The Power of Focus

Many years ago I read the book “The Power of Focus”. Well, I started reading it… didn’t finish. I guess I got distracted. More recently I’ve made some aggressive choices to narrow my focus and that has opened the door for some big steps forward. (It was actually the book “Essentialism” which led me to experience this breakthrough)

A few years ago I could have listed my job title as Magician/Improvisor/Banjo Player/Graphic Designer/Web Programmer/Marketing Consultant/Event Producer. Okay, I’ve never made any money as a banjo player, but everything else was an active role, and each job required a slice of my attention and energy. At the time my mindset rationalized that I was doing whatever I could to get by, but now I see how wearing all those hats was weighing me down and undermining my forward movement. How can you get anywhere when you’re moving in six different directions?

You Can Only Do So Much

I took at a hard look at how I was spreading myself too thin, and how I could limit my focus to some core strengths that would make the biggest impact in the world. I began to aggressively say NO to everything else. (Interesting to note: when I declined taking on new projects my clients weren’t upset, but often expressed that they understood and respected my choice to focus on my chosen path)

The truth is you cannot achieve an expert level at more than one thing. What will be your thing? As a magician you cannot have the BEST kids show as well as the BEST corporate show. So, which is more important to you? Which path will allow you to feel most fulfilled while serving others at your highest level?

Step One: Focus On Your Best Work

An activity that helps you visualize the relative value and importance of your goals and projects. This will help you focus on what is most important.

As we sort through your goals and move towards a plan, you should be looking for big goals that are mutually beneficial . That is, when you’re making progress on one goal, will it also naturally move you closer to another? We all have limited time, and especially limited time to spend on developing as a magician, so you need to make sure you’re not fighting against yourself.

Step Two: Learn To Say NO

The hard part, once you determine your focus, is aggressively protecting it against all the distractions. This means saying no to people and projects that are not on your path forward.

Step Three: Write Down Your Focused Goals

We’ve written down our dreams, and done some work to choose our path… finally it is time to actually make your list of goals that we are going to be working on.

Tip: Be wary if you are writing down a lot of goals to work on this year. We want to focus on a small number of BIG goals… any more than five and you may be setting yourself up for trouble.

You absolutely MUST be writing this stuff down, on paper or on a digital device. It simply will not do to keep it all in your head. We will be working with this list of goals in the upcoming lessons to create your action plan.

What’s next?

In the next lesson we’ll talk about how to make sure your goals are too important to fail! Make sure you complete the work in this lesson before then.

Table of Contents for Make Magic Happen

  • Make Magic Happen Helping magicians reach their artistic and professional goals with a deep-dive into your motivation and planning.
  • Big Dreams We start by getting our dreams out of our head and onto paper, and look at why these dreams are still on our wish-list.
  • The Power of Focus Practical techniques to help you prioritize and pick out the dreams that you are ready to commit to for the year.
  • The Heart of Your Goals It's going to be a struggle, and this is what will keep you pushing through.
  • SMART Goals Serious progress demands serious goals. Use these worksheets to create goals that stick around.
  • Step By Step Action Plans Break down big goals into little steps that can be done without breaking a sweat.
  • Daily Habits You won't get anything done this year if you don't work on it today.
  • Facing Our Fears We can conquer our fears by making a plan of attack before we get scared.
  • Fail Forward Your willingness to make mistakes determines the speed of your progress.
  • Accountability You will work harder when you have to answer to another person.

Published: December 20, 2021

Access: Public

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