It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela
Chapters 11 to 16 served as a starting point for your goal setting and getting you excited and focused on either paying off debt and saving, improving your performance academically or vocationally, or putting together a personal development plan. Keep working hard to get focused to reach those goals. This chapter is here to help you hone in on the season of life you’re in and what your priorities should be.
I believe that having one major focus in life is one of the best things that you can do to keep you focused and on task. This chapter is extremely important is because the things that matters most doesn’t always get the most attention so there needs to be intentionality. Also, trying to do 2 things with maximum effort is like trying to chase 2 rabbits. Both will get away. You have to get comfortable with the fact that some things will not be able to get the most attention. Your aim is to focus on what needs to be accomplished and/or what perspective you need take on in this season. In this way, life will be much simpler and less hectic. Most great people who went on to accomplish many things had to establish a sole purpose.
For Nelson Mandela, it was to rid South Africa of apartheid. He ended up becoming a world leader, setting examples all over the world of the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
For Mother Theresa, it was to help the homeless people outside of her convent learn to read and write. She later started a hospice for those who were sick and dying on the streets of Calcutta, India and became a global figure for service and charity.
For Kobe Bryant, it was an NBA championship. He also serves as an inspiration for people all across the world on how to recover after making mistakes and staying focused on your goals.
Not everyone will be as clear as these folks were as soon as they were. For many of us, we will stumble to find that main focus. As your calling gets clearer, prioritizing will become easier. Review section 1 periodically. In this season of my life, it’s writing, personal coaching, and facilitating workshops to promote positive change, ignite hope and bring healing to my community. This is a transition from what I’ve been doing for the last few years. It’s taking time for me to build by skillset, resources, and confidence to feel comfortable in this space. It’s a work in progress.
When I was in high school, a motivational speaker, made a statement that changed my life forever – his statement was, “If you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book.” He was making the statement to make us, a predominantly black school, aware of the social perception of black people in America. I felt offended, sad, and angry all at once. He was saying how the enslaved Africans were hung for learning how to read meanwhile most Americans, myself included, did not see the value of reading and took the opportunity for granted. That statement sent me on a tailspin of looking for recommended book titles that would begin my journey of knowledge exploration. That was 15 years ago and I am forever grateful that I was in school that day because that message sparked something in me. From then on, reading and listening to audio teachings have changed my life and helped me to serve my community. Not to mention, it became one of my favorite things to do. The more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know. I am forever on a mission to learn about the world around me - social issues, family health, finance, counseling, and history, to name a few topics. As I read and learn, I grow and am able to share what I learn through speaking and writing. I have compiled a list of thousands of book titles that I intend on reading and working through over the course of the next few years. This keeps me excited and focused. I literally could do it all day. What’s your focus?
I asked a few people what their main focus is at this point in life. Here’s some of what I heard:
· What’s bothering me is that I have to lose weight. I am overweight because I have not been eating right or exercising. It’s affecting every aspect of my life. That’s my focus right now. I’ve lost 10 pounds so far and I’m committed to getting to a healthy weight. I feel better already, but I know I have more work to do.
Focus: Physical Health
· I am focusing on getting out of debt. I got a credit card when I was in college and because I never learned about money management, I ran up thousands of dollars in debt on nonsense. Now, I’m working to change that so I can be financially free. I have to live really frugal for now and it’s hard but that’s the sacrifice I need to make to get out of this debt in the next 12 months.
Focus: Financial Stability
· I got divorced a year ago and I feel like I’m starting all over again. I had to move out of my house and now I’m doing better. I’ve been going to counseling weekly, going to the gym 4x a week and I’m taking one class every semester to finish up my degree. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Focus: Emotional and Mental Well-being after a Major Life Transition
· I just got out of prison and my main focus is on getting a steady job and saving up for a car. Then I’m going to go back to school to get my truck driver’s license.
Focus: Successful Reentry and Obtaining Employment
· I struggle with an addiction and I never went to get help. I am now going to counseling and my support group once a week. Every day is a battle but I will never quit. I’ve been sober for the last 4 months.
· I want to open up a cleaning business where I can employ 10-12 people in the next year. I’ve been doing all the jobs with a few people and the demands are great so I’m excited about the possibilities.
Focus: Entrepreneurial Start-up
· I got a 3.5 last semester and I want be on the Dean’s List every semester until I graduate college. So these next few years will be focused on being the best student I can be.
Focus: Becoming a great student
All of these examples serve to show you that everyone is different. Our priorities and individual challenges are different, so our focus must be different as well. Take some time to identify what your major focus should be at this point in your life. It may not come up right away so you have to revisit it often.
Question to ask yourself: What should my priority be in this season of my life?