“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” Bill Gates “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee
There is a principle of war known as Mass – superior, concentrated combat power at the most advantageous place and time is used to achieve decisive results.
We should employ our strength where and when it would have the greatest impact and yield the highest return.
For every activity there is a right time and procedure, Ecclesiastes 8:6
One of the ways the enemy attacks us is through confusion – we waste time thinking about all the stuff we would like to do rather than doing any of them.
One goal at a time. Jesus admonishes us to concentrate on a day at a time (Matthew 6:34). A day deserves our focussed attention and concentrated energy. And it is the triumph of a day that will carry us over, with strength, into the next.
In the same vein, our focus on one objective, the pursuit of one thing, would reduce and finally eliminate every distraction and false contenders for our attention.
We shouldn’t give everything our full attention because it’s not everything that calls to us that we should respond to. It’s not everything that draws you that you should draw near. For some of these things calling out to you do not help you draw close to being fulfilled, but draw you away from achieving your goal.
Fighting a war on two fronts would require double the resources. Do you have double the resources to do battle on two fronts?
Money: Adequate supply of money to meet the financial demands of your goal, that is, if money is a requirement in achieving your goal.
Materials: Fast and reliable supply, of superior quality and sourced at a reasonably competitive price.
Staff: Can you afford to work at different goals at the same time? Or can you afford to employ qualified people to do it for you?
Time: This is limited in supply. You can’t do everything at the same time. A sensible and careful use of time is necessary. Twenty-four hours is not enough to do all that you’d like to do, but it is enough to do one thing and do it well.
Strategy: There is no one-fit-all strategy. Every goal needs its own specially designed and well thought out strategy. You will have to come up with a strategy that will work for each of your pursuits.
Energy: You are one person. Your body is not designed to be used without recharging it through rest. Many people have broken down because they overworked their body and it couldn’t handle it; it crashed. The result could be heart attack, stroke, mental illness, and various forms of addiction to cope with the strain and stress applied on the body.
Another principle of war is Economy of force – allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.
The Preacher agrees with this principle –
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Ecclesiastes 11:6
This is the economy of force at work. There is the morning activity, and there is the evening activity. He talks literally of the time of day, morning and evening. But when it comes to the time that you as an individual are most productive, it does not have to be a literal morning or evening. It could be any time of the day when you are most productive, at your peak. Your morning could be 4pm, and your evening could be 8am.
Find out by gathering data about yourself the best time you perform at your peak, and then engage in that one activity that you have agreed to be your main focus. As the Preacher advised, don’t stop there, use the rest of day to engage in secondary activities.
The Lord also had something to say about this principle –
You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other orbe more loyal to one than the other.You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
You cannot chase divergent goals with equal passion.
Avoid concentrating your strength on secondary or less pressing goals. Invest your strength in the most important task, and give to the rest of your activities the energy that is left, when the first is done.
As a writer, before I finish a story, I always have an idea for another story, but that doesn’t mean I lose focus of the project at hand. No. I write down ideas, but do not give it my full attention, if I did, my project would suffer from lack of attention to detail and I could miss important cues.
Give your best to the first, and what’s left to the next.
But why do we, who have not been diagnosed with schizophrenia, find ourselves chasing two rabbits at the same time?
1. Passionate About Many Things
Instead of being a source of joy, our many passions and gifts become a handicap, a weakness, and a source of great confusion. You do not stay long enough with something to find out how it really works and how best to use it to your advantage.
2. Passionate About Nothing
This is when one is blown every which way by whichever wind is at work. While some 6-year-old kid would, without giving it much thought, tell you what he would like to be when he grows up, ask some adults what their goal in life is, and they will stand with their mouths agape wondering what it all means, this riddle you just posed to them, because they chase everything they bump into or that bumps into them.
3. External Pull
People are routing for you to go in one direction and your mind is pulling you in another. You are like a marionette – someone other than you is pulling the strings of your destiny. And that person is not God, for God is not the author of confusion.
4. Running from God’s Purpose for Your Life
We all know the story of Jonah, how he wanted to go his own way and not God’s way. He came face to face with storms, man-swallowing fish, and angry co-travellers. This is what happens when you want to go your own way; chaos and confusion. Your mind is torn between obeying God and doing your own thing. So we end up trying to do both.
5. Lack of Organisation Skill
We do not have our game plan worked out and prioritised, we simply stagger about in darkness, and startled when we discover we are at the edge of a cliff about to drop off into the yawning abyss, wondering… How on earth did I get here?
How do we overcome this schizophrenic urge to chase rabbits?
#Concentrate on One Goal
But you say, “They’re all equally important.”
This is indecisiveness, it wears you down. You have a goal that has great pull over your mind. Step forward with that and the others will follow, one by one. And you may be multi-gifted, but there’s a gift that dwarfs the rest. Go for that. Lead with that.
Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Prov 4:25
#Stop Worrying & Scared
Worry blurs our vision. Fear makes us run into a wall. The Lord knows we are inclined to worry, most times about the future, and over the mistakes of the past, that’s why He said –
"So don't worry about tomorrow,... Matt 6:34
Today recedes to the past and tomorrow is yet a dream away. Live for today. Set your mind on what you can achieve today with the resources available to you. Leave tomorrow alone. Leave. It. Alone. Not implying you shouldn’t plan, plan, but don’t agonise, or be afraid about it, but pray.
Jesus taught us to pray. He said,
Give us this day our daily bread… Matthew 6:11, 25
He wants us to concentrate on securing today’s bread and to stop worrying about tomorrow’s crumbs. Prayer helps us to focus the mind on one goal. Prayer births clarity: we kneel confused, we stand illuminated.
Be merciless in the critical examination of your life. Leave no aspect unexamined.
We avoid looking critically at our lives because of fear of what we might discover; the unwise choices we have made, the dodgy friends we keep, the miry path we are on, the questionable plans we have chosen to pursue, and our many weaknesses we have chosen not to do anything about. Rather, we choose to live a lie.
Some thrive on the applause of men, (they clap us onto the wrong path), live on past achievements, and try to revive the past joys by chasing many things at once, thinking at least one of them might bring again those past joys and success.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. Psalm 119:59
Impatience is one reason we run amok. Patient is the glue that keeps us steady on a path. Patience enters into the future, one step at a time. No haste. With confidence that things will work out and fall into place, one by one.
Hope is patience with the lamp lit. (Tertullian)
#Listen for His Voice
4 When he has driven out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They’ll never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.” John 15:4,5
There are other strange shepherds; false goals, time and life wasting pursuits that are calling out to you, objectives not meant to be pursued this particular season. Ignore them. Filter out the voice of the many, and follow the voice of the One.
It’s time we stop chasing rabbits and fight the good fight, only on one front…at a time…a goal…at a time.
My name is Tam Henry George. And I am here to build.
©Tam Henry George, March 23, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tam Henry George with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.