Quality Magazine

Jim's Gems: Sharp Focus

June 18, 2012


In photography, a viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture. When taking pictures, we want to have a sharp, clear focus through the viewfinder. We want, and need, the same clear focus for our everyday life.

Most of us live in a culture that presents us with a bewildering array of options. But the confusion of too many options will largely disappear once we learn how to focus. In this sense, focusing means to concentrate all our attention on one particular thing, and, much as we do with a camera, bring it into sharp relief in order to clarify our relationship with it.

When we concentrate our attention on a particular endeavor, problem or person, we bring all of our energy to it, shutting out irrelevant details. Even if we find ourselves caught in a crisis where our attention seems to be demanded everywhere at the same time, when we choose to focus our attention on one aspect of the problem, a solution becomes much easier. A natural progression then begins to unfold, making it possible for us to arrive eventually at an overall resolution.

Remember, your experience in life is determined by where and upon what you choose to focus your attention and energy, just as a photographer must decide what to focus the lens on and what to leave out. If you let your attention wander all over the place, you will end up feeling muddled and blurry, just like the picture that results from a lens not held still.

Manage your attention, focus on what’s important and you will be taking charge of the situation.