy once you start putting things into perspective. That perspective is focus, the noun.
Making the Big Picture Happen
In order to perform an action, you need a focus, the noun. Each benchmark you meet along the way on your journey is sort of like mini-goals. All these mini-goals add up to achieving one big goal. These mini-goals are focuses…which makes focus a noun.
Let’s take Elon Musk for instance. His long-term focus is survival of the human race. To achieve this, he created a mid-term focus, which is space exploration. To get there, Mr. Musk’s first focus is to reach Mars with cargo by 2020. Then, the next focus is to have a crew go to the Red Planet by 2024. These mini-goals are focuses that attain the overarching goal, which is survival of the human race.
Blockbuster had trouble achieving this. They were successful in their short-term goal, which is the focus of making quarterly sales by renting out movies. This business model worked for decades. However, they weren’t looking at the big picture of investing in-home delivery. This is where Reed Hastings of Netflix stepped in and excelled, making the huge streaming service we all know and chill over today. Essentially, lack of long-term focus cost Blockbuster in the long run.
Two Types of Strategies
There are two ways to go about strategizing for conquering both schools of focus.
Deliberate Strategy. This is a clear road-map with a definitive ending. A deliberate strategy is well-thought-out. This person sets a bunch of short, medium, and long-term goals, which are focuses classified as nouns.
Emergent Strategy. As we all know, life is a bumpy road. That clear road-map you planned out with your deliberate strategy will rarely go off without a hitch. This is when focus becomes a verb. An emergent strategy is created out of a response to unanticipated situations.
How to Focus on Focusing
There are many little things you can do every day to improve your focus on both the long and short-term goals. Just as focus is an ongoing process, so is focusing on focus. So, here’s how to pull it off without pulling a brain cell!
Meditation. Think of when your computer is acting out of whack. What’s the first thing IT tells you to do? Hit restart! We are so wrapped up in everyday life, that we forget to stop and just…be. It’s okay to take a moment out of the whirlwind that is life and carve some me-time into your schedule. Studies have found that meditation can help improve cognitive function, including focus.
Keep a Gratitude Journal. Negativity can get the best of us. When we are constantly in a negative state, it causes stress on our system. Stress breeds a hormone called cortisol. When cortisol overrides the rest of hormones, heck breaks loose, causing us to feel anxious, depressed, and/or sick. How is one supposed to maintain focus under these sorts of conditions?
The best way to combat negativity is to foster positivity. Draw out the darkness with light. To create focus you need to drown out all the badness. Keeping a gratitude journal and writing down what is truly important in life will help you forget all the negativity bogging you down.
Take Natural Supplements. There are many quick fixes to boost your focus that you can buy over the counter like power energy shots or sugary sports drinks. However, these will only get you through the short-term goals, which is focusing on that particular day. It doesn’t help your long-term goals which is to have better overall focus.
Here are a few all-natural ingredients that may help improve focus:
- Dandelion- Rich in luteolin, which is a PDE4 inhibitor, meaning it helps memory
- Forskolin- Boosts cAMP, which is cellular energy used to process brain signals
- Phenylalanine- Amino acid, precursor to dopamine and acetylcholine, neurotransmitters that regulate memory
- L-Theanine- Amino acid, increases activity of GABA, neurotransmitters that reduce tension
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine- Powerful antioxidant
- Bacopa- Ayurvedic herb that promotes healthy cognitive function
- Deanol- Enzyme used to build the chemical choline, which is precursor to acetylcholine
- Vitamin B6- Produces serotonin, a happy neurotransmitter
- Ginkgo Biloba- Herb long linked to improved memory function
- Red Ginseng- Root used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve memory
While you can go out and purchase each individually, why do that? Instead, take a supplement that has all of these benefits encapsulated into one. Try Focusene. Taking an all-natural concentration supplement such as Focusene may help you focus on the little pictures at hand to conquer the overall big picture down the road.
Get Focused on Focusing
Now that you know the two schools of thoughts when it comes to focus and strategies to tackle them, now go about honing your focus. By using meditation, gratitude journals, and all-natural supplements such as Focusene, you can complete all the tasks on your to-do list.