Why Single-Minded Focus is the Only Real Way

Single Minded Focus Leopard

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.” ~ Abdul Kalam

I have to admit I am a focus-person. Even my girlfriend told me so lately. And I believe that’s a good thing. The power we have when we single-mindedly focus all of our attention on just one thing is pretty amazing. On the other hand when we split our attention on several tasks it gets increasingly more difficult to reach an outstanding result. Additionally this kind of “over productivity” raises the stress level.

The problem today is that we live in a world of constant distraction, especially social networks like Facebook and Twitter shorten the attention span. In the case of Twitter we get used to messages below 140 letters. So I think our daily lifestyle is more often than not “anti single-minded”. I know people who aren’t able to concentrate on something anymore at all…

Sometimes I fight over myself with the wish to do something new and interesting vs. the need to focus myself on what is most important for me right now. It can be a real struggle and a mental drain. Just this week I decided to say no to a new, very promising project – at least for now. I took me almost a whole week to make that decision, but at the end I was sure I want to have single-minded focus for my main project right now, which is of course this one. Here are the reasons:

Depth

The number one reason why single-mindedness prevails is that only then you can reach real depth in what you do. I am personally astonished by the level of depth I can reach with single-minded focus and what a difference it makes for me. The same is true when I don’t focus, soon or later something is missing. Only when you reach a certain depth of a topic you will have a thorough understanding and you’re able to get new and innovative ideas.

For me one of the main benefits of single-minded work is that I actually can appreciate and enjoy what I do much more. I love to have something where I can put all my attention to and that also pays off because it creates extraordinary results. Results that wouldn’t be there in the first place if I wouldn’t have been able to reach the depth that is needed.

For Real Success You Need Single-Minded Focus

I think in todays world we need more and more specialists tightly focussed on one single purpose. This also includes businesses. If a business is not focussed enough I think it will have a very hard time to compete. You simply can’t expect any kind of success when you only put in 80%. Splitting your efforts too much is the fastest way to fail.

And in order to truly create something valuable, maybe even something outstanding that can inspire others, you need to concentrate yourself at one thing at a time. I do that mistake myself all the time. I want to take on a new project, follow a new idea, start a second blog etc. But eventually this would backfire. I would lose the power of my main project and consequently the quality that is needed to be remotely successful in what I try to do. Of course the important thing is to determine the RIGHT project or goal for yourself.

Simplicity

Simplicity is the art to reduce something to it’s essence… so that you couldn’t take anything away without making it substantially less. On the other hand simplicity is only reached, if you have taken everything away that is not essential.

Being single-minded makes your life simpler. And a simple life is a life focussed on what matters most to you, and nothing much else. If I do to much my life gets more complicated than it has to be.

Less Stress and a Good Work/Life Balance

Since single-mindedness creates a more simple life it also effectively reduces stress. One of the main reasons for stress is taking on more than you can actually handle.

Having your work structured on a single-minded goal will give you more time; more time for your family, hobbies, travels and whatever you can do to create balance.

Make the Right Decision

So next time you have to decide whether you take on another project or make a commitment think if you are still able to work single-mindedly on your main goal. You can feel it in your gut if the extra load is helpful and makes you grow or if it’s really just splitting your energies. By no means I’m saying you should say no to every opportunity that presents itself, but have a strong yes to what is important for you.

About the author Myrko Thum

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12 Comments

  • nergis usta

    September 23, 2012

    great post again!

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    September 23, 2012

    Thanks Mausi ;-)

    ReplyReply
  • Blaze

    September 24, 2012

    Hi Myrko, first time here at your great site.
    I think we often forget about the benefit of structuring our work on a single-minded goal. Or even running our life on a single-minded goal, which helps to keep marriage, family, work, house, income, etc. The t i m e we win is more valuable than anything else. When we have time we have balance. Balance means mental and physical health. This is all sound logical, but we simply forget about the basic rule, which is having a single-minded goal, and this is where great thinkers, like MYRKO, comes in. :) It is a pleasure to read your wise articles. Thank you.
    Blaze
    (I wonder if you are planning to run live stage-events to talk about these great things… I would like to be there.)

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    September 24, 2012

    Welcome Blaze,
    right and as I said before, I think single-mindedness creates the depth that makes what you do so special. It’s the same as with your passion where you as a reader can sense the involvement and energy of the author. Single-mindedness creates the depth that makes something special.

    ReplyReply
  • Blaze

    September 24, 2012

    Thank you for your warm welcome, Myrko.

    Right, single-mindedness–depth–uniqueness.

    “… you as a (passionate) reader can sense the involvement and energy of the author.”
    Ohhh, absolutely, and when we sense his true involvement and energy, we can be sure he’s not a snake-oil-salesman. That’s a proof.

    ReplyReply
  • Felix Mack

    September 24, 2012

    Thanks for the great insight. I absolutely agree on the importance of single-minded focus. The ability to focus and concentrate on a single objective is a critical success factor and can help accelerate reaching that objective. It’s interesting how focusing on something attracts all the various people and circumstances that you need to help you achieve something. When your mind is cluttered, without clarity, and working on different things, the law of attraction works at a much slower pace, if at all.

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    September 24, 2012

    Hey Felix, yes, even when we leave the Law of Attraction out of the equation for a moment… I think people just recognize if someone is sincere and really into something to share some real value, which creates that kind of attraction automatically. Because eventually we all want to be part of something significant… looking for something real… and have our own input to it, right!? :-)

    ReplyReply
  • Nilu

    October 1, 2012

    Myrko, thank you for posting this, really, I’m in a stage in my life where I should absolutely focus on a very, very important exam which will take my life to the next level and unfortunately, I’m not a focus person like you! I’m distracted easily, though I understand the importance of this exam, I sometimes try to skip studying to take care of things which are second important, it’s really hard to try to focus on one thing when you are not a focus person.but the reasons you mentioned they really helped me, if you put time for one task and get it done perfectly, you will have even more time for enjoying things you like, spliting your energy into different tasks only makes you move steady.

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    October 1, 2012

    Yes Nilu, and the world doesn’t care for mediocre outputs. You may do a lot, but in the end it’s just not something that stands out. Of course there is a learning curve, but eventually you want to have the possibility to get to something really good.

    Now in your case, having a strong enough why helps. I know, sometimes we are so stupid that we have to go through a phase of pain and frustration before we finally understand and DO what is necessary. I know I have been there ;-)

    So in your case, go to your exams now, don’t answer here or read more, just know WHY you are doing it and go for it. It will set you free!

    ReplyReply
  • Srinivasa Poduri

    April 28, 2013

    good post. And me to in the same slot of those people who always struggle to concentrate on one thing they do currently.
    I always start to do one project and in the middle of it I get some new Idea and divert myself towards that. This thought process goes on with the new Idea as well and eventually I don’t achieve anything with good quality. I am not able to avoid this at all.

    It is good article though it is good to mention what worked well for you to achieve single-mindedness so that others like me can take inspiration :-)

    ReplyReply

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