One of the most endangered skills in our time, and one of the most important, is the art of focus. The New York Times just ran an op ed about the importance of great lecture classes in our schools, and especially college, where students learn to listen and focus on complex ideas and sequences of ideas.
Call to mind a totally unfocused photograph, blurry and indistinct. Now contrast that with a picture that's crisp, clear and well focused. Our minds can range through a similar spectrum. Successful people in every domain of human activity tend to be those who can attain and keep a clear focus on what they want and what it takes to get there.
At its peak, focus becomes flow, a transcendent mindset of absolute absorbedness in an activity or enterprise. And flow seems to be the key to both creativity and masterful levels of excellence.
The world around us conspires to distract us from ever experiencing focus or flow. But the only way we can contribute our best to the world is to resist its siren songs enough that we master focus and grow more adept at flow.
With focus and flow - Oh, the places you can go!