A man is returning to his car after dinner out with friends late one night when he comes across another man crawling around under a street light peering at the ground.
“Lost something?” the first man asks the second.
“Yes, my car keys.”
“I’ll help you look for them” replies the first, feeling charitable. The man gets down and joins in the search.
After thoroughly covering the area two or three times, the man starts to feel like he’s wasting his time. “Where did you say you dropped them?” he asked.
“Over there,” says the second man.
“Then why are you looking here?” asks the first in complete bewilderment.
“I’m looking here because the lighting is much better!”
Boom boom. I quite like this joke. I have a habit, like many people I’m sure, of losing focus on important things and getting distracted by the Shiny New Object or the Greener Grass on the Other Side of the Fence. Or just good ol’ Too Hard Give Up. It’s definitely held me back from achieving things that I really want to achieve. Nowadays when I find myself losing focus or needing to sort some priorities, I try to remind myself get away from under the comfortable streetlight and get to where I really need to be.
I’ll close with a quote that really got me thinking about focus:
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.
— Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011