Staying on task

Our family trip back east was a great one.  We were fortunate to make some great memories.  A common thread was the importance of focus and concentration.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael J. Bowers, former Attorney General of Georgia, and a twenty year mentor and friend to my brother, David. Mr. Bowers will tell you that the three most important factors for success are focus, focus and focus.  It's one of his favorite mantras to new associates at their firm, Balch and Bingham LLP.

Another great example came from my nephew, Alec.  He gave me a great tour of The Lovett School.  Aside from getting choked up from Alec's beaming pride in his campus, I found the emphasis on maintaining focus by "Staying on task," remarkable.  How fortunate to be learning this kind of focus in elementary school as a primary ideal.    

Concentration magnifying glass
My presentation, "Tips on Being an Effective Human" has a popular slide
entitled, Harness the Sun – like burning Ants with a magnifying glass. 
The idea is concentrating your efforts like the rays of a sun through a
magnifying glass.  Not so pleasant I guess, if you're an ant fan, but
you get the idea, right?

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2 comments
Eydie Merwitzer
Eydie Merwitzer

Seeing your post took me back to a time in my life when I had decided to go back to school and finish what I had started. After a couple conversations with a business client and friend, Tony Dury, I was motivated by his encouragement and convinced that this was the road I must take. In the course of going down this road, I had to cope with many distractions that could have undermined my goal. However, with sheer determination and the ongoing support of friends and family, I eventually succeeded. Focus, of course, was ultimately the main reason for that success. No matter what, once I realized what I needed to do to succeed, I never took my eye off the prize.

David Marmins
David Marmins

This is an interesting connection I had not thought about. For years Mike has preached "focus like a laser" to not only the lawyers at our firm, but also to our clients. And, both Alec and his sister Tatum have benefitted from Montessori programs that teach them to concentrate on a project from start to finish. Alec's school similarly has their students "stay on task".
I am certain that this rather simple philosophy, if practiced without exception, is a path to success in almost any field. This is especially true with all the distractions today. Some days I find it hard to get through a project without hopping on the net to check the news or explore something interesting that came up in my work. More than ever, the ability to focus like a laser can separate you from the crowd.

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