Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Attention, Focus and Effort

I have had a realization today.

I think I've always known this, but today I know it in a deeper way.
My brain is wired to focus on one thing at a time and to intently
push that one interest to a goal state. I seem to operate best when
I focus on one interest at a time. I find that my interests come in
waves. I'll be consumed by one goal or another and then, over time,
my creative energies become saturated thinking about the one thing,
and they seek something new.


Here are the interests I'm usually engaged in at one time or another:

Archery,
Ham radio,
Sailing,
Backpacking,
Hunting,
Role Playing Games,
Leadership,
Video,
Geocaching,
Technology,
Blogging,
Running/Biking,
Rocketry
Guitar

I feel sometimes that my creative energies are like the "Eye of
Sauron" from the Lord of the Rings movies. It scans the lay of that
land coming to rest with an intense focus from time to time on some
small part of it, but soon it moves on looking for something else.

I've seen it in ham radio, where I very feverishly set up a bunch of
systems to help manage the EARC nets, and I developed a manual for
the NCSs and then... maintenance. I know my interest will return
there again, but for now, I'm interested in other things.

In the video ministry for my church, I launched a webpage, started
experimenting with streaming video, then a long lull until most
recently I edited a bunch of videos intensely for weeks and now I'm
recharging my interests in other areas.

Many of you know that I am inflicted with what I call "wander-lust" a
few times every year. I think that is merely my interest in the
outdoors bubbling back to the top of my mind every so often. I'm
overcome with thoughts of camping, solo-hiking, foraging, hunting...
just being outdoors in the woods.

Even my blogs and twitters come in bursts.

This tendency of mine to focus all my energies in one direction and
overcome those obstacles and achieve those goals is powerful, and I
think it can be quite good, but it drives my wife nuts. She no doubt
has known this about me for a long time. She has an amazing ability
to sense and know all things all the time. She is a multi-tasker. I
think that is part of the reason she doesn't like driving. She is
aware of all the cars and all the possible routes of travel and all
the possible collisions all the time and it is overwhelming. I love
to drive. I'm focussed on one thing, getting to my destination via
the route I've preconceived. I find it almost relaxing.

Lately I feel my interests are shifting again. It was video editing
a few weeks ago, some creative writing I've been doing lately, but
now I feel the winds of change blowing and I'm looking forward to
what is next. Don't be surprised if you see a burst of blogs soon.
Who knows what will capture my attention next.

Peace, Love and Focus,

Rich

3 comments:

TS said...

I donʻt know that people are necessarily wired to be multi-taskers, but there are people, such as your significant other, who are better at compartmentalizing tasks and information, then shuffling between them (which the modern language has taken to calling multitasking).

Iʻm not one of those people either.

Obsessive focus on the task at hand is a great strength. Follow the flow and enjoy the ride.

Sandy Fewell said...

I guess you got a gene or two from your mom in the focused side of life. It's always very satifying to put all of your effort into one project and seeing it to the end perfected and done to the best of your ability. Then it's time to relish the satisfaction for a bit, set it aside, and train your thoughts to head in other directions. When I was younger, the focus could be a little more "high gear", but now that retirement has taken its toll on my energy level, the satisfaction comes in shorter spurts, in shorter projects, and lots of rest in between. Too much "focus" makes me too edgy and discontent. It's time for me to enjoy the time smelling the roses and focusing in on the simpler side of life. Hope you get there some day, too! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I think your focus (or short term goals) could be described as "directive AADD". LOL.
K-Dub