Using Focus to Improve Your Life (Part 1 of 3)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but ever since I left school I have been learning to learn.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
Once I got out of the environment where I was forced to learn, it suddenly became far more valuable. Sure, I enjoyed a number of my classes while in college, but there were many times I walked out feeling like I had wasted an hour of my life.
It was dull, monotonous and uninteresting, but I had to sit through it in order to get a degree. Yuck.
Now I am out of college leaving plenty of time to begin discovering the things which really interest me.
Only now I have a new problem.
I want to learn so much it feels like there will never be enough time in this life. I will name just a few…
- I want to learn and be proficient in a language that will have some use in my lifetime. (like Spanish)
- I want to learn how to be a real, legitimate writer and someday publish a book, if not multiple books.
- I want to learn how to be the best husband and father I can possibly be.
- I want to learn how building a house works from start to finish.
- I want to learn how to hit a softball over a 300 foot fence.
- I want to learn how to cross people over on a basketball court.
- I want to learn how to cook really well.
- I want to learn how to buy and sell stock wisely.
- I want to learn how to inspire people.
- I want to learn how to lead people well.
For the record, I made that list in less than thirty seconds.
You get the picture. I am all over the place.
While in school, I just wanted to learn how to get by with good grades while listening as little as possible and getting my work done as quickly as possible. I was pretty successful.
But, things have changed. I can now focus on learning what I want to learn.
I could work on all of these goals at once, but I would undoubtedly fail. There is just too much information.
So, here is my suggestion to you if at times it seems daunting when you think about everything you want to learn and accomplish.
Make a broad list of things you want to learn. It could be as simple as learning to build the habit of turning off unnecessary lights in your house or as complex as learning Mandarin. It is really up to you.
Next, start narrowing your list.
What are the top three things you would absolutely love to learn at this stage of your life? What would be most beneficial? Which would bring you the most joy? Chances are you have already cut your list in half at this point. I know I have.
After you narrow it down, just starting going with gut reactions.
My top 3 (based on my gut):
- Learn how to be the best husband I possibly can be (fatherhood is still a few years away, but I am preparing for that as well).
- Learn to be a great writer and how to self-publish.
- Learn how to inspire people (tied in with how to lead people well).
Once you have become proficient in those three, repeat the process with a new set of objectives.
And keep doing it for the rest of your life. Never stop learning. Learning, in fact, begets learning. As you learn new skills, you will realize other things that you want and need to learn.
Lastly, do the top three goals you picked work well together? Or is there tension and friction? Are your goals selfless or selfish? Use those questions to evaluate and reevaluate the things you want to learn and let me know your findings!
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series next week!