Sunday, February 21, 2016

Focus…one simple word but not always an easy task

I’ve tasked myself with learning something new about writing, blogging or marketing every month.  Whether it’s with articles, on-line or in-person classes, books or video tutorials, I want to continue learning when it comes to writing, blogging about my writing journey, publishing and marketing my work.

The trick, of course, is figuring out how to write, while regularly learning more about writing so that I continue to polish my craft, how to market what I write, while also learning more about marketing, as I also continue to blog about writing, publishing and marketing, all while running a household and working a full-time job.

Yeah, it makes me tired just reading that paragraph too.

But it can be done.  We just have to focus on our goals and figure out what will get us to where it is we want to finally be. 

Ever heard the saying, “Do what you Love, Love what you do?” In a perfect world, we’d all be happy doing what we love.  Even if we’re not quite to that point, we can certainly strive for that result.  It just takes actual focus to get there.  Whether or not we love what we do, we do what we have to in order to pay the bills, keep the cars and house, put our kids through college, or go on nice vacations.  However, while focusing on what we have to do, we can also make every effort to reach certain goals so that eventually we can do what it is we love to do.  Sometimes, it takes doing both at the same time for awhile, before we can finally peel away the layers of what we have to do, until we can finally focus on what we love to do. 

But the key to this, in order to reach the goals we hope to achieve, is to remain focused.  It’s easy enough for me to say I want to be the next great writer, having sold enough books to live happily ever after, never having to work for anyone else and never having to worry about money again.  Projected in that way, it’s really not an easy dream to achieve.  In fact, it will remain just that…a dream. 

There is the saying, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”  It’s a great saying, really.  It’s never wrong to aim high.  To expect the most out of your adventures.  But will you be happy if you don’t make it to the moon and only land among the stars?  That’s what you have to be prepared for – only the lucky few make it to the moon.  

Keeping our focus is still the key even if the end result is only to land among the stars.  Saying, “I want…” and expecting to achieve whatever is in our dream of dreams is never enough, especially if we don’t do the work or make a focused plan to get there.  Those who achieve their goals make a plan and then narrow down that plan into bits and pieces that are relevant, easy to fit into their everyday life and which are stepping stones to help get to the next step, and then the next, until they are that much closer to landing among the stars, or if they are the lucky few, to landing on the bright and wonderful moon.

As easy as it is to say that focus is a necessary approach in order to reach our most desired goals, it is admittedly not always an easy task.  Life is distracting and sometimes we get off course.  Sometimes our goals are very broad, and it may be difficult to break up and identify the necessary tasks and stepping stones that will help us reach them.  Sometimes, we know what we want, but we just can’t quite figure out how to get there.  Whatever the obstacle, the only way to map a course to our destination is to make a solid plan, give ourselves tasks to help us reach each stepping stone towards the large goal, keep in mind that nothing ever happens overnight, and most importantly, continue to remain focused.

There’s a learning curve when it comes to staying focused and not losing our ground as we work towards our goals.  But those who figure out how to stay on task, by keeping their focus, or who figure out how to get back on track even if they get knocked off course at some point, will be those who land among the stars or, in their dream of dreams, possibly even make it to the moon. 

So stay on course and have a great week!

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