The lie of “focus” is that it always helps you to perform better. The truth is that focus can destroy your potential if you are focused on the wrong things. Only a focus that enables peak performance is to be desired and pursued.
In athletics, it is common to refer to someone as being “in the zone.” The pitcher who doesn't allow a hit or walk a batter, the quarterback with 15 straight completions, the golfer who plays a flawless round, or the point guard who hits five straight three-point shots are all examples of being in the zone. But the zone is not reserved for sports alone. Regardless of what we do, there is a zone that makes us far more effective when we find it, stay in it, and return to it quickly if we depart.
“Zone,” in the context of this chapter, can be defined as a temporary state of heightened focus that enables peak performance. Notice the temporary aspect. No one is always so consistently and unflinchingly focused that he or she never leaves the zone. To become unstoppable, we need to focus on three primary aspects in relation to the zone:
- Getting in it more often.
- Staying in it longer.
- When we leave it, recovering and returning to it faster.
Also, notice in the definition the qualifier for focus—that it is the kind of focus that enables peak performance. This is where you are at your best and performing optimally. As pointed out previously, not all focus is helpful; in fact, a relentless focus on trivial things, matters ...