Focus: the most important virtue but the most difficult to achieve.
Mahabharta, an ancient Indian epic, explains the importance of focus in life through a story. Once guru Drona was teaching his disciples (Pandavas and Kauravas) the art of archery. He placed a wooden bird as the target and asked each of them to aim at the eye of the bird and was asked to describe what they see. Most of them said that they can see the trees, the branches, the leaves, the sky, the bird and its eye. The sage asked these disciples to wait. Then he asked his favourite disciple Arjuna the same question and he replied, “I only see the eye of the bird.” The sage said, “Very good, then shoot.” The arrow went straight and hit the eye of the bird.
Another inspiration story is about Spencer West. He is a Canadian who achieved something extraordinary only by the virtue of his commitment and willpower. At a very early age he lost both of his legs below pelvis to a spinal disorder and doctors assured him that he will never be able to walk and be able to lead an active life. But he proved doctors wrong.
He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro!
He trained hard for 12 months to be physically fit for the ordeals of tough African terrain. But I am sure his mental training in these 12 months would have been even more daunting. There must be thoughts of failure cracking whips on his nerves, chilling his bones. But in the end he achieved what he strived for only through FOCUS.
These two stories, both fictional and real life, elucidate the moral that we cannot achieve our goals until we are focused.
But is it really as simple as it sounds?
We focus on a task by concentrating our mind at it. Hence, one cannot achieve focus until he has full control over his mind. But our mind is fickle. It never stays at one thought. One moment we think about one thing and very next another beautiful thought replaces it. One moment a task is most important and within no time another takes priority. Forget about material/non-material things; we are not even able to focus on human relationships.
Several ancient Indian scriptures talk about difficulty of controlling mind but the most appreciated text comes from Bhagwat Gita. In one of the verse, protagonist Arjuna explains his frailty about controlling his mind, ‘’O Krisna, the flickering mind is certainly turbulent strong and obstinate; I think that subduing the mind is more difficult than the wind.’’(Gita chapter 6 verse 29).
Controlling mind is difficult, but it has to be achieved because?
It is not just to have materialistic success but to have harmony in life. Power of mind, thoughts and concentration can be understood but Charles F. Haanel’s quote that says ‘’Thought is energy; Active thought is active energy; concentrated thought is a concentrated energy. Thought concentrated on a definite purpose becomes power.’’
Hence once we have focus, we can concentrate all our positive energy in the task at hand. We can think about more possible ways of removing hurdles and identify new opportunities. This is a stage where even failures become a stepping stones and nothing can come between you and your success.
Please share your thoughts about importance of being focused, situation where it helped, difficulties you may have faced or any other relevant point that I may have missed 🙂