Simple Actions to Regain Focus (Part 1)
What Is This Report All About?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
(Leonardo da Vinci)
From a scientific perspective, parsimony means that when competing options (theories or solutions) exist that are equal in all aspects…
It’s best to choose the simplest option.
That one word is the guiding principle behind everything I do -
Now there are all sorts of philosophical and scientific arguments out there exploring the validity of using the concept of parsimony in research and study.
If you’re a research geek like I am, these arguments are somewhat interesting.
I’m going to assume that you couldn’t care less about the arguments surrounding this concept and just want to know how it applies to you.
Basically, it comes down to an age-old principle that I’m guessing that the majority of you have heard of:
This has nothing to do with a bunch of middle-aged men on stage dressed in make-up, leather, and platform shoes.
It is simply an acronym for:
Keep It Simple Stupid.
In theory, this is obvious.
In practice it is much more difficult.
I have talked to thousands of people from all walks of life and in just about every situation where problems exist it is because somewhere along the line –
People made things more difficult that they needed to be.
Those people include me and you.
Here is the bad news -
This isn’t going to change.
In this increasingly competitive world, each of us feels the need to excel in all areas of life in order to be able to survive.
In the process of putting pressure on ourselves to be the best, we often overextend ourselves and our mental and physical resources.
When this happens our “individual stress” often spills into our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, pets, phones…
Pretty much everyone and everything in our lives.
If this spillage was just specific to a few people it wouldn’t be a big deal.
However, this pattern has pretty much come to define our society as we know it.
As a result, as long as there is air to breathe and decisions to be made, people are going to make things more difficult than they need to be.
More bad news – we can’t control what other people do.
Here is the good news –
There is one thing that you can control…
You control your behavior
You control your focus
You control your thoughts
You control your emotions
You control your stress level
This means that no matter what anybody else does or whatever else happens during the course of your day, you have the ability to regain (or maintain) your focus.
You just need to have some tools to choose from “in the moment.”
This series of posts offers Simple Actions that over the years I have found to be most effective in slowing our minds down and subsequently regaining focus in the midst of the chaos and demands of our daily lives.
Now the question that you should be asking yourself is…
Why Listen To Me?
I mean really…
“Who is this Dr. Phil / Anthony Robbins wannabe that I have never heard of who is telling me that I am the cause of and solution to the majority of stress in my life?”
Here’s a little bit about me:
1. I have a PhD in clinical psychology and have been consulting and/or coaching individuals and groups for over 17 years. I have worked with people from all walks of life and socioeconomic status – from homeless individuals on public aid to professional athletes and CEOs.
2. I have personally experienced most, if not all, of the problems that I discuss (e.g. job stress, health concerns, relationship issues, desire for change, fear, helplessness).
3. I am a big research geek. I read just about everything that I can about: neuroscience (the brain), personality, stress, health, human performance and coping.
4. I can’t stand big research geeks because they usually don’t talk like human beings, so only other big research geeks can understand them. And they publish very valuable research in journals that nobody has ever heard of nor will ever read.
This sucks because they have a lot of very useful information that will improve the lives of who learn it.
5. I love being able to organize the big research geeks’ information and present it in human terms to people and then, more importantly, help those people to apply what they have learned to their lives.
So my suggestion is…
The next part of this series focuses on some of the theory and research on stress and your ability to focus.
It is the “why” part of the series.
As I mentioned a second ago, I’m a big research geek…
So knowing “why” I am doing something (and recommending it) is interesting to me and important for me to include before I get to the “what”/”how” sections.
I suggest that rather than skipping over the “why” parts just to get to the actions, instead…
READ EVERY PART OF THE SERIES
I say this because tools are useless if you don’t really know “why” you are learning and using them.
Learning “why” is part of gaining self-awareness, which is the foundation of any true, sustainable change you want to make in your life.
The equation is simple (as the basis for all of my work):
⇑ Self-Awareness ⇒ ⇑ Knowledge ⇒ ⇑ Decision-Making ⇒ ⇑ Action Steps = ⇑ RESULTS
Most people bypass the Self-Awareness aspect of the equation and jump right to the Knowledge part.
DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE
Because without increased Self-Awareness…
You won’t be able to sustain any changes that you make.
See you in Part 2…