Friday, January 17, 2014

Focus Friday: Where Do We Begin?

We're just beginning our journey together and I'm not quite sure where to begin. I have lots of thoughts on this idea of "focus" and they're all swirling around in this old brain of mine. Do I talk about why we lose our focus...or where our focus should be...or how we sometimes focus too much on something...or the things that tempt us to lose our focus? Whew, this may be even more difficult than I thought it would be.

For today, let me point out something I noticed over the last week. After I introduced this idea last Friday, I was surprised to see how often the idea of "focus" made an appearance throughout the week. I saw the word "focus" in several blog posts, on Facebook, and on the screen when I started watching a movie (the company was "Focus Features"). The word showed up in books I was reading, billboards, and TV commercials. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad, but it did seem to show up many, many times over the course of the week.

This has happened to me before. About a year ago, we were thinking about buying a new car. We liked the little rental car we used while we were on vacation and Gary thought about getting one of our own. We checked out the Chevy Sonic at the dealer's and really liked it, but we decided to wait a little while. Suddenly all we saw were Chevy Sonics. Blue ones, red ones...they seemed to be everywhere. As it turns out, Gary found a good deal on a used Chevy Impala and we set aside our plans to own a Sonic. Now I hardly ever see one.

I can remember quite a few times when I was thinking about something and then I seemed to notice that word or object all over the place. My focus was on a car or a food or a person and that's what I noticed as I went about my daily routine.

Maybe that's enough for us to start with this week. Take a look around you. What do you find yourself noticing most? Food? Clothing? Money? Cars? Certain people? It could be that your focus is on one of those things. Notice that they're not bad things, but too much focus on any of those things could be bad for us.

This reminds me of a YouTube video that my kids used to watch a long time ago. Maybe you've seen it - it's the one about the German Coast Guard Trainee. (You can see the 1 minute video by clicking here: German Coast Guard Trainee)  A distress call comes over the radio and you hear a desperate voice calling out, "Mayday, mayday, we are sinking! We are sinking!" The German Coast Guard trainee picks up the microphone and asks haltingly in a heavy German accent, "Halo, this is the German coast guard. What are you sinking about?"

Pretty corny, isn't it? But the idea is sound: "What are you sinking about?" needs to be something we ask ourselves once in a while. Where is your focus? What are you thinking about?

Does this ring true with you? Do you find yourself noticing the things you are thinking about as you go about your daily routine? Are there things you either need to stop or start thinking about so that your focus is on the most important things?

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