The Power of Focus

“I don’t spend time wondering what might be next; I just focus on trying to savor every day“- Trisha Yearwood

Today when I started writing, I was stuck for a very long time, I just could not jot down my thoughts. Putting my thoughts into words has never been this difficult for me. And as I peeped into my mind, I could see my poor brain getting tired in wandering between my home, my work, my future and what not .That moment, I understood that the reason I could not write is that I am not able to focus on one thing. For the sake of my dear little brain ( the sole source of my bread and butter), I stood up, started walking up and down the room, took my imaginary broom, swept across the thick clouds of vague and random thoughts and then I found it, my article, hiding behind all these random thoughts. As I focused on it, it shone bright and that is how this paragraph came through.

Now that I have given you a nice virtual tour of my brain, it is the time to peep into your own brain and say hello!! While you are reading this article, what other things are you thinking about?  Approximately how many thoughts do you have in a day or while doing a particular piece of work? So may that you can’t even count.

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling already tired? Yes, you read it right, tired in the morning before doing anything at all. Why does this happen? Weren’t you supposed to feel all energetic and fresh?

Before you attribute it to a psychological disorder or any sickness, let me inform you that it happens mostly because your mind was burdened with endless thoughts, his facebook post, her tweets, that whatsapp message, that character in that movie, those harsh words of that friend, those photographs, that dinner, tomorrow’s meeting, Sunday’s date, Saturday’s party and the list goes on and on and on..

How could you not be tired in the morning when your mind has been running this “thought marathon” all the night? When you are going to sleep, clear your mind of all the thoughts and focus only and only on rest and sleep and see how fresh you will feel in the morning.

While you are at it, do not stop just here; apply this approach to everything you do. Focus only on the present, on the work in hand; do not let your thoughts wander here and there. Put all your energy, your thoughts, your concentration and all your focus on what you are doing right now and put all other thoughts, problems, and worries on mute.  This will help you feel less tired and less burdened. You will feel lighter and thus become faster.

Focusing on current does not mean losing the sight of your goals or your vision. Your ultimate focus has to be on your goals only. You cannot afford to lose the sight of your goal while focusing only and only on the present work. But didn’t I say we need to focus only on the present?  Is it confusing?

Let’s make it simple, if your goal is to travel the world in a stipulated time, how would you accomplish it? You would allocate a particular number of days to each country, plan your journey and start from one country. Imagine you are in the first country of your plan and all you are focusing on is how many more countries are left, how much time it would take and so on. Would you be able to enjoy it?  No.

Now reverse the situation, you are travelling in a country and all your focus is on seeing it, enjoying every bit of it and you get so lost in one place that you forget all about your plan and extend your stay. Would you be able to accomplish your goal? No.

Consider one more situation, while you are in one country, you focus only on being there, exploring and enjoying it but at the same time you have your goal in the rearview mirror and as a result you know when you have to start focusing on travelling to another country. Would you be able to enjoy every bit of your travel? Yes. Would you accomplish your goal? Yes. Simple as that.

Now that we know what to focus on when, it is important to address the how part too. How would I be able to focus? How can I stop my mind from wandering?  How can I reduce the endless thoughts in my mind? How can I stop worrying? The answer is:

  • Always see your glass as half full and not half empty,
  • Appreciate what you have; don’t keep whining about what you don’t have.
  • Remove all distractions,
  • Focus on one thing at a time,
  • Focus on the present, the now, don’t linger too much in the future
  • Schedule your work, set deadlines for your long term goals.
  • Set your priorities and focus only on them, forget everything else,
  • Be determined,
  • Be completely dedicated to whatever you are doing in a particular moment,

And whenever you feel your mind is becoming a trash bin of unnecessary thoughts, take the imaginary broom of determination and sweep your mind clear and keep that one thing shining bright which you have to focus on.

Remember, “The direction of your focus is the direction your life will move. Let yourself move toward what is good, valuable, strong and true”- Ralph Marston

Wishing you Peace and Abundance…


Needs and Desires

What is the difference between a need and a desire?

Are your needs connected to your desire?

Simply put, a need is what you ought to do while a desire is what you want to do.Hunger is a need that has to be satisfied but having a gourmet meal is a desire. Having a mode of transport is a need but owning a fleet of premium cars is a desire. Clothing is a need but owning only premium brand clothes is a desire. A need is the bare minimum requirement for survival but a desire is what pushes you forward to get more. 

Needs are pretty much generic but desires are very individualistic and that is what sets people apart. Everybody needs food, clothing and shelter but someone may desire to be able to afford the best of everything while someone else may desire to have just enough for survival and nothing more.

Needs keep on changing with time and when one need is satisfied, it gives birth to another need. But desires keep on increasing, they are never satisfied. For e.g. when an unemployed person gets a job with a decent income and job security, he is able to afford the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter and thus his physical needs are satisfied and he will move on to social needs, i.e., the need to be associated with people, to be accepted and appreciated by people and to have friends.

But if this person has a desire of being very wealthy, instead of moving to social need, he will be stuck with finding ways of earning more and more money.  No amount of wealth accumulated by him is going to satisfy his desire as the more money he earns, the more he would want to earn.  This obsession with wealth will detach him from all his actual needs and make him restless and anxious. But he would still try to find peace in earning more as he would not be able to realize that he has enough wealth now and it is no longer his need, it’s just a desire.

Sometimes, we are not able to differentiate between our needs and desires. What we perceive as our needs are actually just our desires and they have nothing to do with our needs. And it is only after fulfilling those desires, we realize we didn’t need them at all, and all we are left with are just regrets. What is sadder is the fact that many a times these realizations strike us after wasting a lifetime on something that we never actually needed. All our life we run after money, power or fame, only to realize later that we have lost what we needed in the pursuit of what was unnecessary. Running madly after your desires without even thinking whether you really need them is sheer stupidity.

