Girl looking at flowers

I have a book (or two) to accomplish this year. This is going to require an incredible amount of focus. I don’t know about you, but focus has always been difficult for me. I have a mind that is distracted, excited and interested in too many things. I think this is a common challenge we all face.

Having read “The One Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan this quote struck me.

“People don’t decide their future, they decide their habits and their habits decide their future.”

If we want to live deliberate and meaningful lives, our habits become incredibly important. We need to notice them and ask ourselves whether they help or hinder.

Gary Keller also shares my love of great questions and explores the link between the questions we ask ourselves and the lives we live. The link is simple, the answers we give ourselves determines the choices we make. Our choices manifest as our reality. Our reality is the life we live.

The other aspect of our focus struggle is our relationship with time. We believe we don’t have enough of it. We run out of it because we say ‘yes’ to too many things. In another article “How to stay focused” by Brendon Burchard we are advised to say ‘no’ first. This is counter intuitive. ‘Yes!’ is where possibility resides, ‘Yes!’ is where adventure exists, ‘Yes!’ is what nice people say! And I’m a nice person, damn it!

Here’s another perspective of ‘yes’:

  • Saying ‘yes’ to everyone else’s mission disrespects your own.
  • Saying ‘yes’ to giving your time to others leaves less for you.
  • Saying ‘yes’ to taking on more work puts your own at jeopardy.
  • Saying ‘yes’ to distractions puts your life’s work on hold.

Perhaps Burchard is right. Perhaps the first habit we need to create for ourselves is to immediately think ‘no’ to new projects, while we assess whether it is in-line with our focus, our purpose.

And remember, as Keller says, purpose without priority is powerless.