Find Focus Within

Dear Matt,

Growing up U absorbed the pernicious belief that one finds focus in the environment. Someone close to U passed along the idea that in order to focus one must have a certain situation, for example, a quiet place without distractions. A foolish idea. A person with that belief will never find focus anywhere because they've misplaced the locus of control.

One finds focus within, or not at all. Sure, focusing in a dark cave might prove easier, but in order to grow we do not seek ease. We seek challenge. Our focus grows stronger through use in chaotic and difficult environments.

Do professional athletes compete in perfectly silent sound-proofed stadiums? No. They compete in colossally distracting stadiums filled to the brink with obnoxious crowds, blaring music, announcements, and other obstacles. How could they possibly do that unless they had highly developed focus? Athletes demonstrate that we can develop a honed strength of focus that serves in the most challenging situations.

See yourself in your daily life as an athlete of philosophy, practicing the highest art of all, that of living well. For your audience imagine the whole of your ancestry, that uncountably vast lineage of life forms who lived and died so that U could experience this life time. The entire world acts as a stadium filled with the din and chaos of life, now find your focus and execute.