What distinguishes extraordinary results from the mediocre? What is the key ingredient to achieving greatness in anything you do? Let me tell you what it is and I want you to listen very closely. It’s FOCUS.
Focus On This
Focus is the ability to narrow down your attention solely to one single thing at a time. To concentrate so intensely that everything else but the object of your attention loses its importance. To pierce the veil with the sword of your consciousness.
Tell me, how much are you expecting to accomplish if you spread yourself too thin. Just a little bit of this and that, here and there… STOP IT! Do you know what you’re doing? You’re only scratching the surface without ever getting too deep into one thing. Guess what? That’s not where the treasures you seek are hidden. If that were the case, then everyone would achieve what they want. Everyone would just do something for just a while and be done with it.
But that’s not how mastery works. You see, it’s the ultimate gauntlet. A road of trials on your hero’s journey created by the world to distinguish the great from the rest. To see who has what it takes and enough dedication. What you need to have to pass the test is FOCUS.
Qualities of Focus
Focus is the skill to attain jedi-like concentration and become immersed by whatever you’re doing.
Focus is the desire to achieve greatness and success in whatever you do.
Focus is the willingness to push off immediate gratification and go for the long-term home-run.
Focus is the utter presence you feel when you look into someone’s eyes and see the reflection of their soul.
Focus is the acceptance of the present moment and experiencing for what it truly is.
Focus is the power to pierce the veil of the world and penetrate into its mysteries.
Focus is the look of determination you see in a person’s eyes who’s destined for greatness.
There are also different types of focus.
Macro(or meta)-focus is about dedicating yourself to a handful of things in your life. It’s the notion of following your calling and pursuing mastery in your selected fields.
You don’t have to commit to solely one thing that you desire. They say that mastery requires you to be doing only one thing. That might have been so in the past, but today’s world is different. First, we have access to a lot more knowledge so learning can happen faster, and second, there are so many opportunities in the world right now that it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.
There are probably several things you’re interested in and love to do. The key idea is to choose 2-3 of them and dedicate your waking hours primarily to cultivating your abilities in those domains. Meta-focus is about knowing yourself and pursuing your passions while still maintaining concentrated effort.
The Focus Is On You
Mastery is the result of dedicating your entire being to a craft and deliberately practicing it to get from good to great. To reach such high levels of expertise that it surpasses the mundane and traverses into the divine.
As awesome you can become in one area, you would benefit from having several paths of mastery. Why? Because true creativity is limitless and never bound to just one single domain. You have to be able to achieve this omnipresent state, in which you can voluntarily swap in between different worlds, like a sage with truly godlike skill. Hence having several domains and vocations, but not too many. It will promote seeing things from another perspective and attaining clairvoyant laser-sight by recognizing patterns with various worldviews.
Now the much more important skill to have, which is to actually narrow down your attention to solely that single task at hand. This is the point in which the extraordinary gets distinguished from the mediocre. The moment when you’re laying the building blocks for your meta-achievement.
The difficulty lies in the fact that unwary minds don’t have enough willpower or perseverance to concentrate. In a world full of distractions, we’re being conditioned to be all over the place. This is a shame, as for you to achieve greatness, you have to produce extraordinary results, which requires intense amounts of concentrated psychic effort.
“Micro-focus is the skill of going hard in with one single activity, venturing deep into the depths of your subconscious mind, facing the road of challenges towards creativity, seizing the ultimate boon, a cathartic breakthrough of some sorts, in which you apotheosize yourself into a god-like level. After that, you experience a life-enhancing return from the innermost cave of your psyche as a transformed being.”
Focusing on one single activity at a time is necessary for you to become fully immersed by the task at hand. It puts you into a state of flow that’s by nature very intense, spontaneous and cultivating, which produces unpredictable yet magnificent results.
The Intensity of Focus
Being able to focus at something, whether that be meta or micro, is an insane skill to have. Think of it like a laser-sight with which you can cut open clouds with. It enables you to concentrate immense amounts of energy onto a single point and thus make things happen.
Focus is intense – one single gamma ray can cut through anything on its path. So it is with our concentration skills. To unlock the Fort Knox of our creative genius and inner greatness, we have to narrow down our attention down to its tiniest of particles. This way we’ll hit it where it hurts the most and thus reach a breakthrough.
Low stimuli lead to low adaptations. So it is with weight training. You won’t get stronger by lifting a pillow off the ground for millions of times. Do it with a 400 pound deadlift for just a few repetitions and you’ll elicit a much greater response.
Unconsciously, the body and mind are working against us. To force them to adapt and make extraordinary results, we have to hit them with a sledgehammer. High impact causes high response. Only after a point of near maximum intensity, do we trigger the necessary chain reaction of adaptations.
The Efficiency of Focus
Focus is also time-efficient. Think of how much time gets wasted by you tipping your toe into many random endevours. A lot I’m telling you, a lot. On both the meta and micro level. If you have to juggle many tasks and projects at once, you won’t be able to dedicate more attention to any single one of them. You’ll be just dabbling. This and that. Here and there. Leading to nowhere.
On the flip side, concentrate all your intensity on one thing at a time and you’ll blaze through it in no time. Overall, you’ll be achieving more with less time because you won’t have to reclaim your attention all the time.
Our psychic energy is finite, which means that we can only dedicate a certain amount of concentration on any single thing at a time. Multi-tasking is pretty much impossible. What you’re doing instead is swapping in between several tasks. The difference is that you’ll get zapped out of your jedi-like concentration state and have to get re-immersed by the task at hand. In the case of meta-focus, you won’t be able to go from good to great unless you wholeheartedly commit to your one thing.
How to Become More Focused
With all of that information, it’s clear that focus is the skill of demigods and superheroes. In a world full of distractions, the majority of the population can’t even hold a single thought inside their head, not to mention a much grander plan or a higher ideal.
To become more focused, you have to approach it on both the macro and micro level. Our habits are the most influential forces of our behavior that dictate our life on the subconscious level. We do things without even recognizing that we’re doing them. Therefore, as we do anything, so will we do everything. If you half-ass one aspect of your life, like health or learning, then you won’t be able to get as great results in your business and relationships either. Of course, exceptions prove the rule, but it’s incredibly rare.
Focus is a skill as well as a mindset, which can be traineded and attained. The main premise is that only concentrated input will yield concentrated outcome. Concentrated thoughts and actions will eventually find extraordinary results.
Here are a few strategies and principles for intense focus.
The 80/20 Rule
This is the Pareto principle, which states that most of the time 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist of the past who found that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He also discovered that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.
The 80/20 rule applies across many domains. Whether or not it always holds true doesn’t matter, as you’ll still be achieving more results. By concentrating 80% of your efforts on the 20% of possible activities, you’re optimizing your potential outcome. You can accomplish more by committing more, but eventually you’ll reach a point of diminishing returns, after which you’re not gaining a whole lot and can actually lose.
Apply the Pareto principle to everything in your life. Think how less you can do, while still getting a whole lot of results.
Every Day Special
The minutiae, the small things, the little cogs in the big machine – these are the most important parts of your daily routine. The devil is in the detail and is constantly there to check in on us. Without the micros there wouldn’t be a place for the macros to begin with. They lay the foundation to it all and in order for it to be strong, daily reinforcement is necessary.
To become great at something, you need to grind through sheer amount of repetitions. You have to make the activity an unconscious part of yourself and embed it into your psyche. But deliberate practice also requires you to stay mindful the entire time. You can’t blank out in your head but must stay focused on the present moment. Well, at least 80% of the time.
This means doing the exact same things every day and constantly trying to get better. Quite repetitive and obsessive but it will promote the structural integrity of our real activities. What’s on the menu today – the everyday special.
The Most Important Things First
Not all tasks are created equal. Some will yield greater results and are more important. Therefore, there is a slight hierarchical relationship between your daily activities. Some are more important than others.
Using the 80/20 rule, you need to figure out which are the most important tasks for you? What’s the one thing you need to focus on today that contributes the most to your goals? Where can you cut corners, so that you could dedicate more on your meta-pursuits?
Do the most important thing first, because… it’s the most important thing. You want to have the most energy for tackling these activities because your time and mental resources are finite. Don’t waste your consciousness on the minutiae if you still need it to produce great results.
Practice the art of addition by subtraction. Via negativa translates from Latin into “the negative way.” In a nutshell, you remove the unessential distractions before you start adding more stuff. The reason is that you won’t gain much from an increase in one domain if there are still many downsides in another.
Don’t start taking supplements if you’re still eating junk food. It’s counter-productive to exercise hard while smoking or drinking too much. Getting a money loan is also a bad idea if you haven’t paid off the previous one. I would recommend you to never fall into debt at all. It makes you fragile, as opposed to antifragile.
You can via negativa everything in your life, starting from habits, relationships, business, projects, commitments ad infinitum. The idea is that you hack away all the unessential and useless things in your life that don’t contribute to your meta-achievements. If something’s not benefitting you, then chances are it may potentially take away from you. Remove it and stay focused.
Focus Is Presence
Although intense concentration is essential for extraordinary results and success, its main idea isn’t about gaming the system and achieving greatness. There’s a much more spiritual and virtuous aspect to it.
In essence, focus allows you to also experience the present moment for what it truly is. It’s actually all there ever is. Attention is the currency of mindfulness and awareness that of consciousness. If you’re distracted or mindless, then it can be said you’re disconnected from reality.
Being on autopilot prevents you from ever experiencing what goes on in the here and now. You won’t even notice life passing by, because you’re spread too thin. Time warps into the void and you’re baffled that you haven’t accomplished anything.
Your concentration can be trained by everything you do, anywhere. A jedi-warrior Lyn in the movie Men Who Stare at Goats used his attention to consciously dissolve clouds in the sky while driving. Unfortunately, he crashed into the only rock on the road as well. Lesson to be learned: don’t multitask. A much easier and safer way to train focus is to practice meditation. It’s the ultimate mind hack and an amazing mental technique.
Become more focused. Wholeheartedly commit to whatever you’re doing, one thing at a time. When you’re in the moment, actually be there. Mindfulness and intense concentration in the now unlocks the door to higher levels of consciousness, which allows you to experience new potential domains of being, which were previously out of your reach. That’s where you’ll tap into your creative genius and access infinite power.
Focus on the here and now.
Focus on what goes inside your body.
Focus on the state of your mind.
Focus on the task at hand.
Focus on the other person talking to you.
Focus on the glitter in their eyes.
Focus on your purpose in life.
Focus on the road of trials leading you there.
How focused are you in life? Are you all over the place or are you already treading your hero’s journey towards becoming the greatest version of yourself? Wherever you are, you can benefit from watching my YouTube channel. I make videos about Body Mind Empowerment and also write articles about self-actualization. Join the Body Mind Agoge to start your quest.