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 & SIMPLE.

Focus Benefits

  • Focus saves time, energy and life.
  • Focus precedes understanding, although it's not part of it like other argument techniques. (It guards the house without living in it. It's the spotlight, not the object in it). By focusing, we minimize the number of ideas or subjects we think of, making understanding more smooth and effective.
  • Focus helps imagination. Some deep focusing techniques can get the mind into varying degrees of imagination, even into a trance (by self-hypnosis techniques), with different levels of consciousness of the physical world.
  • Whether focus is purely mental or mixed with physical focus (muscle tension, joint speed & sense stimulation), it boosts our willpower, that we need most before taking action and making a decision.
  • Focus is good for relaxation & physical pleasure, when we force ourselves to stop thinking, as in times we use our body more than our mind: relaxing, sleeping, eating, and performing other body functions.

Focus Techniques

For maximum focus one needs the following:

  1. Orientation

    Know where you are and where you want to go, by spending time "recognizing your goals" before focusing on them:

    • Detach yourself from any causes of distraction first. Stop and think by turning off your senses temporarily, even while with other people, to hear yourself think.
    • Visualize the different goals, equally expecting failure and success in advance, by visualizing both and your response to either.
    • Argue with yourself, asking which goal is the most enjoyable and worthy to pursue.
    • Repeat your newly-found goal from time to time lest you forget it. There are tools that help you remember your goals:
      • Writing down one's thoughts improves memorizing and processing our goals, and improves thinking in general.
      • Mantras, sayings, short texts ...
      • Reminders and schedules.
      • Any memory-jogging movement, object, person or occasion: framed pictures or texts, clock, calendar, holidays, anniversaries ...
  2. Action

    While driving toward your goals, use the following to speed up:

    • Simplicity. Simplify, focus then execute! Simplicity makes focus easier, and mental focus makes physical focus easier. Thus, focus on few goals you can achieve, taking one goal at a time.
    • Priority. Prioritize by focusing on the "critical few," that is roughly 20% of your duties greatly affecting the other 80% (Pareto's rule).
    • Flexibility. Shift between alternative goals smoothly (plan A, B ... etc.), and, when necessary, juggle different goals simultaneously.
    • Devotion. Focus all your potential—your "reservoir" of ideas, emotions and experiences—on a certain goal to achieve (putting your heart and soul into it), once you are convinced it's what you want.
    • Familiarity. Old habits are the archenemy of willpower/focus (sometimes worse than incompetence or accidents). So, develop good habits in advance and quit bad ones to ease the job of willpower, shortening the distance between you and your goals


Types of Goals       |        Speed up Life       |        Mantra