Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sustained Concentration

My good friend KG wrote me today and commented, "Agh... Just read a new report on the world and U.S. economies - no improvements expected at least till the end of 2010 :-( What do we do???"

KG and I have spoken on occasions on when the uncertain "bottom" will arrive so that we can see the upward direction for a change. While it's still not a mathematical certainty of when that moment will happen, it brings us to look at this from a different angle.

Pick a sport and picture the start, middle, and end of that sport's season. I'll choose surfing. At any surfing competition the spectators cheer on their favorite and in the end the various surfers' rankings will be affected. While global warming and changes in global weather conditions impact the globe on larger scales, the surfers at the competition are focused on the current conditions at this particular part of the globe, at this particular beach, and at this particular competition. The champions know that it's not about how another surfer did or will do, but rather, "what do I need to do from the time I paddle out, catch a wave, and do my thing." That surfer starts thinking about anything else? ... might as well call it a day.

Every once in a while I like to refer to 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, by Steve Siebold. In Secret #3 Siebold says: Champions Have An Immense Capacity For Sustained Concentration. Whether you are a surfer, a football coach, a finance professional, or an unemployed individual, how you will weather out the storm of current situation depends largely on your sustained concentration to achieve your desired outcome. Catch the first wave or the second wave? Running play or passing play? Hold on to the investment or sell? Watch others lose their jobs or see an opportunity you didn't see before?

First see the desired outcome, and concentrate on reaching the outcome. The waters will be rough ... but who really wins: the one who paddled back to shore or the one who fought a rough wave back to shore?



  1. This is very powerful! And you know how much the words of wisdom help in the time of desperation? I feel like most people are discouraged now by the whole economic situation, and simply give up... Thank you for pointing out again that there are opportunities in every crisis! And I strongly believe you should start writing a book - you're the new Napoleon Hill! Thank you again - I'm honored to be your first "topic" in this blog.


  2. KG, recognizing the opportunities out there is not so much an art form, but more like a mindset. Thank you for the props, but still a student of Napoleon Hill, as many should be! I still find wisdom in his work. Good luck to you!