Focus is a word many of us have heard in our lives, and it is used in many different ways. A camera, for instance, is "focused", either automatically with the newer cameras, or manually by the avid photographer. Many pictures are focused on a central aspect, such as a portrait, or a general focus, as in a landscape. The individual photographer places the focus of each particular photograph with the objective of grabbing the attention of the viewer and directing him or her to a spot where a "message" is placed. The sharper the focus, the clearer the message.
An athlete is trained to focus, generally on a certain aspect of his game, whatever game it is. The focus of a football quarterback is different than that of the intended receiver, but each must have his own focus employed if the intended play is completed to the desired outcome, the completed pass-play. A prize-fighter, such as a boxer, must have an intense focus on his opponent if he is to win the match.
A student is trained to focus on the subject matter of each class he attends. The greater the focus, the higher the grade. Some students are better able to focus on mathematics, others on science or history. The valedictorian is the one who is able to focus on them all.
If any endeavor is to be excelled at, then the person involved must be able to focus his intention completely.
Where is your focus? Is it on your job, to the exclusion of your family? Is it on your children, to the exclusion of your spouse? Is it on sports, or politics, or religion? Have you ever focused on your "self"? Do you understand what motivates your movements or pulls at your emotions? Do you know why you are depressed, or can't sleep, or are continually tired; why that lingering cold won't go away or your skin is flaking or that headache is persistent?
Understanding the "self" provides each of us the ability to live our lives in a more complete way, but understanding the discipline of life requires a focus, first on the "self" and then expanded outward to encompass the totality of life. It begins with you and then moves to us, and not the other way around.
Where to begin? Try staring at yourself in the mirror. Gazing deeply into your own eyes ignites an intimate conversation with self. The recognition and the focus is immediate.