Focus The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Our ability to focus - to block-out distractions and really bear down on the task at hand

- plays a vital role in living a fulfilling life. And like a muscle, the more we use  it, the

stronger it gets.


The 3 categories of focus required for career and personal success are: inner focus, other focus, and outer focus.


The Power of INNER Focus

Becoming more focused usually starts with becoming more self-aware, trusting our inner voice and fostering our willpower.

In a 1960s study,  kids from deprived homes were given special attention from teachers in a preschool program designed to help them cultivate self-control.  Years  later, compared with similar kids who hadn't participated in the program, they had lower rates of teen  pregnancy, stayed in school  longer,  and they even  missed fewer days  from work.

Statistical analysis has  proven  that a child's level of self-control  is just as powerful a predictor  of adult financial success and health  as social class, family wealth or IQ.


Focusing on OTHERs

It's possible to become more empathetic just by practicing  empathetic-type behaviors.

Studies show that doctors who look patients in the eye get higher patient ratings.

But just as important,  doctors who make  eye  contact also started to feel more engaged  so even going through the motions can lead to real empathy.


OUTER Focus - Big Picture Thinking

Focusing on the big forces  that threaten to rip our economy, society  and environment apart can be very depressing.

The key is to deliberately overlay an action-oriented, positive  lens on our big picture thinking. This clever reframing increases our feeling of empowerment.



By Daniel Goleman