When I chose this word for my “one word” challenge, I didn't realise what it would mean to me. I intended it to only be pertinent to my career and how I did my job. Like most people I looked at the dictionary definition, with the reality of knowing it’s a cliche…
Definition of focus in English:
noun (plural focuses or foci ˈfəʊsʌɪ)
The centre of interest or activity:
An act of concentrating interest or activity on something:
our focus on the customer’s requirements
(obviously it means way more, but instead of customers, why not students!)
In hindsight, I could have chosen the word “Organised”, because this is what I was initially after. But I stuck with focus and this is why.
Much like the focus on a camera I started to zoom in and out, looking at the big picture and re-focusing in on details. I changed my aperture, which also narrowed my focus onto one thing, providing less “background noise”, so to speak. My mind became the lens and one day I mentally acquired a wide angle lens!
Focus for me became a profoundly deep concept. What was I focusing on? My career? My family? Myself? All of it? Or none of it?
At the end of the day I am just a bloke, thankfully not a red necked one, but a bloke none the less.
I have an awesome Lady who supports me, three awesome kids that do what kids do best! I have a job that I love. I am a member of the Senior Leadership Team, I teach in a community of year 6 through to year 13 students (yes, all together!) and I get to work with awesome teachers and human beings. I am the Gateway/Star and Careers coordinator, I am the Principals Nominee and I am the Staff rep on the Board of Trustees, oh, the PPTA rep also.
I love to catch up with friends and family, do stuff around the house, surf, sing, cook, make/create, play with my kids, blah blah blah.
The point being, you all identify with what I am saying, don’t you! How many of you are in similar situations? What suffers? Your career, your family, or you? Or do they take turns?
I struggle to keep up with the amazing minds in Education. The innovators, the movers and shakers. Twitter, EdChat, Big Picture Schools, Inquiry Based Learning, innovations in teaching NCEA, the list goes on. I love it all and intend to continue to evolve and grow as an educator. My desire to help young people to love learning is strong! But my desire to be a good husband and father is strong also. And how can I do all that if I am not looking after my own well being, my own Hauora?
As my Baby Mama always says, “it’s about balance” and she is dead right. When I drop the lens of focus over top of balance I have a clarity of mind (I’m no Jedi as of yet, but my Padawan journey has began!)
“ The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.” Eckhart Tolle
What I’m saying isn’t new and it is simply common sense. But living and practicing it is the hard part. Focus on what is important, Focus on creating balance in your life, Focus on your own wellbeing and mostly Focus on being present.
You will wain from the path, it is inevitable (I’m down to 107 times a day!) The key is learning to jump back on the path! Use your lens on Manual, not Automatic. That way you have control over what you choose to zoom in and focus on. Don’t miss out on amazing small details that make life special. Be present and embrace what you have, only then can you change what you don’t.
Your life is a blessing and is to be cherished. Don't let it slip by unnoticed.