Advertising
Advertising

How to Practice the Art of Detached Focus to Achieve Your Goals

How to Practice the Art of Detached Focus to Achieve Your Goals

    Focus: Effort, Attention, concentration, motivation, application, single mindedness emphasis, to name but a few of its synonyms.

    Having the ability to decide at each moment what merits your attention is to me one of the secrets of success. It’s been proven time and again by sports stars and high achievers If there is something you want, fearlessly focusing on it will give you a much higher probability of achieving it.

    Can we focus too much?

    But what happens if we focus too much on our destination, when the object of our focus becomes our waking thoughts, our daily deliberations and our midnight meditations? Can this intense concentration bring us the results that we desire?

    Advertising

    The answer unfortunately is no, those people who set goals and struggle daily for their goals to manifest generally don’t achieve them, holding on to the goal too tightly will not assist in its acquisition.

    Shooting Arrows

    My husband practices archery, he has thought me the basics of shooting arrows, the stance, the technique, the pulling back but most importantly the letting go. They say the letting go is the most important bit. The energy, the focus and the goal are there but it is in letting go that the arrow reaches its target.

    I heard Deepak Chopra explain the concept of letting go by using the metaphor of a gardener. The gardener plants the seed and gives the seed all it needs to survive but he doesn’t go and dig it up every day to see if it has grown. The gardener is clear about the outcome he desires, he does the work required but then he lets go or detaches himself from the outcome.

    Advertising

    So the problem is not focusing too much but focusing on the wrong thing.

    Do not focus on the goal

    So the sports star should focus on the daily actions and not on the final outcome, the business person should focus on the individual tasks and not the ultimate objective. When you concentrate on the goal you are holding onto it and holding on does not work with the flow of nature and life. If you focus too intently on the goal you are not truly present, and if you are not present you cannot be open to the possibilities that life may bring.

    If a sales person focuses on finalizing the sale he is not paying attention to the customer and therefore will not serve the customer according to their needs. Therefore we must remember to work with a sense of purpose and awareness of presence, if we work in this manner we will be benefiting from the increase in productivity and efficiency that being focused can bring us, but more importantly we will be moving closer to our desired outcomes in a relaxed, detached and more effective manner.

    Advertising

    Focus on the path

    And so the secret is to focus intently, but to focus on the path and not on the destination. To do all that is required to make you the best at what you do but not to concentrate on the result. If we can learn to practise and hit the best forehand that we can physically hit, the outcome we want will follow. If we do our jobs with passion and the best of our abilities then the consequences will be positive, and if we intently focus on the perfecting or doing the best possible job, our goals, our dreams and our desires should not delay in following close behind.

    By practicing the art of detached focus, ironic though it may sound we can achieve more by letting go.

     

    Advertising

     

     

    More by this author

    15 Productivity Hacks That Speed Up Your Efficiency 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits) How to Not Forget Things Easily with These 5 Simple Ways So You Think You Can Multitask? Think Again. Photo credit: oneonethreefour (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) 7 Ways to Clear the Clutter and Find your Life

    Trending in Productivity

    1 15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success 2 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times 3 How to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed: 7 Quick Ways to Try 4 Don’t Think You’re a Creative Person? You Can Definitely Change That 5 11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

    15 Best Leadership Books Every Leader Must Read To Achieve Success

    Reading is an essential life skill. It’s how we record our history and share stories. Sure, there are countless books jam-packed from cover to cover with valuable facts. But there are also limitless volumes containing invaluable insights on the human experience.

    Generations of people have scribed their experiences and struggles, their emotions and confessions onto blank pages, thereby transforming them into rich resources. Given this truth, it’s disheartening to report that global literacy rates are in decline.[1] Individuals young and old all around the world are reading less, less absorbedly.

    According to author John Coleman, this lack of literature extends into the business world and all the way up the corporate ladder.[2] In his experience, “business people seem to be reading less.” Which is bad news considering the fact that “broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.”

    Perhaps it’s because reading has been shown to improve communication,[3] emotional intelligence,[4] organizational effectiveness, and to reduce stress.[5] All of which are critical requirements for an effective leader.

    Now that you’ve been sufficiently convinced of the importance of reading, you’re probably wondering what you should be reading. You might also be thinking that you don’t have the time. Well, the truth is that you do have the time:

    “Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you.”

    You don’t have to read 52 books in a year, but you do have to make time for more reading. And when you do, this list of the 15 best leadership books to read will inform and inspire you to become a great leader.

    Lead Yourself

    Before you can lead someone else, a group of people, or a company, you must be able to lead yourself. That means discipline, self-actualization, sense of purpose, and humility.

    1. Meditations

    by Marcus Aurelius

      Although Aurelius was writing for himself, the surviving text is a road map to living a better life. By removing the excess, Aurelius shows us all how to rise above distractions to maintain our principles. Rooted in Stoic philosophy, Meditations is practical advice for controlling your thoughts, emotions, and actions to remove stress from your life.