But this is not to say that having a desire is bad because having a desire is very necessary. In fact not having a desire at all is very dangerous. How would you differentiate between a success and failure when you have no desire at all? A desire less life is no life.How meaningless is everything going to be, when you have no desire at all? People move forward in their lives only because they have a desire. All great stories are based on a person’s desire to do something, to achieve something. All conquests in the world, all discoveries and inventions happened because somebody desired to achieve them. Desire is the essence of life.

You may ask if desire is really that important then why I spent so much time writing about why not to follow a desire. Actually following a desire is not wrong in itself, what is wrong is following a desire without realizing what you actually need. Needs and desires have to be aligned. You need to follow a desire only till the time it is relevant to your need. When a desire goes way beyond the need and becomes completely detached from the needs is the time when problems arise. It is the time when you get trapped in following your desires and you start losing the sight of your needs. And this is where you need to stop yourself. This is where you have to use all your will power and control your desires.

No matter at what stage of life you are, pause and think, do you really need to do what you are doing? Introspect and ask yourself, what are your desires and what are your needs? Are your desires connected and aligned to your actual needs? Do you really understand your needs or are you running after superficial needs? Are you happy doing what you are doing? Do you feel peaceful? The ultimate need of every person is peace and you will find peace only when all your needs are fully satisfied. Blindly following your desires may take you away from satisfying your needs and thus leave you anxious and in a constant search of peace.

 Stop yourself from getting trapped in the vicious cycle of desire but also do not let your desires die. Having a desire less life is as bad as running blindly after your desire. Understand the difference between your needs and your desires and align your desires to your needs. It is a balance that you have to maintain to attain peace in life and have no regrets.

Wishing you Peace and Abundance…


3 Mantras To Get Organised

                   Do you remember Monica from the popular sitcom FRIENDS?  That freakishly organized lady. We all have at least one such person in our circles who is just like her. They can tell the difference even if you have moved just a cup an inch away from its usual spot. Their precision and that uncontrollable urge to have everything at its right place drives you insane.

                 But what I personally admire about such people is how they exactly know what thing is at what place, they know when exactly they are supposed to do what, unlike us, they do not have to waste time figuring out all the what, where and how. They are sorted and scheduled always.

                And no matter how much these organizing freaks annoy you, you have to admit whenever something is lost or whenever something has to be sorted; these people come to your rescue. Somewhere you know their habit of organizing everything is not that bad after all, if anything it is a saver. So, why don’t you adopt it yourself? Why not become organized?And I don’t mean annoyingly organized, just the right amount of organized.

              I know what you are thinking, I am not an organized person, I don’t want to be organized, I am just fine with the way I am, So what, if I don’t know where I have kept what, So what, if I keep on losing stuff or I don’t have any fixed schedule, it is fun, it is cool.  But that is not true.

            You know how important it is to be organized, especially in today’s fast paced life when everything seems to be so rushed. And it is not like you have to learn some rocket science; all you have to do is to follow some simple rules.

            The first MANTRA “First things first and First time right”. Don’t do things haphazardly, do what is required exactly when it is required.  Set your priorities, do things according to their urgency and importance starting with the most urgent and most important work.  Imagine your boss has given you two presentations to make and both have to be submitted till the evening. One is to be presented to a very important client and other is required for a regular employee meet. You start working on the employee meet presentation first. You work really hard and create a very beautiful and impactful presentation but it was very timeconsumingand you only have an hour left to complete the client presentation. You give your best despite the shortage of time and create a nice presentation but the previous one is far better than this one. As a result, the clients were not much impressed by the presentation and your company lost the deal and your boss actually scolded you for creating a better presentation for the employee meet. What went wrong?

               Although both the things were equally urgent, you overlooked the importance part. Client presentation was more important than the employee meet presentation and was supposed to be done first and more carefully. Doing the wrong thing first made everything wrong and all your efforts were wasted. Had you done the first thing first, you would not have done any mistake.

              The second MANTRA “A place for everything, everything at its place”. There is always a right place for everything and everything needs to be at its right place. How weird would it be if there was a shower in the middle of your living room or your office desk in the rest room? Why do you think these things would be weird? Because that is not their right place. The shower has to be in the washroom and the office desk needs to be in the main working area in the office. Similarly everything else in our life has to be kept at its right place so that we do not lose it. It must have happened with you numerous times that you had to spend hours looking for a thing that was sitting just next to you. Why does this happen?  We just keep our things anywhere and everywhere and that is why when we need them we have no idea where we had kept them and start looking for them here and there. It wastes so much of our time and energy and also creates a lot of panic and anxiety.What would happen if you are not able to find your original documents that you have to submit for seeking an admission in a very prestigious college and today is the last date of submission? Panic, chaos, anxiety and a tsunami like situation in your entire house. Don’t you want to avoid such situations? If yes, then let’s make it a point today that we would not place any of our belongings randomly. We would create a place for everything and keep everything at its right place so that we could easily fetch anything from its place whenever it is needed.

             The third MANTRA is “A time for everything and everything at its time”. Nature has created day and night to make us understand that there is a time for everything, the day has been created to work and the night has been created to rest. Whenever we go against this rule, our health is adversely affected. Similarly for everything else also, a proper routine has to be followed. Everything has to be allotted a particular time and it is to be done at that time only. Whether it is your meals, your exercise, your office work, your family time, your phone, your social media, waking up or your sleep, everything has to be done at its proper time to avoid any kind of chaos and confusion.

             Set your priorities, do first things first and first time right, have a proper place and time for everything and do each and everything at its proper place and time and you will be properly organized. Being organized is not difficult; all you need is some effort. Just a small effort from your side is going to save you an enormous amount of time and energy.