Out Of Focus, Into Stress

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

Today’s blog is about focus and stress. Because focus, and the lack thereof, along with the lack of a little common sense, is the cause of many problems in today’s world, including a great deal of needless stress.

I’ll start off with a short conversation that helps to illustrate my point regarding focus in, I hope, an amusing way. And of course this blog being what it is, this conversation is one between two idiots. I actually overheard this one myself and I walked away from it feeling – I’m not sure how to describe it really – not quite stunned, but amazed? Yes, that’s it, amazed by what I’d heard.

Here it is,

Idiot 1: “Did you see the bit in the local paper where they found a 34 year old man dead in an alleyway near the football ground?”

Idiot 2:  “No, I don’t get the paper. Will he be all right?”

Idiot 1:  “They took him away in an ambulance, but he was dead.”

Idiot 2:  “Oh, sounds bad. Where did it happen?”

Idiot 1:  “In an alleyway.”

Idiot 2:  “What age was he?”

Idiot 1:  “I dunno.”

Now this went on for a while, longer than I could stick around and listen to it. And sadly it’s fairly typical of the level of conversation a lot of the time.

What exactly is the reason for things like this?

Is it because it is now beyond the ability of these people to process the information they hear? (Even, as in this example, the information that they themselves say!)

I used to think so, but now I put it down to the fact that they just don’t listen (even to themselves) and that their attention span can be measured in nano-seconds.

The ability to focus, particularly in the task at hand is a great gift. It is most definitely not the same thing as being smart or stupid. Everyone is not born with the ability to focus, it can be learned.

But it is the corner stone of everyone who is successful in their careers, whether that is as an entrepreneur, or in showbusiness, or medicine, or carpentry, or having a decent family life with lots of quality time. Without focus you’re all over the place, and find you haven’t time to enjoy anything.

I like to watch the auditions part of American Idol and The X-Factor and shows like that. Sometimes you want to hide behind the sofa it’s so bad, but most of the time it is both amusing and amazing. Amusing because of the utter and complete lack of natural talent that some of these hopefuls have, and amazing because they have no clue as to just how unsuited they are for a career in showbusiness.

As I said in the list above, showbusiness is just one of a multitude of careers in which focus is essential. Absolutely not one of the top artists in showbusiness has got there, and more importantly stayed there (I’m not talking about one-hit-wonders), on the strength of their talent alone. Their sustained success has included good management and natural talent, of course. But without that added factor of being focused on their job they would soon disappear into oblivion. For example, remember..er…you know the guy who… me neither!

It takes focus to be successful in the big things in life. And it takes focus to do the simple things too, like write a blog, or read one (thanks, by the way, much appreciated), or even as in the example above, to hold a sensible conversation.

A guy called David Allen (I don’t know which one) said that “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” And not finishing what they started is the result of not being able to focus on the job at hand.

Hmmm, I’ve gone off on a bit of rant again. Sorry, but that’s how I see it.

Have you had similar experiences? Send them along. Let the world know what is happening before it is too late.

20 of American Idol’s worst auditions


Probably the two most obnoxious people ever to appear on Britain’s X-Factor

And if you do audition, take your best friend with you

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