“Clear away all distractions and get what you want! This well-defined blueprint shows you how.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Power of Focus, book cover
Les Hewitt joins Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. The Power of Focus delivers ten strategies to plan for, and work toward, when getting what you want in life.
For readers familiar with success literature, the topics will be familiar: planning for success, being proactive, acting consistently, and keeping your life in balance.
However, this is more than just a self-help book – it’s a powerful workshop to help you achieve your goals in a paperback form. It’s written in a conversational yet direct style, as though the authors are directly asking you: are you paying attention? What do you want in your life? Are you willing to do what it takes?
You’ll find yourself drawn in by the clear, no-nonsense advice that is brought to life with short examples from the lives of the authors, their friends, and clients. At the end of each chapter, you are presented with a chart or tool to help you take action.
The Big Idea
Think Big, Act Small
“This is the exciting part – actually creating your better future and the clarity to go with it.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Power of Focus, page 73
Do you have written goals? Are they well-balanced across the main areas of your life? Do you have planned weekly actions to support your goals?
Perhaps you have sales targets or key performance indicators at work. Maybe you have fitness goals. For some people (me, for example), creating planned vacations is a key part of a yearly plan.
Chapter 3, “Do You See the Big Picture,” walks you through creating goals in seven major areas of your life. Have a look at these seven areas:
- Fun Time!
- Health and Fitness
Write at least one significant goal in each of the seven areas, every sixty days to ninety days. Start with small goals and then increase as you build confidence in your achievements. Once you have the goals defined, create a week-by-week plan, with three specific actions per week that will support moving toward your goals.
What’s an area of life you’d like to move ahead? For me, I’m working on learning French. My husband, who is a Francophone, will be my teacher. What goal can I achieve within sixty days? I decided to work through the first eight units of my French textbook. We’ve started taking the small actions (getting the materials and booking time in our schedules) to move toward this goal.
What is your goal? Whatever it is, you’ll find it more manageable and achievable if you decide what you can accomplish within the next sixty days and then write action steps to support it. Refer to your plan daily. Find a buddy to work with and share your goals – use accountability to support you taking action to create the life you want.
“Your Habits Will Determine Your Future” (Click to Tweet!)
The Power of Focus, page 1
Your results in your life are, to a great extent, created by your actions. Our actions are up to ninety percent driven by our habits. Yes, we are what we repeatedly do.
Success is created by powerful habits. Disappointment and frustration follow from bad habits.
What are your bad habits? Do you recognize yourself in any of these?
- Being late for meetings and appointments
- Talking instead of listening
- Forgetting someone’s name sixty seconds (or less) after being introduced
- Hitting the snooze alarm several times in the morning before getting out of bed
- Taking work home with you
- Having your cell phone on at all times
Your recommended action: make a list of the bad habits that are holding you back. Decide which ones you are committed to changing. Remember, habits are simply actions we repeat over and over until they feel comfortable.
Here’s a three-step process for breaking a bad habit:
1. Identify your bad or unproductive habits
2. Define your new successful habit
3. Create three action steps
An example: Perhaps you forget new names shortly after being introduced – that’s your bad habit. Your new habit might be: Paying attention and repeating a person’s name in order to remember it. Three action steps for next time you meet someone new: 1) Listen to and repeat the name when introduced, 2) use that person’s name in conversation, and 3) ask for their business card and review later to ensure you remembered the name.
Adopting new habits isn’t easy. It takes concentrated effort. However, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.
Where can you look for new habits that will drive you to success? Choose someone whose success you admire and take him/her out for lunch. Ask them questions about their schedule, activities, and habits. What do they read? What clubs and associations do they belong to? How do they make the best use of their time?
Time for Thinking
“If you want to have unusual clarity about what is working in your life and what is not working in your life, schedule time for reflective thinking.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Power of Focus, page 114
Too often, we’re rushing from one activity to the next, without pausing to see if we’re running in the right direction.
Take a deep breath. Step away from the busyness and the action. Take time to reflect with no disturbances.
Peter Daniels, an Australian author and professional speaker, has this to say about what helped him succeed: “I scheduled time to think. In fact, I reserve one day a week on my calendar just to think. All of my greatest ideas, opportunities, and money-making ventures started with the days I took off to think.”
Taking time to think can help you focus on the big picture: what are my goals? Are they aligned with my values?
And, taking time to think on a daily basis, you might ask yourself: How did I do today? What did I do well? What adjustments do I need to make?
Taking time to think allows you to make course corrections and ensure you’re refocusing on your goals and creating balance in your life.
The Power of Focus is a clear and compelling book that has something in it for everyone. Because it’s packed with tools and tips, I can see myself referring back to it many times to see what else I can implement.
In the comments below, let us know…
What’s a goal that you have, or a change you’d like to make, and how can the advice from this book help you?