Most people can focus on a goal for a short time, or even for a medium-term period—for instance, to lose twenty pounds. But how do we maintain focus or, more aptly, refocus after we’ve let our guard down?
For every line of resolve there is the relief of returning to what we might deem, normal life. But, for many people such a ‘normal life’ brings with it temptations too great.
Once the grip of resolve is lost, regaining the momentum can prove, seemingly, impossible. It’s a great skill of self-control to be able to refocus.
Let’s consider the following ideas that may help us rein in our desires:
1. The power of the conscious mind cannot be underestimated, or its importance to us and our goals overstated. Focus, by definition, is mindfulness, and such a state can resecure our resolve.
2. As we invest in the power to think about what we need to think about, shutting out what we shouldn’t think about, we are given the keys to refocus—one day, and one moment, at a time.
3. Surely also the role of vision compels us toward success. Vision comes in many ways, from visualising the desired outcome to understanding our purpose to believing we can do something that we’ve never achieved before, which is also faith. Vision is fuel for refocus. The trouble is, our vision has tended to be negative and we focus on what we’re missing out on rather than what we stand to achieve. The former focus delivers results that are short lived; the latter is, on the contrary, food for life.
4. As we set out on a goal it will do us a power of good to understand that the initial focus will be easier than the refocus will be if we drop the ball. This obliges us to have a safe fear for the future that will guard us on the road to achievement. This endears us to determination that will drive us forward in the balance of humility.
5. When we prove we can refocus we have mastered self-control. This is a thing that many people take for granted—God has made them with that capacity, or they have mastered the art of refocus. For many others the achievement of self-control is a lifelong, and painful, quest. Refocus must be our aim.
One of the most discouraging aspects of life is achieving something, only to lose what was achieved because focus was lost. Learning to refocus is a critical human maintenance skill. Without it we will always struggle with self-control.
The good news is we can achieve our goals, long-term, as we maintain focus by refocusing each day, and upon slips we quickly determine a fresh resolve. Our practical lives depend on refocus.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.