Weekly Thought – July 25, 2023
Fred knew how to focus. He used his thinking and examples to help individuals and corporations. When asked about problems in an organization he asked pointed questions of the leadership. Although he thought deeply he limited his serious contemplation to the implications of a few areas on the way we live.
To live a focused life we must recognize those things that distract and pull us off course. Some people spend as much time on inconsequential details as they do on the vital parts. Therefore, they become extremely hard workers, but do not become great accomplishers because they don’t understand that every job has vital elements which need to take top priority.
Mother Theresa said she did not plan to accept any more honors, even ones as prestigious as the Nobel Prize. She does not want to be diverted from her mission work in India. Few of us can turn down those kind of ego satisfactions to stay with the job.
One of the questions I always have to ask myself: “What am I really about? What am I trying to do? What is the main concept for the project?” Right now I am working with a corporation that appears to have lost its focus. They are running after numerous interesting ideas, but none of them fit together – there is no synergy or profitable outcome. Because they don’t focus in on what they really are about very shortly without reversing course they will lose their sustainability.
We, and they, need to watch ego satisfaction but also just avoiding the “interesting.” When I am researching I have to watch this. I pick up a book looking for a specific idea and unless I am careful I find intriguing thoughts capturing my attention. I certainly enjoy the time, but it does not achieve the initial purpose.
One of my clients asked me: “Fred, you own your own business. Why do you generally turn down invitations to play golf?” I love golf, but I also know my priorities for my weekly schedule and what it takes to accomplish my goals. I have to keep in mind the focus of my activity and also the schedule of my priorities.
Really effective people learn to pace themselves according to their responsibilities. I think this is a key part of maturity. Whether we call it “setting the vision,” “establishing the mission,” or simply “meeting the deadlines” focused living requires discipline for achievement and accomplishment. As a mentor of mine used to say, “that is the object of the exercise.”
Think carefully about this week: 1) How clear am I on the difference between the vital and not so vital in the parts of my job? 2) What can I do this week to clarify ways to focus for greater accomplishment? 3) Who models healthy focus for me?
Words of Wisdom: “What am I really about? What am I trying to do? What is the main concept for the project?”
Wisdom from Word: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead.” (Philippians 3:13 NET Bible)