A Focus on Focus


This post is intended to go up at the very beginning of the new year. Don’t mistake it for anything like a New Year’s Resolution: I have never been one for setting resolutions (If you check the blog from January 1, 2014, you will see that is an exact quote). I said last year on January 1 that I liked to focus more on the journey and the process.

One thing I set as a process last year was to publish a blog every day. That process has been a success, and I have done a blog every day the past year.

But one of the things that process has shown me is the focus, or lack thereof, in my writing, and my life in general. So this year I think I am going to focus on focus.

When talking about focus, I think the concept of selectivity is important.  If you focus on one thing, that means you aren’t focused on something else. For limited beings it isn’t possible to absorb everything in complete focus at the same time. Choice of focus, selectivity, is important in our lives.

I have been developing a very light framework for Lightfoot’s Theory of Selectivity. So far it has four points: Hearing, Vision, Memory, Responsibility.

For hearing you know of the old saw that husbands have selective hearing where their wives are concerned. For vision, I have selective vision in not being able to see something I know should be right in front of me. For memory, we choose what to remember directly, and what to count on other people or devices to remember (cell phones to track phone numbers instead of our memory, for example). For responsibility, we have so many things to be responsible for, that we are not irresponsible about certain items so much as we have to choose how to selectively prioritize our responsibilities to take care of them.

In each of these four items I can see a question of focus comes up. Which items we choose of those in front of us. The police officer or detective interviewing witnesses for the scene of a crime or other incident can often wonder if the people he is talking to actually witnessed the same event. Each person had a different focus. Each person saw a different thing as the central part of the event. Even the interviewing officer or detective makes their choice about what is central.

In the blog I have made the choice to just do it, but I haven’t brought much attention to its focus, what is the important center of the blog. In the rest of my life I have had so many things going on that I am feeling a loss of focus: What are the important items that take priority? So for 2015 the theme needs to be focus, as for 2014 the theme was process.

It is at this point that some well-meaning folks are going to trot out some lists of priorities: God, Family, Church, Work, etc. …. and make it sound like a simple hierarchical priority tree. I’m certain that someone could trot out a similar list of priorities for blogging. You can stop right now, well-meaning and all. There is too much interleaving to make it that simple.

Focus, Focus. Perhaps sometime the blog will actually have enough focus to truly “Be Swift, Be Precise.”


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