Focus, focus, focus

fighting the inside dragons pointless overthinking
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

“What if I feel no emotion when I think about my goals? Does that mean I have bad goals?”

  The answer to this question depends on how you are from an emotional point of view in other circumstances. This question might help:

On a scale from zero (rocks don’t feel anything) to 10 (I have liquid emotions instead of blood), how intense do you live your normal days?

    If you usually go above 6 on a daily basis and you get excited when you think about drinking water, then the answer to your question is yes. You need better goals. If your answer is 4 or below, think about what got you excited the last time and how important was that for you, then compare it with your goals. The labeling itself might be a problem here. Replace goals with dreams and see if you can notice any difference (referring to dreams as something from our mind that we would fight for to make it real). The dreams are usually the ones that can create emotion and since a dream is something we need to work on a very long time, I believe some emotion needs to be involved. Then again, it relies to how important that goal/dream is compared to the last thing that got you excited. For example, if the last time you got excited was when you got married or you had a child or things like that, feeling nothing or almost nothing when you think about your dreams doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad dreams.

It is ok not to be excited every time when thinking about these goals or dreams because there are always other things that can influence us in those very moments. We maybe can’t even focus properly in those moments and because of it, we cannot experience the full potential of those dreams coming true. It’s important how we feel most of the time when we think about these dreams.    Emotion is indeed a great indicator and a great facilitator for us to realize what’s impactful for us and we also realize what we need to focus on. We are capable of amazing things, but we cannot enjoy them without joy, can we? In the end, everything we do gets to this: do we feel good about what we did or about what we are going to do?

The interesting thing is that we can get motivated to do things we don’t want to do because, as I mentioned before, passion and motivation are not the same thing. We sometimes get motivated to do crap we don’t want to do because the end goal is bigger than the immediate comfort. Sometimes it’s not even motivation. It’s just pure peer pressure. The difference between motivation and peer pressure is that the last one has as a main goal to get rid of the pressure. There is little to no satisfaction in doing that shit other than making those people stop pressuring us.

Since I mentioned before how important is our environment for our level of motivation, I believe it is important to mention that having motivational and motivated people in our environment can be a huge asset. This is the main reason why going to seminars where we can find similar people has an impact (for a while). Going to meetings and watching different influencers doing their best to bring value into our lives can be very motivating as well. In those moments we need to start, if we haven’t started yet, and after we start, we need to go forward.

Environment can also mean distractions. These distractions by themselves are not necessarily motivating nor they “destroy” our motivation, but they switch our focus from what we need to do to…whatever. There is always a message to check or a new like on Facebook or another task to do even though it’s not that urgent.

In a podcast, Tai Lopez said that our attention span is less than the one a goldfish has. I thought that’s bullshit so I did a quick Google search (to be noticed that I interrupted the podcast to search something) and it seems that there is some truth here. Microsoft did a study and it seems that our multitasking ability increased, but our attention span it is indeed less than the one of a goldfish.

Honestly, I don’t know why we’re compared to goldfish, but it an interesting finding. No wonder it’s harder to do something nowadays. If we cannot pay attention more than 8 seconds (that’s what the study concluded), it might take longer to finish something. I believe this might be a problem because it can lead to loosing ideas. Did it ever happen to you to start writing something and you had some very interesting ideas and after a while (8 seconds probably), you stopped to check your phone or something and some of those ideas escaped your mind? It happened to me (and it still happens from time to time).

It actually makes sense. Our smartphone is the main reason this happens, especially if we have the notifications on. If it makes a sound, any sound, we feel the need to check it. Basically, we’re its bitch. There are so many apps installed on this thing and each of it “needs” to be checked to make sure we’re up to date with everything. Even when the notifications are off, we still feel the need to check just to make sure we don’t miss anything. I’m wondering if goldfish do the same since we’re in the same category of attention. If we continue in this rhythm, will it come a time when the goldfish will be the ones doing the studies comparing themselves to us?

*Passage from my book -> Fighting the Inside Dragons* (You can find it here on Kindle and Paperback)

What stops you from staying focused?

13 thoughts on “Focus, focus, focus

  1. Honestly, smart phones are so distracting. I ditched them for a while and went back to the old style phones and I starting reading a lot more books. I would love to get rid of mine now but I’d be buggered without Googlemaps and Grab (Grab is like Uber)

      1. Honestly, if it wasn’t for google maps and grab I would get rid of mine – I waste so much blooody time and read less books but I dont know how I’d get around my city without it. I asked my Vietnamese friend, “how did everyone get around Ho Chi Minh City’ before smart phones? and he laughed and said, “we got lost a lot!”

  2. Reblogged this on Abe Clabby Counseling and commented:
    I’d like to share something here. Some people are really good at talking so broadly that it applies to everyone’s lives, but so personally that anyone can feel like it was written for them.
    This one is about choosing the right goals. There are some things we do, a little bit, and without much enthusiasm. And there are others that we would do just for the satisfaction of doing it. This might help you find the latter.
    I’ve found it helps to pause as you read and check how it applies to your life with every few sentences.

  3. sigh…what can I say , smartphones it is. The urge to keep checking my notifications has been the reason because of which I get distracted. But, it’s not only this; sometimes random thoughts that have zero importance at that moment distract me.

  4. I’m kind of anti-cell phone. I leave the sound off. I leave it at home, often, when I go out. I leave it in my room. The constant pinging and little red notification markers are a huge distraction and spending time on it generally doesn’t leave me feeling good about the time I spent.

      1. Basically. I recognized early on the potential that the phone had to negatively impact how I run my life. And I read a quote once, something along the lines of “a ringing telephone is a request, not a demand”. You can choose to deny the request. I took the same approach with the cell.

  5. THIS: having motivational and motivated people in our environment can be a huge asset. This so much! There are some places where people are friendly but they’re not motivated. They just come in, do what has to be done, and go home. That’s not enough. I can see that now that I’m working in a different place and my focus has changed. Even at home, my husband and I have changed our focus to living healthy and we’re both motivated (most days) so we do better together than doing it alone.

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