Most things I read about “finding focus” have to do with getting into the concentration zone where you only think about that one thing you are trying to think about and also DOING something with that thing (creating, writing, processing, etc.). This morning I woke up early again (two days in row! Hoorary!) and was thinking about what I could use the time for. In that I took yesterday morning to examine and reflect on my successes and failures last year and what I learned from them, I sat down this morning to think about what I want to focus on this year. I suspect most go-get-’em types start doing this sort of thing in December, but honestly, I can’t say I was in the best place in December to really tackle this. December is a giant combination of elation and depression in many ways, and BNAT was the elation and post-BNAT was the depression, so I wasn’t able to get motivated or create time to start thinking about what I could focus on for 2013. Frankly, that low point after BNAT and up until the past few weeks is what finally kicked me into taking action to move forward with something new and to examine my failures and successes. It’s funny that feeling like a failure is what has led me down this path of examining not only my failures, but my successes and having a giant revelation about just how successful last year’s Focus Project was even though it collapsed at the end of the year. There was a lot of auto-pilot by about 3/4 of the way through the year, or maybe 2/3, but a lot of that was (and still is) rooted in my place of employment not being well organized or well-scheduled during their restructuring. That’s caused a lot of doubt, self-doubt and nervousness over the chaos of the situation. Frankly, I’m tired of all that. That’s a form of letting other people control you life, and that is a proxy of letting other people control how well you are thriving and existing in the world around you. I suppose I’m to the point of not only publicly saying “Ugh. Fuck that stupid shit.” but also to the point of having the deep realizations about it. The only person that’s going to treat me any better in my professional world on a daily basis is going to be me.
What does that have to do with this morning? Well, for one thing I believe all of that undercurrent (and my lack of beer) is giving me the energy to wake up early in the mornings and work on ideas for how to make our lives better over the next year. While most people probably have good ideas of these types of things (or maybe not – I kid myself that other people have their shit together a lot more than they really do), I really sat down this morning and hit the Focus Booster app for 30 minutes to just do nothing but sit and write about what some of the things are that I need to focus on for the next year and which of those things are worth being designated for the Focus Project. Not just me, but my family as well. If it were just me, it would look similar but also very different. I would probably spend a lot more time focused on drawing and photography if I were the only one to worry about, but I’m not. So financial improvement and professional growth (and improvement) are things that are going to take precedence this year. Those things are incredibly important and becoming a higher priority every year I get older and every year my daughter gets older as well. None of it’s ‘fun’ in the creative way that drawing or taking pictures is fun, but I have to make it interesting by setting goals to work toward and to make sure that the time and work I put into those things will make our lives better overall, not just in one area. That means there has to be at least some time for the drawing and/or the photography this year or I will end up focused on achieving only one “fun” goal like BNAT again and then once achieved find myself lost in a fog afterwards.
For the next three days I’m going to wake up early every morning and focus on projects to be part of the Focus Project. That’s the plan. Along the way, I hope to keep writing here to get thoughts out and to do what amounts to a second run of those early morning thoughts to see what sticks. Also along the way I am hoping to talk more about what tools I am going to use for all of these. I am terrible Perfect Apostrophe pursuer, and I was able to avoid it last year when I started the project and I hope to avoid it again this year while also at least opening myself up to exploring a few new tools. And if not exploring, then documenting and organizing the tools that I do use for the Focus Project. We’ll see where all of this goes over the next year, and I’ll do my best to come here regularly and write about it and try to talk about progress and obstruction, success and failure. But it’s time to achieve some significant things this year and I’m worn out and tired of those things in my life that aren’t working anymore, so it’s time to change what I can, keep things I enjoy (and do so within reason with things like beer and actually try to add in some things that have fallen by the wayside like drawing and watching movies more regularly), and get out of my own personal ruts and step up to some new levels of thinking, appreciating and being a different and better person in my own eyes and in the eyes of my family.