Have you ever stopped to wonder how you ended up where you were at some point in your life when you intended on being somewhere totally different? If so, you are not alone. Eventually, it happens to all of us. I can recall so vividly sitting in my bedroom years ago wondering how my life had take such a drastic turn. I was on top of the world on minute and before I knew it, I seemed to be falling so fast I couldn’t stop. My intentions were good but the direction I was headed was not.
I once heard a story concerning someone who had driven a racecar in a training session with an instructor. The instructor informed him to keep his eyes where he wanted to go not where he was going. After circling the track several times, the instructor, having special controls on his side of the car, used them to place the car into a spin. Startled by the car being out of control the driver began to panic. Immediately, the instructor pointed at the road exclaiming, “Look where you want to go not where you are going!” The driver looked where he wanted to go and he regained control of the car. Again, after several laps the instructor placed the car in a spin. Startled again, he began looking where he was headed instead of where he wanted to go. The instructor repeated the same words telling him to look where he wants to go not where he is going. Finally, the driver gained control of the automobile and maintained it the rest of the time.
The lesson to learn from this story is simple, yet life changing. Are you ready? Well, here you go…Direction, not intention, determines destination. Success in life involves focusing on a target and following a specific path. The direction we are headed determines where we will end up, regardless of our intentions. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5,6 NLT)
We have a choice of focusing on where we want to go or looking in all different directions believing that sooner or later we will get there. We must look straight ahead, piercing though anything that stands in our way allowing nothing to distract us or divert our attention.
To be focused means having an idea where you’re heading. Our eyes are looking in the direction we want to go with no diversion. When we look through binoculars, we must first focus the lens before we can see with any clarity.
Today most businesses admit they often lose focus. “Let’s get back to the basics” is a common slogan among leaders. The world is full of distractions and temptations. Often people change directions more frequently than they changed majors in college. They commit to a winning objective only to have something catch their eye. Like a dog chasing a car, they run after another opportunity, losing their focus along the way.
The most successful people focus on very few things. Bill Gates placed all of his energy into developing the best software available. It was his passion. To be passionate about your work doesn’t mean you have to find something you love. That is one of the biggest lies that this generation is faced with. To the contrary, you must discover something you do well and learn to love it.
Before you begin to duplicate your efforts in another area, strive to be successful in one. I have witnessed many people never reach the pinnacle of success because they branch off into another area. Remember, anything with more than one vision creates division. If you are going to make positive things happen in your life, have a focused vision that sees things others will not see.
Ultimately, you will encounter struggles with staying on target. A person pitches a hot idea. It must be jumped at now or it’s gone. Consider passing on it if it vies for your focus. After reaching a point of success you may consider other possibilities to expand your horizons but not before.
When people tempt you, keep striving. When they make fun of you, keep striving. When no one believes in you, keep striving. Put yourself in the categories with the great ones, those that kept the vision and never gave up. By continuing to strive, you will be one of the few that possesses the ability to achieve your goals and arrive at a successful destination.
I once saw a definition of success that I thought defined the importance of focus very well: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy idea. Commit to remaining focused in all you do so you too, can realize a worth accomplishment.
Remember, it’s not how you start in life that matters, it’s how you finish. Make the commitment to stay focused and finish strong!