We are all born with a brain that is a clean slate. Newborns only act on instinct. As humans, it doesn’t take long for the neurons to start to connect and for patterns and memory to develop. Unless one has a brain disorder or neurological defect, we all have enough brain cells and brain power to learn, remember, and develop complex thinking abilities as we age.
What we do with that large brain depends on many factors. In early development it depends on what is put into it by our parents and close contacts. Once we move onto preschool or school our brains are bombarded by teachers, and now, more than anything else, TV, Internet, and Games. What we see, hear, speak about, and learn from others forms the basis of our early mind.
When we move into higher school years, our independent thinking develops aggressively, though we are still at the mercy of our surrounding input to determine the direction of our thoughts and ideas. This will never go away and even long into adulthood we are influenced by the people we hang with. Our thinking patterns, lifestyle patterns, idea formation, likes and dislikes, are all easily altered by the people we hang out with the most.
Many studies have looked at people’s ability to become successful in life. Success is defined as living life the way one wants and envisions for oneself. If someone dreams and wants an isolated life off the grid without any modern comforts, then that person is a success when they are living that way. If someone wants to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and becomes that, they are successful. Someone who wishes and hopes to become a wonderful mother or father and focuses their brainpower and life’s energy on that is successful when they are living as a great parent.
We get to define our own success. Studies, unfortunately, tell us that at least 85% of people are not living successfully. Oh, they may be comfortable or getting by, but by definition are not fully successful in what they envisioned their life to be. This is prominent when it comes to health also. Nearly everyone wants a healthy body. People want to be energetic and active without physical restrictions or defects. At present, nearly 80% of the population is overweight.
When we look at those who reach the pinnacle of success in any particular aspect of life, the statistics are dismal. Only 1-3% of the population reaches the highest level in the endeavor they want to achieve. Take wealth for example. Only 1% reach a level of wealth where money is no longer an objective and they have more money than they or their family could reasonably spend in a lifetime. Then there are the next 10% that are well off and have enough money to do what they want, but not enough to not pay attention to it. They don’t have private jet money.
Another 10% are very comfortable and live at a high level of financial security affording them many of life’s discretionary pleasures and access to top schools, clubs, communities, and organizations. The remaining 77% are either working hard day to day to keep their standard of living at a good level or at the lower percent of this 77% and are dependent on others like the government to keep them afloat.
Again, every human is of equal value. And remember, every human begins with a clean slate. Once we reach an age where we are independent thinkers and can make decisions on our own, why are some people performing in the top 3% and others are ultra busy just getting by day to day? We can argue many different causes and reasons, but the primary reason comes down to focus.
Why do some people live at their ideal weight and others struggle to keep the weight from continuing to climb. Yes, Genetics, Metabolic and Hormone Function, along with psychology play big roles, but these can be overcome with the right treatment and plan. The answer lies again in focus. What we Focus on is what we get! This should never be understated. As in our financial example, those at the top 3% focused on money making and business most of the time. Maybe right, maybe not, maybe beneficial, maybe detrimental, but they focused most of their life’s energy in that direction.
People who are lean, fit, and healthy focus on being lean, fit, and healthy. This applies to everything in life. Now, it’s true that we can’t focus on everything. In fact, as many of us are well aware, when we attempt to do too many things, it doesn’t work out well for us in the end. Our focus must shift from time to time. There are times when our family requires more focus than other times. There are times when our health requires more focus and times when our jobs, careers, or business requires more focus.
The key is to be able to focus at the highest level for the greatest period of time in each of the important aspects of our lives. Those important aspects again will be different for each of us. If we put 100% focus on our jobs or work for a full 8 hours a day, we will typically be quite successful in that field. The problem is that studies show most people only focus about 2-3 hours a day while on the job. The rest is taken up by socializing, email, breaks, lunch, meetings of low worth, and anything else that distracts from the work we need to be doing.
Many of us get intense focus at the beginning of the year when it comes to health. Oh, we sign up for the gym membership, join a diet program, and swear we’ll only eat healthy foods. Then about 3-6 weeks into our new life change, we lose focus. We drift or get distracted by other things. The people who become the most fit and healthy maintain their focus. They adjust to the needs in other aspects of their life, but they still keep the focus on their health. If a major event occurs in their life that takes them off focus, they recover quickly and get back to their health focus as soon as they’ve handled the other urgent event.
The ability to maintain focus has power. It has power in every aspect of our life. We start and stop learning new languages because we lose focus. We stop learning a musical instrument because we lose focus, We drop off the sports team because we lose focus. We are fired from a job because we lost focus. The list can include any area of our life. Focus is the key to reaching our goals, achieving our dreams, and living our life at a level we once only dreamed about.
How do we maintain focus? That’s the 64 Million Dollar Question. Any of us can do it. It’s not easy. It takes dedication and it requires that we have a compelling reason why we want to achieve our goal or vision. We must want it so badly that we focus on it all day long. Even when we are taking care of other important things in our life, it still sits in an area of importance in our thoughts and feelings. It’s like a mini-obsession. It’s always on our mind.
When we want something strongly enough and we are willing to make changes to our life to get it, we will develop a focus to stay on target no matter what storm or obstacle comes our way. I see this daily in our weight loss center. Everyone comes there to lose significant weight and to get healthy and look their best. Some maintain a focus all the way through the weight reduction phase and on into the weight maintenance phase.
Others, who seemingly want the end result, bounce up and down over time and become frustrated and quit. Sometimes they blame the plan, or the coach, or me, but the problem is typically Focus or lack of it.
If you really want to lose weight, REALLY, and have a strong reason, you can develop this focus. There will be set backs, but each time take a close look at your focus. I think you’ll find the answer to any struggles there. Sure, we need the correct treatment plan. We need help and coaching. We need tools to drive our success, but Focus is the answer for both the short term and the long term.
Evaluate your level of focus with regard to weight reduction and improved health. If you’re not at a high focus level, no problem. Take some time to decide how important getting fit and healthy is and if it’s worth developing a 3% level of focus at this time in your life. Remember, we all start each year with a laundry list of things we want to achieve. Reach my ideal weight. Run a marathon. Be number one in my office. Learn Spanish, Get a Black Belt in Karate. Make a million dollars. Well, that’s called pipe dreaming. Pick what you want and FOCUS.
If you want, you can become a 3 Percenter over time. FOCUS!