BE FOCUSED: 3 HARD THINGS TO DO BUT EFFECTIVE
3 hard things to do but effective
John Busacker, the author of Do Less, Be More – The Life-Changing Power of Focus, shared 3 big words and questions that can help us to Be Focused, which serve as the basis of the 3 Hard Things to Do to make “focusing” effective.
AWARENESS Are you living purposely?
ALIGNMENT How does what you have and what you do match what you really want out of life?
ACTION How do you move toward an exhilarating future?
#1 TO BE FOCUSED…
Know your purpose
There, I said it. What a well-searched advice stating the obvious. It’s the most basic, hence the very first thing to do.
Purpose is not just the big question, “What’s your purpose in life?” This question is so vague and difficult to answer. Most likely, you’ll ask, are you talking about my purpose at work, at school, or at home?… So we better deal with purpose according to the things we’re involved in.
What’s your purpose in…
sharing God’s love to other people?
discipling young people?
becoming a computer software engineer?
having a blog?
joining the military?
If you answer this way…
It’s part of our church activities.
I’m expected to do it.
I love computer games.
I just like to have my website.
The benefits are good.
They’re reasonable answers, but shallow.
Let’s try another way…
I’m sharing God’s love to other people because they need to know that Jesus died for them on the cross for their sins. With such great love, we’re renewed every morning to be like Christ. Not through good works but by faith and and by His unfailing grace.
I’m discipling young people because they’re the next generation of leaders.
I want to be a computer software engineer because with the fast pace changes in technology, I want to be part of the innovations and changes of software.
I want to blog because it’s an opportunity for me to inspire, share, and connect with others.
I want to be part of the military as my service to my countrymen and love of my motherland.
Now we’re talking. That’s purpose. Purpose that will challenge you to be fully engaged.
To know your purpose, you have to be aware that you have a purpose. How can you know something if you’re not aware that you have it?
say it with me...
>>>> I’m aware that I have a purpose. Now I’m ready to know my purpose.
>>> I know my purpose. Now I’m ready to live my life purposely.
>> I’m living my life purposely. Now I’m more focused so I do less and I do what matters.
> I do less and I do what matters. So I realize that…
Relationships matter more than anything.
Health determines my quality of life.
Work gives voices to my giftedness.
Hobbies engage my energy beyond work.
Learning animates my imagination.
And Faith gives all of my life purpose. (Busacker 37)
#2 TO BE FOCUSED…
Know your COMMITMENTS
Once you know your purpose, you can now align it to the commitments you will take. You’re more confident and happy because you’ll not be overcommitting yourself. Called people are seldom overcommitted. (Busacker 79)
Knowing your commitment guides you where to put all your money, time, energy and efforts. The way you commit reflects your core values and things that really matter to you, which of course goes back to knowing your purpose first.
Busacker challenges us to align what we have and what we do to what we really want out of life. Let’s apply that. Take note of the difference between good and bad alignment.
I have and What I really want out of life are aligned, because what we already have in life guides us to what we really want out of life. The big difference relies more on having good or bad alignments. Let’s have more examples.
Commitment Table Analysis
If you want to be a writer, a teacher, a doctor, etc… that doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from your heart, from what’s already inside you. Achieving it depends on what you do about it.
If you want to get married, that’s coming from your desire in building a family with a special someone. Achieving it depends on what you do about it.
If you want to grow spiritually, that’s coming from the emptiness of your being, you’re acknowledging that there’s someone bigger that can fill it. You want to be whole with God’s presence. That’s what you want out of your life. Achieving it depends on what you do about it.
Good alignment or bad alignment of commitments? You choose.
What I have is the starting point.
What I really want out of life is the life you want to have in the present.
What I do is the COMMITMENT, the journey to make things happen.
#3 TO BE FOCUSED…
Know your ACTIONS
It might have taken you time to know your purpose, but eventually you’re able to nail it. I’m proud of you! It might have been a headache identifying your commitments, but eventually you’re able to put them all on paper. Very good! But don’t just stop there! It’s not enough identifying the I do. There’s one more, put your commitments into actions. You move girl!
Purpose. Commitments. Actions. All three should be done right to be effective.
What do you want to do in the next 5 years?
Ehm… to be financially stable.
I see. So what are your commitments to be financially stable?
I should save money, stick to my budget, no impulsive buying, pay my debts, no Starbucks…
Those are great commitments. So how’s everything now?
I just bought the latest iPhone. I’m sorry I can’t help it. I think my new iPhone will be fantastic for my next travel. It has amazing features.
Really? I thought, you need to pay your debts.
Oh yeah, but I just got my new credit card, and I’ll pay the phone by installments with zero interest. And the travel, it’s once in a lifetime, I don’t want to miss the promo.
But that would affect your budget.
No worries. I have an upcoming Christmas bonus.
But the bonus could help you pay your debts first, you know.
Yeah, I’ll have it as my New Year’s resolution. I promise next year, I’ll follow all my commitments.
Purpose is good. Commitments are aligned. But Actions failed.
Taking action is crucial. This is where most people see themselves in a junction, then they give up and the cycle goes back to knowing one’s purpose, what I want to do, what commitments to have, but failing to take actions.
Busacker shared the following that applies not only to cultures but to personal life cycles as well.
From bondage to spiritual life;
From spiritual life to great courage;
From great courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back to bondage. (146)
What a waste of purpose if our commitments and actions lead us back to “bondage” again and again. That is doing more and more until we’re lost and confused.
A FINAL WORD
Knowing our purpose, commitments and actions are three hard things to do but if we persist we become so focused that they will bring us abundance in all aspects.
An abundant life is that healthy but elusive blend of play, work, friendship, family, money, spiritual growth, and contribution. (Busacker 31)
To be fully alive, embrace one irony of life, doing less but being more.
A VERY IMPORTANT REMINDER
You’re doing less not because you’re lazy, indecisive, mediocre, etc… but you’re doing less because you’re so focused. You know what you have, what to do, what you want, what matters… And when you do more, it’s because it’s aligned to your purpose, commitments and actions. Go ahead, do more! Don’t limit yourself with the word “less”.
You know what I mean. I’m just making sure that “doing less” will not be used as an excuse to be complacent or to stop giving all our best.