In today’s fast paced world, the most commonly used phrase is ‘I don’t have time. I am busy!’ Even Though we use it so often we are always encumbered by stress. We are busy all day long yet things do not get done on time! On the other hand there are people who work all day long, yet stay calm and peaceful. They have time for everything. They enjoy their work and also enjoy quality time with their family. What’s more?  They also have time to socialise and engage in sportive activities. We all have 24 hours yet how do they manage to be at the top of every task at hand? The answer to it is-focus.

When the sun shines, the sunlight is scattered all over the place. But when the same sunlight is focussed through a magnifying glass it has the ability to burn down paper. Similarly anything we do also requires focus. We are most often used to multi – tasking, but multitasking leads only to more and more confusion. The main key is to prioritise our daily works. Pareto’s principle states that ‘80% of the work we do results in only 20% of value. And the 20% of work we do adds 80% value to our life.

Most often people create a to-do list which encompasses 10 different things. Now people complete 9 tasks and do not complete the one most important task.  And when that is not done, then the other 9 things are also of no use. Consider an example where you want to lose weight. The two aspects to it are exercise and diet. You exercise 1 hour daily,  you also go for a walk and you also take up swimming. It’s been 3 months but  you are not losing weight! Why? Because you had no control over your diet. You were eating every chaat, rasgulla, and ice cream that you got. Then how would the weight drop? Pareto’s principle applies here as well. Did you know that actually exercise only constitutes 20% of your fitness and the rest 80% is actually based on your diet!

Once a man went to Sant Eknath and said, “O learned one. I tried hard to attach my mind to God but I failed. There are so many problems my way. No one allows me to do devotion. Please help me out. Can you read my palm and tell me what to do?” Sant Eknath took his hand and stared at the lines for some time. After a while he said,”I have one bad news for you.  You are going to die in a week!” The man was shocked! However he made a strong resolve to attach his mind to God. Sant Eknath asked him to come meet him after a week. On the day of his death the man came running to the saint. Now Sant Eknath asked him,” Were you able to attach your mind to God?”  He said,”Yes, I was completely focussed on God. Nothing could disturb my mind.” Now the sage revealed that he was not going to die that very day. He said so just to help him attach his mind to God!

We all are in the same position in life. We often claim that the world is imperfect and I was not able to do this because of a colleague or because of my parents, relatives, my neighbour etc. But the truth is that these are just excuses. When our intellect is convinced that this is the most important thing to do then no one matters. Warren Buffet once said, “I have to say a 1000 no’s in order to fulfill one yes.” He gets so many propositions on a daily basis that if he has to make a commitment to one of them,  naturally he has to deny the others. But it is all about making the right choice.

Now,  how do we improve our focus? That can only be done when we prioritise and decide as to what is the most important thing that needs to be done right now. We ought to choose that which is more beneficial rather than choosing that which is more pleasurable. Today’s world is no short of distractions. You sit down to prepare your presentation and that is when a message pops up on your phone. If you choose to give in, you will lose your focus but otherwise you could finish your work and then check your phone. A kid has an exam tomorrow and his favourite movie is on TV. Do you think he will watch it? Definitely not. What to speak of movies,  kids forget to eat when they know that they have an exam the next day. The top priority then is studies. Therefore, to make our life simpler, and to achieve greater success, the only thing we need to do is to focus. Focus on the most important aspect of life. Choose value over pleasure.

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