Facing chaos. Focus is to remind oneself about what to think of before the mind wanders in different directions, when one is no more in control, absorbed in or driven by thoughts, emotions and actions, not driving them. We almost constantly need focus, even to focus on nothing, or to focus on not focusing, for resting and otherwise, when focusing itself becomes stressful, useless, or distracting.
However, focus is not enough. Both physical tension and mental focus help us most at decision-making moments, at life's crossroads, when we need more alert and concentration. Still, their role is temporary, because our willpower needs other elements to be a "real power." For example, to quit smoking, repeating to oneself "Thou shalt not smoke again!" while stiffening up is a good mantra for focusing, but not enough. One must learn in advance the causes and harms of smoking, and how to face/escape temptation, develop new habits, and find alternative "good addictions." One can learn from books, people, and good and bad experiences, to make resisting a temptation easy, requiring minimal use of willpower. Willpower works wonders, but not in a vacuum.
Types of Focus
Determination, perseverance, dedication and willpower are only types of focus. Since focus and simplicity go together (focus on few is easier than focus on many), all the above terms need to be simplified, to minimize the energy used by "linguistic focus" in our brain's language center. Since such terms are usually repeated as mantras, it's useful to use short simple mantras that are more effective than long complex ones, especially when time is critical.
Perseverance is to focus on not changing one's goals, despite hardships, time consumption, poor results, and repeated failure.
Dedication is to focus ALL one's emotions, thoughts, actions and skills on a certain goal, that usually takes longer time to reach, keep and improve.
Willpower/drive/motivation is the momentum for focus; it's how much one can focus, based on previous experiences. To gain such momentum, we focus on thoughts first, that lead to emotions afterwards, driving us towards actions eventually.
Determination is to have deep conviction and emotional motivation while focusing on an action, rather than on an idea or arguing for an idea. It usually needs some tension, wisely and flexibly used according to circumstance. Virtually speaking, determination/insistence is the ability to do whatever we want whenever we want; but, in practice, determination alone cannot answer our wishes, however handy it is, because one needs to develop good habits first, to make the job of insistence easier, at the moment of resisting a temptation or facing a difficulty.
We need to be determinant most at the start of new habits, preferably after having spent enough time reasoning and choosing good ones. Then, whether insisting or resisting, fighting for or against, we can do without the physical part of insistence, the tension, and keep the mental one, the focus, since the former will be unnecessary and disruptive to our higher thoughts and brain functions we need most of the time. All our thoughts/actions always come down to "how we use the brain," the steering wheel of our life.
For this, without much arguing, one must always remember to keep life FOCUSED
For maximum focus one needs the following: