I’m Sorry, What? Oh yeah, Focus.

I looked up the definition of scatter brained today.  According to some definitions Scatter brain means a forgetful person, simpleton, flighty and disorganized. 

I prefer another definition that says that scatter brained people are usually highly imaginative people who take in so many details at a time that if the details are deemed unimportant they get put to the side.  Well, it sounds better than flighty and simpleton, as I am neither of those things.  Yet, I have found that I DO forget things and now I am noticing that I forget them.  How weird is that?

For instance, I drive the same way to work each day and both on the way to work and on the way home I go through a tunnel for a bit.  Oddly enough, I remember this and notice it every day on the way home, but in the mornings, most of the time, I will get to work and not remember ever going through the tunnel, yet I had to have gone through it to get there. 

That’s not the only thing either.  Here’s a stupid example, the lawnmower I bought, I took back to Home Depot because I thought the pull chord had broken / pulled out too far and wouldn’t go back in so it wouldn’t start.  It wasn’t broken, it was fine – it had come unhooked from the bar so it just looked different.  Thing is, I didn’t remember it being hooked up there to begin with, how scatter brained is that?

There are other things too, that I will suddenly notice are different and my kids will say – “mom, it used to be this way all the time.” 

“Well, heck, where was I?” I reply.

“Um…..you put it there,” they say.   Yes, that makes me feel so smart I want to go play ostrich for a while.

I went on www.luminosity.com and joined up so I could practice brain training games.  Their games are supposed to build focus, hand eye coordination and help with memory.  I pass with flying colors every single time and usually with a high score, so obviously it’s something else, which brings me back to the definition that highly imaginative people basically filter out details that seem unimportant. 

 I have noticed that when I repeatedly do something and it’s the same each time – like going through the tunnel each morning – if my mind is thinking of other things such as getting to work on time, an upcoming meeting, or things I need to do that day, then it just basically dumps the unimportant detail that I went through the tunnel – again. 

 The lawnmower chord didn’t matter, until it wasn’t where it was supposed to be and doing what it was supposed to be doing, stupid chord.  Just like the door knob spinning a bit didn’t matter until the door knob fell off, the nerve of inanimate objects! 

 At least I know I do focus when it counts the most, I might be a little scatter brained at times, but it’s not because I’m really disorganized or simple-minded, it’s just another symptom of juggling too many things in this busy world we live in. 

 I have, in recent days, made more time for self-reflection and meditation.  There’s something about the peaceful calm combined with focused intention that puts things back in proper perspective, and helps me remember the details each day. 

Cherry Coley (c)

I Have A Purpose, I Do

I have read many books in the past about living with a purpose, finding your purpose, discovering your purpose, and on and on. 

They are the soul-searching books that suggest you do steps much like these: 

  1. Identify what you want
  2. Identify what you’re willing to do to get there
  3. Figure out the obstacles in your way and how to deal with them.
  4. Set definite goals.
  5. Set forth a plan of action to get you where you want to be.
  6. Achieve success

 It all sounds like good solid advice and it obviously works because people buy and read the books, right?

It’s just not all so cut and dry like that.  It’s easy to type out what you “should” do, but the actual getting down to the nitty-gritty and “doing” these things is not so easy.

 I used to get really frustrated with the self-help type books because they would make lists like the one above and being a somewhat literal person, I would stop in my tracks right there, especially if the book had assignments or exercises you were supposed to do in each chapter. 

 I would stop reading the book until I had time to really devote myself to doing what was suggested in the chapter.  Usually I would make it through about three chapters then get distracted or my time would be required to work on some other project and it could be days, weeks, months, even years before I’d make it back to the book again.  By that time I’d have to start over because things change over time.

 One of my problems has always been that being a really creative person and one that is interested in, well, everything, I get distracted easily and try to do too many things all at once.  When I was a teenager my grandmother used to shake her head and say, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”  It took me a long time to really grasp what she meant.

 After making some disastrous and not so pretty decisions with my life, not really concentrating on any one single thing long enough to “master” it and just bumping along life’s road trying this, working with that, and falling down enough times, I can say that there are three skills I have found that I needed above all others. 

 The skills I needed to fine tune, had I worked on them sooner in my life, would have allowed me to be in a far different place than I am now after learning 20 years later.

  1. Self-Discipline
  2. Focus
  3. The art of meditation

 These skills go hand in hand, and though I THOUGHT I was utilizing them throughout my life, I really wasn’t.  I was giving half-hearted efforts as needed along the way instead of really applying these skills and making them a part of my daily life.

If you truly want to live a life with purpose, then while you are doing your soul-searching, finding out who you are, your limits, your needs and what you really want to do; take the time to develop self-discipline, focus and learn a meditation technique that will work for you.  Fine tuning these things as you go will make a world of difference and when you finally do discover your focus you will be in an excellent position to focus your attention, have the self-discipline to go after what you want, and know when things get stressful you can seek meditation to clear your mind and gain perspective, then you will find you know how to deal with the obstacles and keep going.

 Cherry Coley ©