Skip to main content

Short Focus, Long Focus and Discipline

I have been trying to find out what makes some people more successful than others. And although there are factors like being born into the right family and sheer luck, I have found out that to be successful requires a certain combination of factors that almost always seem to produce great results and thus are kind of like more responsible for success in any endeavour than those given by happenstance.

Short Focus: This is the kind of focus that enables me to write an article, read a book or write some code without getting distracted for a few hours at a stretch, except for thirst or using the bathroom. You need this kind of focus to do the work at hand very efficiently and most importantly to not get bored while doing it. If you get bored easily, then you have a low amount of short focus and it will be a good thing to do your best to try to fix this. This is what is usually called the attention span. Some people like me successfully use coffee to fire up for the work at hand, but this is not for everyone especially the caffeine sensitive. Do your research, there are lots of techniques that can help you to focus on the work at hand.

Meditation is a skill that will transfer into your work if you chase it for a long period of time. Developing your short focus will be very useful to enable you to finish a task in a short period of time.

Long Focus: This is the kind that requires you to focus on long projects. Many mathematicians have this kind of focus developed to a very high degree enabling them to focus for years till they get some task done. You should be able to focus on projects that might take up to 3 years to complete in order to achieve any meaningful endeavour on earth. Longer periods are required for greater undertakings. To accomplish something major like building a successful company, writing a masterpiece or engineering some huge project, you should be able to focus for up to 10 years. During this long period of years when you are working on some major project, how efficient you are will be dependant on your short focus and discipline.

Discipline: This is your ability to control your tendency towards being distracted. Even if you have a good amount of short focus, that is you don't get bored easily, you could still be distracted by things like social media when delving into some work. Your brain is all fired up, but when you hear that notification sound on your phone you just can't help but pick it up.

This is the most difficult of all the above skills to master and in fact, it is kind of a foundation to both being able to use Long and Short focus to achieve your goals. In earlier times there was less distraction in the world and people were able to focus for long and achieve great goals but in our times apart from the difficulties of modern life, there is the endless barrage of unnecessary information and entertainment seeking to steal our times and thus it is very hard to maintain focus along a path.

It is in this times that we have the opportunity to develop our discipline to a very high level because the challenges to staying disciplined are coming from all corners and thus great strength can be built by resisting.

If you want to be successful at any endeavour you should adopt all three characteristics despite the fact that you might not have been born into many advantages. Many people can accomplish great things if they will only Short focus hard on the task at hand, Long focus on the grand design, and discipline their self to avoid distractions.


Popular posts from this blog

Next Steps Towards Strong Artificial Intelligence

If you follow current AI Research then it will be apparent to you that AI research, the deep learning type has stalled! This does not mean that new areas of application for existing techniques are not appearing but that the fundamentals have been solved and things have become pretty standardized.

How to become an AI researcher

Artificial Intelligence is all the rage these days. Everyone is getting on the bandwagon but there seems to be a shortage of AI researchers everywhere these days. Although many people are talking about doing AI not many people are actually doing AI research.

At the edge of a cliff - Quantum Computing

Quantum computing reminds me of the early days of computer development (the 50s - 60s) where we had different companies come up with their different computer architectures. You had to learn how to use one architecture then move to another then another as you hoped to explore different systems that were better for one task than they were for another task.