To Focus…or to Have Focus?

Is focus as a noun...or is focus a verb? It's a nuance worth thinking about, as it has more profound ramifications than meets the eye.

I read an interesting article that probes that question of whether focus is a noun or a verb, and what the difference is. I'll sum it up here and provide my own insights.

The basic premise is that developing clarity is a fleeting thing. In other words, the moment that we are clear on something...it changes! Maybe ever so slightly. Now I'm not talking about mathematical or scientific laws, which are immutable. But I am talking about directions in life, as in "What shall I do next?"

Because clarity is a fleeting thing, goal setting involves a perpetual process of adjustment. Our goals need to be vigilantly evaluated and re-evaluated, and in the process constantly adjusted to changing conditions of all sorts.

The article asserts that it is not enough to say, “We have our focus!” As an alternative, it suggest that we borrow from a quotation on the subject of focus from Dwight D. Eisenhower, which reads, “Focus is nothing, focusing is everything.” This is a powerful statement, bring focus into the moment. I think it's no accident that this statement came from a military person...

But in virtually any walk of life, focusing on what is essential is a powerful ability, especially in today's world where we are so bombarded with distracting ideas, information and opinions.

It is good to recognize that we need to focus on the 80:20 - the things that matter most. But is is equally important to recognize that what matters most today may have mattered least yesterday - and what mattered most yesterday may matter least today. The fact that change is the only constant compels us to think deeply and often, to re-evaluate our focus, and to re-prioritize as misappropriate.

For more information see the LinkedIn article by New York Times Bestselling Author Greg McKeown entitled, "The One-Word Answer to Why Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Have Been So Successful".