Wednesday, 29 September 2010


It’s so incredibly easy to be distracted. One minute you’ve got a great idea for a blog entry, the next you’re sucked into a bit of reality TV. A bit of reality TV you’ve already seen, at that. And before you know it a whole week has gone by and the blog idea has disappeared somewhere into the ether.

As simple as that. And that’s where I find myself. But it is interesting as to how easily I find my attention shifted onto something else. Sometimes it has a bit of value, a lot of the time it most certainly does not.

The reason this got my thinking again was because I fell upon a piece by a guy called Harvey Mackay entitled, “Stay Focused On The Big Picture.” The basic principle is ‘the person that is everywhere is nowhere’. Decide what’s important and focus on it.

Too many goals, objectives, distractions, questions etc etc. Focus on the issue at hand and cut everything out. If I may, I’ll borrow a golfing story that Harvey quoted in his article about Arnold Palmer. The golfing legend recalled a tough lesson he learned about focus:

'It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, "Congratulations." I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus.

On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don't forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. Trust me, your friends will understand!'

It’s unlikely that most of our lives will consist of a golfing major but even on the most basic level there's definitely something to be taken from that. Knowing what to do is one thing. Focusing and getting it done is entirely another.

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