Lack of focus, killer of dreams

THERE is a story told about a hound which had no food and so went hunting. Before long it saw a gazelle and gave chase.
After a while, the hound saw a rabbit cross between it and the gazelle and thought, “I might not catch the gazelle. I probably stand a better chance with the rabbit.”
Then it stopped chasing the gazelle and went after the rabbit. However, the rabbit, fresher than the hound, ran very fast.
Then a rat crossed the path between the running hound and rabbit, attracting the attention of the hound, which again reasoned that it stood a better chance of catching the small rat than the rabbit.
The hound once again changed course and went after the rat. The little rat, though unable to outrun the hound, quickly ran into the nearest hole and disappeared into the bowels of the earth, leaving the hound gazing at the dark hole, tired, frustrated, angry, humiliated and, of course, hungrier.
The hound, of course, had itself to blame for the failure to catch anything: it lacked focus, changing its target now and again, thus aborting each of its missions.
Having started off with something to catch, it wound up with nothing to catch; and, by extension, nothing to eat. Today, therefore, we shall discuss lack of focus as another of the factors that abort our dreams.
It is reasonable to assume that the hound would have stood a good chance of catching its prey had it focussed on the gazelle. Why? Because the gazelle would have gotten tired at some point, hence becoming an easier target than the fresh rabbit.
How often do we abort our dreams, plans or vision because of lack of focus? We start off with something and end up with nothing. We start off with a wonderful dream or vision, but, in due course, wind up with unfulfilled dreams, all because we could not stay the course.
Sometimes we – like the hound – keep compromising our initial dream because doubt sets in. You start off with a dream to run a security firm, but you keep chopping down the size of your dream until you wind up a security guard yourself. You start off with a dream to run a big shop but end up selling bubble gum in your neighbour’s kantemba.
Funny? It would be laughable if it was not so serious and real: these things happen. The hound did not know exactly what it wanted, other than the general goal of finding something to eat. Which is why it switched from chasing one type of prey to chasing another?
Lack of focus can make you change programmes, plans, dreams, visions anyhow, anytime.
When you were in primary school, you said you would like to become a pilot; in secondary school, you said you would like to become a doctor – but by the time you were going to college, you changed your career because you thought it was not easy to become a doctor. You did not finish college because you had a hard time with some courses, so you decided to become self-employed….with no form of professional qualification!
Focus is about staying the course. It is about birthing a dream, believing in it and staying with it until it matures. It means you have to refuse to be taken off the rails by less important or irrelevant issues or pursuits.
It means you have to be disciplined enough to reject the temptation to do things that will only take away your precious time and resources. You have to know how to say no to some temptations, no matter how attractive, and stay the course. He had a point, the late innovator Steve Jobs, when he said, “Focusing is about saying No.”

Facebook Feed