The Double-Edged Sword
How having hyper-focus can be an amazingly powerful tool or a destructive weapon.
What a weapon to have. The ability to focus in on something you enjoy so much that you can create and change not only it, though yourself in a truly short amount of time. Imagine wanting to learn how to dance the tango or play the drums or I don’t know, build an award-winning, world record-holding brewery… Yes – toot, toot… I can’t tango or play drums, however. Though the power of focus coupled with an unyielding self-belief in my capabilities is something that I do have. I am not being egotistical or arrogant here. My capabilities are not significantly different from yours. I can just see what mine are and I am willing to test them. This testing does come with a price, however…
Beware… Lasers are still lasers and they can bloody hurt. They also take up a huge amount of energy if you don’t switch them off! Starting to sound like an apt metaphor? Mine was on at “ludicrous-power” (random Space-Balls reference here) for around 2-3 weeks a while back. It burnt my brain and my heart was certainly branded. I forgot to turn it off. Also, it was pointed towards the one area for all that time. With that comes the inevitable obliteration of the unfortunate target. Sounds a bit ominous, though, again it’s pretty apt. It might all be well and good if the target was a military one or something needed to be destroyed, though when it’s something you care about, you need to give it time and give yourself time to reflect, rest and re-evaluate. Ask yourself… Why am I focusing on this? What does it mean to me? While I’m so focused on this, what else in my life am I neglecting? The laser is focused outwards. Not on you. You’re trying to fix something or find something in someone else to take the focus off what is really going on with you… YOU are where you need to focus.
Sometimes we get so caught up in something, whether a work project, new hobby, new love-interest, cooking sour-dough bread (I get 18 new pics a day of different stages of bread-making – thanks Dad) or whatever. Then the task becomes mundane, the situation changes or you’re just sick of so much bread and you look back and go – what just happened with all that time? You may not – though I know many people that do this, including myself. What is missing is a presence. Living in the moment. We miss so much. We miss life. Life only happens right now. Why do we avoid living? Well, living can bloody hurt sometimes. And we as humans, like to avoid pain even at the expense of finding true pleasure. We will protect ourselves from pain before we seek pleasure. Great in the short term, though in the end we miss out on truly being alive, finding real love and connection with others, and within ourselves.
Back to the laser… Spreading this focus is a wise bet, and remembering to turn it off each day. Mindfulness meditation is excellent for this. Keeping a journal. Writing downs all your tasks, goals, missions, values, ethos – getting stuff off your mind. Allow your mind to rest. If that laser needs to be turned back on (you have high energy like me) then focus it inwards. This can be bloody scary, I know. The laser doesn’t discriminate between friendlies and enemies. You may scorch yourself a few times, though it will be worth it in the end. Finding yourself, your sore bits, the parts that need healing, that keep coming up to sabotage your life. The laser is ultimately healing if used in small and manageable doses. You can turn down the intensity and it becomes less a weapon of mass destruction and more like one of those skin-fixing lasers (I don’t know… the ones that heal your skin…).
So a daily check-in with yourself, or a friend, family member, coach, counselor, mentor etc can really help you evaluate where you and your laser is at. Where is it pointed? What is the intensity? Why is like that? Does that serve you and your true purpose? Are you about to burn something or someone with too much focus? Have you hurt someone already or yourself? There are actions you can take to rectify all this – a few ideas below…
RESOURCES and STRATEGIES
There are many great resources now available to sort help out with this hyper-focus and all the challenges that come along with it. I’ve found it very to get a coach in an area that you feel like you’re struggling with. Having a coach around alcohol was amazing and set me on the right path. Turns out it wasn’t really booze that was the issue, it was my lack of commitment to myself and a pattern of “self-abandonment”. Writing this now it’s been 8 months and I’ve had a total of 4 glasses of red wine since I made the commitment to go 60 days alcohol free.
A psychologist or counselor really helps me get out of my head. Men’s groups (I’m sure there are ladies ones as well) have been good though I think will be better when back out of isolation. Reading books such as “The End of Mental Illness” and “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” are good resources. I do find some lightness and positivity is also handy – “Own Your Day” is pretty funny and very practical. Aubrey Marcus has a very gentle, yet assertive nature to this approach that I’d suggest it is applicable to both men and women.
The “Personal Development School” hosted and created by Thais Gibson has been great so far for unpacking some deeper stuff and understanding adult attachment styles. After completing some “Shadow Work” through this school I had some profound transformations. Highly suggest.
There is plenty more you could do. It will all start with a small step towards finding and being yourself. Yes, it can take a bit of time and willpower, though you are worth it. Hope to see YOU soon 😉
Are you ready for something new?
If you would like to feel complete, peaceful, certain, and excited about life then there are many ways forwards. If you are willing to take on your life and responsibility for it and ready to make an incredibly positive step towards change, then I invite you to reach out. Contact me through the form, the Facebook group, leave a comment, do something. The time is now. The only time is now. The rest of your life awaits, though you must choose it.
[i] Paraphrased from Star Wars – A New Hope. Obi-Wan Kenobi on “lightsabres”