A Discipline Worth Fighting For
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to focus on an idea or project let alone clear headspace to reflect and create. The tantalizing noise that surrounds us often ends up consuming us. This is unfortunate because any significant requires our undivided attention for its execution. If you have a desire to create things filled with beauty, meaning, and intuitive simplicity, you’re going to have to focus. I’m reminded of what Steve Jobs once said…
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Focus is birthed out of discipline and discipline can only take shape as you work on it each day. In the area of focus, I do a quick 3 (sometimes 5) minutes exercise daily that helps me both refine my ability to focus and create space in my thinking to decompress and realign my thoughts. I hope you find it helpful in moving your ideas forward.
- Pick a small item. This could be anything like a object on your desk, toy, fabric, product package, picture, etc. It doesn’t have to be anything of great meaning to you personally.
- Spend three minutes looking closely at the object. Pay attention to the small details (e.g., color, threading, shapes, design, texture, etc.).
- Note one new insight about the object. Take a few seconds to mentally note or put on paper one new insight or perspective you’ve gained from the exercise. It’s doesn’t have to be earth shattering. Just one thing you walking with that you’ve learned to appreciate more.
Doing this everyday with objects that don’t necessarily have immediate impact on your life or work is healthy. It forces you to strengthen your ability to focus as well as allows you to take a break from the madness of noise that sits all around you. Try it for a month and let me know what you think.
Dream Big. Start Small. Keep Moving.