      Print | eBook

      2. Man’s Search for Meaning

      by Viktor Frankel

        This book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp, during the Holocaust. Through all the pain and suffering Frankel was able to maintain perspective and conclude that there “must be meaning in suffering.” He reminds us that the meaning of life is to define that meaning for ourselves through action.

        Advertising

        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        3. The Alchemist

        by Paulo Coelho

          Life is a journey. Each one of us should be trying to follow our own personal legend (that is, what you have always wanted to accomplish). The tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, reveals what happens when we pursue our own legend: “the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          Defining Leadership

          After building your foundation from which to lead, it’s important to understand exactly what leadership is and how it’s applied. It’s also helpful to study other successful leaders and businesses.

          4. The Truth About Leadership

          by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

            There are some things that will always play a role in effective leadership. Trust, credibility, and ethics are among those things. Kouzes and Posner reveal 30 years of research that support these and other core principles.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            5. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t

            by Jim Collins

              Some companies succeed, but most fail. Jim Collins evaluated thousands of articles and interview transcripts to figure out why exactly that is. Then he packaged it all into this book to show you what traits you’ll need to build a great company.

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              6. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

              by Steven R. Covey

              Advertising

                Seven Habits is a timeless lesson in leadership and success. By changing your mindset to embrace an alternative perspective, Covey walks you through the self-mastery Paradigm Shift. This process is broken down into Independence, Interdependence, and Continual Improvement, resulting in meaningful and consistent growth.

                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                7. Delivering Happiness

                by Tony Hsieh

                  As CEO of Zappo, Tony Hsieh built a massively successful business by doing what everyone else talks about: putting the customer first and hiring the right people. Serving customers and company culture were the main focus. As a result employees and customers were happy and satisfied. Hsieh was able to dismantle traditional corporate leadership and deliver happiness and loads of profit along the way

                  Print | eBook

                  8. The Innovator’s Dilemma

                  by Clayton Christensen

                    Here Harvard professor and businessman Clayton Christensen lays out the path to “disruptive innovation.” This, as described by Christensen, requires rejecting the needs of the customer right now in favor of adopting new methods and technologies that will meet their needs in the future. Early adopters and innovators get ahead; all of the others fall behind.

                    Print

                    9. Tribes

                    by Seth Godin

                      Start by reading Tribes and then continue on reading everything Godin has written. From his blog to his books and everything in between, Godin is sharing a winning formula for stepping outside of the status quo to do meaningful work. It’s this kind of work that will inspire others to follow, help you get noticed, and leave a legacy long after you’re gone.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      Advertising

                      Communicate and Motivate

                      To lead you must inspire others to follow your example or orders. It helps if you’re able to attract, engage, and encourage employees, business partners, and potential clients to get on board with your plan or proposal.

                      10. Drive

                      by Daniel H. Pink

                        The ability to motivate is central to leadership. That’s what makes Pink’s book so valuable. Packed with the secrets of motivation, Pink suggests we move away from rewards and punishment, opting for meaningful work, mastery, and autonomy instead.

                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                        11. How to Win Friends and Influence People

                        by Dale Carnegie

                          Everyone wants to feel important. In Win Friends Carnegie shows you how to use that in your favor to make people like you and win people over. It’s a book about how to communicate and interact with people in a meaningful way. It all comes down to showing interest in the people you interact with and the work that they are doing. If you make that connection you will have won a friend.

                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                          12. Team of Rivals

                          by Doris Kearns Goodwin

                            If Abe Lincoln can unite his cabinet and the country around abolishing slavery amidst war, you can probably reconcile conflicting personalities in your company. Meshing people of divergent ideologies into a team or group is an admirable leadership trait. In Team of Rivals Kearns Goodwin recounts the story of how Lincoln surrounded himself with the best people, despite their differences. He was humble and unafraid to be challenged: two traits that will serve every leader.

                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                            Keep Going

                            Sometimes things don’t go as planned. If and when that happens, you’ll have to pick yourself up and start all over again. Perseverance and resilience are mandatory.

                            13. Endurance

                            by Endurance

                            Advertising

                              In 1914, explorer Edward Shackleton undertook an expedition to the South Pole. Although the mission was a failure, the resulting story of survival in the ice-bound Antarctic seas serves as a guide post for leaders confronted with adversity.

                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                              Be Real

                              No one can fake leadership. And, if they can, it won’t last long. Acknowledging fear and vulnerability are far more valuable leadership skills than being cold or shut-off.

                              14. Daring Greatly

                              by Brené Brown

                                Being vulnerable doesn’t have to be a weakness. Fear and shame shouldn’t prevent us from daring to do big things. Instead, Brown tells us that it’s most important to show up; to try and to fail. Because coming up short is better than never having tried at all.

                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                15. The War of Art

                                by Steve Pressfield

                                  Anything you create is going to require one heck of a battle: that’s the war of art. Every single person in the world who has written a book, published an article, started a business, or made “art” has been scared out of their mind. Procrastination, fear, and self-doubt strike everyone. The only way to beat them is to make stuff and share it with the world.

                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                  Featured photo credit: Quino Al via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

                                  Read Next