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Building Community Through Better Relationships

Where’s Your Focus?

“Don’t strike out!” yells the overbearing Little League baseball coach. The young man with his bat shaking in his hand wants to make his coach proud in the worst way. When the pitch comes and his focus is firmly on his coach’s directive, “Don’t strike out!”, he swings and misses. This dynamic plays out from elementary school through the highest ranking professionals. Negative focus yields negative results.

On the other hand, having a positive mindset tends to yield more positive results. “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch on to the affirmative” according to the hit song from the 40’s. This attitude goes a long way toward fulfilling rewarding expectations. In fact, focus has a lot to do with success. How can you expect to hit your target, or achieve your goals, without focusing on it? The following three factors demonstrate why focusing on success works.

1. Avoidance
Avoiding your target is simply illogical. Goals are essential, but they can and will move. Achievement relies on diligent work and adhering to a consistent process. The problem with avoidance is that it requires taking your attention away from the target. The well-meaning baseball coach does not really want his player to not strike out. He wants the player to get on base. Give affirmative directions. Focus on performing toward a positive outcome, then deliver affirmative recognition and reward.

2. Advancement
Proper encouragement reinforces the process and the reward. Each step toward the goal must represent advancing closer to success. A college student progressing toward graduation needs to pass a specific number of classes within a specific timeframe to be successful. If a specific GPA target is involved, then GPA needs to be monitored and tracked along with the completed courses on schedule. Success requires a focus on a specific goal under specific conditions. Avoidance requires managing conflicting messages. Success mandates specific focus on intentional targets. And that focus is immediately followed by action steps toward the desired goal.

3. Results
The fundamental expectation of establishing goals is to achieve them. Achievement is the direct result of a plan and effort. Acquire the tools, resources and strategies to execute the plan successfully. If you do not have the tools, then go get them. If you cannot get the tools, then find an interim goal to pursue with what you have. But under all circumstances, maintain focus on the result that you intend to achieve. In business, sales goals, profitability targets, and operational metrics are consistently at the forefront of leaders’ attention. These measurables represent the results. Plan, prepare then, execute to achieve the results that you target.

Focus is what drives the achievement process from concept to reward. Avoidance distracts from the goal. It scatters focus to possibilities outside of your intended outcome. But placing your focus directly on the specific quantity, time, or quality, maximizes the likelihood of advancing to the goal. Furthermore, execute directly toward the desired results. And embrace the wise saying: “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss you will land among the stars.”

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond

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November 17, 2014 - Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , ,

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