Posts Tagged ‘Focus’

The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.

— Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1757, by Joshua Reynolds; Public Domain)

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I believe the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master of that line.

— Andrew Carnegie (by Theodore Christopher Marceau; Public Domain)

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Many people wonder why they don’t amount to more than they do. They have good stuff in them; are energetic, persevering, and have ample opportunities. It is all a case of trimming the useless branches and throwing the whole force of power into the development of something that counts.

—W.J. Johnston (Image Free Use; Pixabay)

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I must lose myself in action, lest I wither in despair.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (by George Frederic Watts; Public Domain)

I admit it, I much prefer happy, uplifting quotes. But more importantly, I prefer quotes that can help someone with what they are going through. Not only does this very brief quote by Tennyson remind us that grief, despair, and depression afflicted even the most famous people in history (in fact, these dark forces generally helped shape who they would become), it also gives us a clear pathway out of the shadows. No matter how dark of a time we might be going through, we still have the mental capacity to choose where we would like to be, and define what actual steps it will take to get there. When our mind wants to focus on the darkness, let us recognize this condition and lose ourselves in the actions needed to move forward. It is amazing how this simple step will make the melancholy abate.

—Mike Hazell

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Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Two trails that lead to light and darkness

—Pope John XXIII (Photo Licensed)

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Overlooking the Unimportant

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” 

—William James (by Notman Studios, 1902; Public Domain)

…More than at any other point in history, we are bombarded with a constant stream of stimuli which fight to gain our attention. The never-ending stream of news when we turn on our television or log into our computer. The pop-ups that insult our intelligence every time we visit a website (“YES! I want to learn how to make money by….” “No thanks, I already have all of the money I need”).

Enough! 99% of the debris being thrown at us each day won’t help us move forward toward our desired destination by one millimeter. In fact, it does the opposite—it distracts us and takes our attention away from what will move us forward! It is time to tune the garbage out.

It takes vigilance, but begin by simply being consciously aware of when something has stolen our attention. From the 42 new emails in our inbox, to the news story designed to inflame us, to the perceived slight lobbed at us by the person on the phone, let’s begin practicing the art of overlooking the unimportant.

By remaining focused on the horizon and keeping our feet on the path, we train our mind to be in tune with what will help us move forward, and we begin to simply overlook the rest.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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The average person puts only 25% of their energy and ability into their work. The world takes its hat off to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

Carnegie, Andrew, PD, 1913

—Andrew Carnegie (1913, by Theodore Marceau; Public domain)

…Upon first read, it may seem as though this Carnegie quote is at odds with how we are taught to live. After all, isn’t it important to have a “balanced” life, compartmentalizing our time between work, family, play, and (most importantly) worship? Absolutely, but that doesn’t take anything away from the singularity of focus leaders have toward their craft.

Two of my favorite examples are Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Both of these souls dedicated themselves to their passion right up to the end. Walt Disney designed a plan for a new theme park in his mind, using the tiles on his hospital room ceiling as a sort of graph paper. Steve Jobs continued to lead his design teams at Apple right up until he could no longer physically travel.

Let’s talk about spirituality, the bedrock of our existence (whether we accept it or not). Carnegie, Disney, and Jobs could be ruthless leaders at times. In fact, there are certain characteristics of all three men we should pray to avoid. Jobs, in fact, shunned religion for virtually all of his life. But that doesn’t change the fact that all three accomplished great things by having an incredible level of focus on their calling. The role of a Higher Power working through us cannot be diminished simply because we do not accept that fact. Or, as C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

So, let’s use the examples of Carnegie, Disney, and Jobs to give ourselves to the one passion that drives us, but with the understanding that we are simply tapping into God’s great power from within to accomplish great things. With that in mind, we can add an incredible component to our journey: Divine Happiness.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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There is no greater harm than that of time wasted.

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)

— Michelangelo (Public domain)

…And don’t worry about perfection, just keep moving. Certainly, you will need to make adjustments along the way to your destination, but dedicate a specific small block of time each week—perhaps an hour over the weekend—to check your bearings. The remainder of the time, remain focused and keep moving forward.

The true measure of your success will come when you meet your next obstacle (of many), and you continue to move forward in a focused manner despite the roadblock.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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Decide firmly what you will not do, and you will be free to do vigorously what you ought to do.


— Mencius (Public domain)

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Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.

two routes twtr pst shstock 66363337

— T. Harv Eker

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