Focus

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. ~Buddha

I am inspired today by the March 12 post on zen habits, one of the few blogs to which I subscribe by e-mail, entitled The Magical Power of Focus. In the last few days, I have noticed a backsliding from my healthy habits of the last several months. So I am renewing my commitment to focus on health. 

My frequent job-related travel presents a challenge, as does my too-full schedule, so an important health practice for me is to create buffers of space and downtime around those activities. In particular, as an introvert, when I have periods involving intense interaction with others, I need times of quiet reflection to replenish my energy. Another important practice is mindful attention to the task at hand, being in the flow, and avoiding the temptation to multitask. 

Having tried in the past to focus on more than one goal at a time, I can testify that it only made me feel overwhelmed and ineffectual. Although it may seem as though I am trying to focus on several things at once (healthy eating, increased exercise, stress reduction techniques, etc.), I will really be focusing on one aim of health and well-being, with individual practices subordinate to that goal. Evaluating each activity against that overarching objective will, I believe, result in my becoming healthier.

What are you becoming as a result of your thoughts or focus?

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3 Responses to Focus

  1. asqfish says:

    My focus has been to learn more about my Deen to get a global picture of the Universe in which I reside, and understand with humility my place in it.

    Thank you for the beautiful quote.

  2. Christopher says:

    Thank you for this post. Right now, I am working on my first humorous novel.

    The act of trying to focus is instructive. The way I started was to be goal oriented, but that has never really sat well with me. And talking of sitting, that’s what I do. I will stay with my work for two hours. If something good happens I am happy, if not then I have fulfilled my self-imposed commitment.

    It’s more gratifying for me to write short humorous pieces and post them on the web. They don’t take that long and I often get positive feedback. (Thanks by the way, for linking to Slow Down Now.) But working, and reworking a body of writing requires an act of self discipline that I can only call focus.

    Focus involves risk, or what business people call opportunity cost. What could I be doing if I hadn’t decided to focus?

    There is also meditation: focus of attention. I don’t see any downside to this. On Friday, I went into a restaurant for lunch by myself. While I was waiting for my order, I became aware of all the sounds in the restaurant, as a kind of music. I sat there calmly waiting. I was quite content. I think I had what Abram Maslow would call a peak experience. I do believe I can recreate this with calm attention.

    Focus can be tranquility itself.

  3. Baroness says:

    For me the challenge is maintaining the focus while still attending to my family in the way THEY want me to focus on them. I try to devote my attention to them and focus when we are talking or working together, but often they demand my immediate focus when they want it even if it interrupts my personal time. And since they do not necessaily understand my attempts at calm and focus they become frustrated when I do not react as they expect me too. — Of course, that can be amusing at times!

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