Every single time, much of us is always required and demanded by one thing or the other that we find ourselves doing. The amount of ourselves we give to those things determines what we get out of it. One thing is sure! No matter how many things we find ourselves doing, one will always get the most of our attention, time. In the midst of all of them, one thing is key, one thing is important, one thing is significant, Without it, you will never understand or find your way around what it is you are doing. That thing is FOCUS.
Focus!! Very important a thing! Yet, we have not really come to understand its importance. Though we hear it here and there but we still like to play around. Focus is one thing that carries other things along and those other things will be exposed. Its not a lone ranger, it is more of an army. What is focus? There are more than one definition to this word but they all speak to the same thing.
1. A point of concentration
2. A center of activity, attraction, or attention
3. A state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding
They all speak to the same thing. Right from the definitions, some things are ready made known- the things carried along by focus. They are attention, attraction concentration, perception. The others that are not clearly spelt out there are diligence and calmness,
A point of concentration: what is that thing that so much demands your ability to give your attention or thought to it. That thing is a focus! A center of attraction or attention, It is that thing that you give yourself to. One thing is so significant in all these definitions: The use of the article “A”. This implies or denotes one thing at a time! No matter how you want to look at it, from any angle or any perspective, you can’t effectively focus on different things at the same time. Why? Because while focusing on one thing, you are trying to allow for clearer perception and/or understanding of that thing at that time. Hence, the third definition : a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding.
And how does this happen? How does understanding come? The first thing that happens is that there will surely be information that will be in contention, information that will be weighed, explained, interpreted, expounded, etc. Without information, there is nothing to understand! So, imagine you trying to focus on different things at the same time. What will really happen here is that different information will run through your mind at the same time! Different species of information concerning different species of activities or center of attention or attraction. Don’t mind the use of “species”, those that know will definitely have the deeper understanding of why I am using it and I believe we all should know.
If you have different species of information running through your mind at the same time and you want to effectively have a clear understanding of all the different centers of attention, you will have to be able to compartmentalize or separate your thinking. Trying to carry out the activity of focusing on different things at the same time will not be effective, you will only have yourself beating a lot of information that are not related all over your mind. Rather than allowing focus, you will invite confusion
Why does the activity of focusing have to be talked about in the context of the mind? Its because focus takes place in the mind! Your eyes are organs or sight, your mind is the faculty of focus!
Focus brings about clear perception and understanding. Those two don’t happen anywhere other than your mind. This should bring to mind that the essence of engaging focus is to have a better understanding of something. Focus entails you being able to look at something and project enough into that thing with your mind. It entails intense and guided meditation and rumination on that thing; pondering on the information gathered about and from that thing. Now, meditation is the heart and life of focusing.
I mentioned “guided” earlier. This still agrees with what was said earlier. Having too many different species of information running through the mind does not allow for a guided meditation or thought. It is not guided. When you are focusing on something, you are able to fix your thought on that particular thing. This your thought is guided by you. How do you do this guiding? By not allowing unrelated information gain ground in your thought period thereby interfering in your meditation. Though, there will surely be other things that will come to your mind but it is on you to be able to do the filtering so that they won’t disrupt your focus. If you don’t filter, more will be coming in and once they are flowing in like that, you know you are getting ready for a storm of scattered thought.
If you are going to understand and have a clearer perception in an activity or of something, focus is your key. Now, as a student, you have one job! READ. There is no other thing that can replace that one job of every student. It is tenable anywhere, everywhere.
Meditation should come in handy here. To meditate is to keep the mind fixed upon. You see? You allow your mind to stay on that thing till you get the juice out of it! If you are reading and you can’t successfully meditate on the information you are trying to interpret, then you might find yourself just playing with the piece you have before you. It does not stop there. When you stop your reading activity for that time you apportioned to it, do you ever go back to think about, meditate on what is it you have been able to get out of what you sat down to read a while ago? Or you just forget that you read a while ago. Focus does not end in the reading room. Its entails constant and consistent meditation and projection into information that you have sat down to put in your mind. For effective reading, focus is needed and meditation is the heart and life of focus.
