The two components of focus

Focus has two components - one is the identification of what to focus on, and the other is the habit of executing focus. Each part reinforces the other - without identification, habit is applied in the wrong way and is wasted energy. Without habit and discipline, identification is merely a theoretical thought exercise.

Identification is a product of disciplined thinking. Identification is sitting down everyday and devoting some mental energy to what should be focused on. Like an artist that creates a statue from carving a little bit everyday from a big piece of rock, identification is carving out slightly more everyday to the very essence.

There are short-cuts to identification. One way is to source outside inputs and to get a sense of what other things to focus on. Another way is to bounce ideas off with other people, to get their inputs. But there is no substitute to digesting those inputs, channeling back into your thinking, and carving out a bit more everyday.

Habit is a product of disciplined doing. Habit is sitting down everyday and devoting some physical energy to doing the same exact thing. There is no substitute to getting a butt in a seat or the body somewhere, everyday, and going through the routine day-in and day-out.

Unlike identification, there are no short-cuts to developing habits. Habits are developed through sheer will-power; when others are partying, you ignore it and stay in to work. When others are watching the Cubs win the World Series, you shut off the TV and build. When others say you're a party pooper, you say yes I am and you focus on the bigger goal. When others say you're weird, you say yes and you go back to building.