How to Focus on What is Important to You
Time and energy are precious but limited resources. It’s easy to get caught up in a life where you are forever responding to the things which seem most urgent. You find yourself rushing from one emergency to another. To prevent this, you need to know, and focus on what is important. When you are able to focus on what is important, you can quickly decide what you need to focus on; what you need to automate/delegate; what you need to defer; and just as importantly, what you need ignore and let go.
If you want to focus on what is important, you need to first determine what is important. Thinking about the future is essential when determining what is important. Take a moment to think about how you would like to be remembered. It can provide you with a real perspective on life. Would you like to be remembered for:
- The amount of time you spent in work?
- The size of your bank balance?
- The car you drove?
- The size of your house?
- The number of friends you had on Facebook?
The above are all superficial issues which do not lead to personal fulfillment. They are based on image and quantity. Most importantly, if these are the things which you would like to be remembered for, you are allowing your life to be dictated by what is important to others. If you wish to create a happy, fulfilled and successful life, you cannot focus on what is important to others; you must focus on what is important to you. This allows you to be the best that you can be and that is what the people around you need you to be. When you focus on what is important to you and put yourself first; you become strong and you are in a better position to help others. Just like the airplane safety announcement tells you to put on your own oxygen mask first; you must give life to yourself before you can help to give to life to the dreams of others.
Focus on what is important to you
Rather than focus on what is important to others, the following criteria will help you to identify and focus on what is important to you.
Have a clear sense of purpose. Know who you want to be and what kind of impact you wish to have on the world.
Have clear values. Values are personal rules for how you wish to live your life. When you have strong, clear values, you hold yourself to account and ensure that your conduct does not drop below the standards you expect.
Principles govern how you interact with others and how you work in general. As an example, one of my principles is ‘Silence equals agreement’. In other words, if someone disagrees with my suggestion, they should speak up rather than complain after the fact.
Developing a clear vision of the life which you would like to create, gives you something to work towards. It also gives you a means to measure your progress. Having this vision in mind will help you to make snap decisions how you should spend your time and enables you to focus on what is important.
When seeking to improve their life, many people start by setting goals. However, to be truly effective, goals must be linked to your purpose and vision. They must be consistent with your values and principles. Each goal should focus on what is important and take you a step closer to creating the life you desire.
If you want to live a life full of personal fulfillment and success which means something to you; you must stop living a reactionary life. You must no longer focus on what is important to others. You must be guided from within yourself and focus on what is important to you. When you focus on what is important to you, you are able to eliminate the tasks and activities which do not take you closer to your objectives. You have a clear vision in mind and your goals are designed to take you there. This level of focus is essential for personal fulfillment and while it does take some effort, it is within the reach of everyone.
Credit for this article to: Carthage Buckley of Coaching Positive Performance