On another note, you are not all about your academics. Your academics is not all about you! So its not limited to your academics. Focus has a say in everything about you.
Why focus is important is because of what it gives room for, what it allows. When you give your focus to something, there is a result. Your mind is able to meditate: ponder on, weigh, check, mix, work through that thing and then there is clearer insight. This is not just the end of it, really.
There is always a fusion that comes with inspiration. Your mind is being fused to or fixed on something. When your focus is given to whatever inspiration is it that dwells within you, the fact that there is better light and clarity ensures the furtherance of the fusing process. You should know that It is what you understand so well that becomes a real part of you. What you don’t understand is vague to you.
As an illustration, many of us are so conversant with eating as an activity. We have become one, figuratively, with that activity. The reason why fasting can be sometimes difficult for man -You want to fast but the fact that you have not done that eating activity keeps ringing in your head. That’s why it takes a lot of discipline to engage in a fast. We have become so much synced with that activity. As you are getting to feel and understand the sweetness, the nourishment, the energy, the satisfaction, etc that comes from eating, the more you become one with eating. Same thing applies here. The more you understand, know the reality of what it is that is an inspiration for you, the more you become one with that thing.
Focus allows for clarity, understanding, simplicity, and among all other things, genuineness of a thing and it is in the existence of all these that your mind can be successfully fixed on or fused to a vision, dream, etc. Hence, the importance of focus is not something that can be debated.
If something has not yet appeared real to your mind, of it has not yet appeared naked to your mind, then you are long way away from action. Don’t think of it yet. I don’t mean the thing has to be possible before you set out in action, what I mean is, your mind should be able to have a clear picture of it, the skeleton, the blueprint, the indepth information of it, the explanation of it. This needs to be in place before action! If you are trying to set out in action before this, its more like setting out to ride a bicycle for the first time and its on a highway you decided to do that.
What kills dreams is not a lack of resources first. What kills a dream is not a lack of motivation first. What kills a dream is a lack of clarity and focus!
The death of a dream is not the fact that it was not realized or it is not realized. The death of a dream is its rootlessness and vagueness of it in the mind over a very long period of time. The fact that a dream didn’t come to realization or has not come to realization does not mean it is dead. As long as that dream still has and keeps growing/getting roots and clarity in the mind that conceived it, it is very much alive. It can take hundreds of years before it is realized…. It has been alive and growing. Same way a baby, before it is born, spent a number of time in the womb, growing from one stage to another *in the womb*. Some spent 8 months, some 10 months, some 11 months in the womb but that didn’t mean the child was dead just because he or she didn’t come out at exactly 9 months. It was alive!
When a dream remains in the mind for too long a time without getting any clearer or any stronger; Its not growing roots, its not getting shaped, it can either remain dormant or be abandoned. These two are tantamount to death of that dream! Dreams are actually meant to grow in the mind- Become clearer.
The growth of a dream depends on the dreamer! The dormancy of a dream depends on the dreamer! Focus and inspiration are key and one important thing about focus is attention.
Dictionary says focus is: concentration of attention and attention is : mental focus. See the use of words! Mental focus is not about the eyes, it’s about the mind. Being able to concentrate on something with our mind. You are able to see with your mind and then you keep looking at it; meditating.
Know that the attention given to a dream is as important as the dream itself. If a dream will not grow, you will know. How? By your disposition to it. You know you are not looking at it, its just there and you don’t even want to stress yourself to project into it. You will surely know.
It is a dream that becomes a reality. A reality is already reality, its not a dream. If a dream has not come to reality, its on you, you know what you are doing to it- ignoring it (killing it ) or helping it. You just keep looking at it!!!!! Not with your physical eyes. The “looking” is not just to look, I believe we should understand better by now. One other thing that will help your dream is the kind of mindset you have.
Also, when a dream is birthed into reality, the reality still has to keep growing. Still, stage by stage. It requires your attention also, your focus and now actions.