Today I was noticing as I was coming home from working out at the gym, how the sheriff’s department has been catching speeders at this one spot all week. For the past few days, they have been at this one location where they can be somewhat out of sight, because there is a curve in the road there. Drivers come around the curve and “boom” they get caught. Why is it that so many people get caught speeding? One thing for sure is that most drivers are not present to what they are doing.
Most drivers are driving with their subconscious. They allow their minds to wonder or day dream. Some are on their cell phones. Make that a lot of them are on their cell phones. Some are eating fast food. And, some are more interested in the conversation that they are having with the person(s) in the car with them. The bottom line is whatever they are doing it is something other than being focused on their driving.
Not being focused on driving leads to accidents and other misfortunes. And in the case of this week in my neighborhood, you get a ticket. You might say that you are focused on your driving. Well, how many times have you drove past the street you were intending to turn on because you were not paying attention?
Consider that in your career or work, if you are not careful you will have the tendency to go into automatic mode just like you do in your driving. That is the mode where you go through the motions, but are not really focused on the work you are doing. You are not engaged because you are not present to what is going on. You are simply operating out of habit.
Human beings will take the road of least resistance. In other words human beings are pleasure seekers and pain avoiders. Developing habits is what you do so you don’t have to exert the energy necessary to focus on a particular thing. Developing these habits are good for some things, but they can be a detriment to your success in others.
Try this little exercise for yourself. Just observe yourself during the course of the day and see how many things you do on auto-pilot. Yes, the observation of yourself will require you to use energy and actually be present to observing your actions. You may be very surprised at how much of your actions are done without actually thinking. The observation will reveal that in some cases auto-pilot is ok and in some cases it is not.
Being present to the fact that you need your full focus to reach levels of performance that are required for excellence will allow you to put in the effort to be focused.