Chapter 10

The Power of Focus

What Are You Burning?

When I was eight years old, I remember going to my friend Nathan's house and playing outside with his mom's magnifying glass, scouring the yard for leaves. We gathered a nice pile and took it to the pavement, and then put the magnifying glass over the leaves. Within a couple of minutes, the power of the sun's rays coming together in a concentrated spot burned a hole right through the leaves.

That was one of the first times I actually experienced the power of focus, converging the energy of sunrays and being able to burn something. I remember thinking, “Wow! That's focus.”

What are you burning in your life, both at work and at home? What are your goals? What areas do you focus on, and what do you want to accomplish?

Focus and Food

A husband and wife are deciding where they want to go for dinner and the wife asks, “Honey, where do you want to go for dinner tonight?”

The husband replies, “Oh, I don't know; just pick something.”

The wife replies with, “How about Chinese?”

“Ooh, Chinese? You know, I just had that yesterday for lunch. Pick something else.”

“Well, how about Italian?”

The husband says, “Ooh, Italian. I'm really trying to watch my carbohydrate intake.”

This continues until somebody is eating leftovers or until somebody just picks a place, and either way, there's likely very little dinner conversation.

Most people are better at telling you what they don't want rather than telling you what they do want. It illustrates the ...

Get Leadership by Choice: Increasing Influence and Effectiveness through Self-Management now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.