#FocusFridays: On Process

On Process

As my first #30DaysofFocus week comes to a close, here are some major reflections.

Writing, which has been my focus tool, is very much like running (as Murakami suggested in his awesome memoir). It’s a question of sitting your butt down (lacing up those sneakers), and getting into the mind frame to move forward on your decision (do it until your goal time is up, whatever that is). At the beginning of the week, I blocked off two hours for writing each day. Some days it went on a little longer, other days a bit shorter, but every day was somewhat productive. This is something you already probably know, but blocking off your calendar really works.

It felt very liberating to know that I could write about anything that was on my mind or happening in my life at any particular moment. It didn’t have to necessarily be about food. Throughout the last seven years, I’ve always felt like if I wanted to blog about something, it had to be food-related. It is and continues to be a major passion and source of inspiration, but I realized how good it feels to be flexible, especially when it comes to writing. Getting out of your comfort zone is often the best place to find inspiration.

I also want share a book I came across this week called The Practicing Mind: Bringing Discipline and Focus into Your Life by Thomas Sterner, which talks about how life is pure practice and the best way to enjoy it is to understand that everything is a process and that we should focus on the process, not the goal. This may sound like something you already know, but the book is clearly written and gives advice on how to strengthen your focus (even though I’m still only on Chapter Two!)

With this, I leave you with a beautiful passage from the The Practicing Mind which totally hit home for me and talks about how internal struggles are timeless and universal.

“There is a story, many centuries old, that describes these struggles. The story is about a chariot rider who steps onto a Roman-style chariot drawn by four horses. In this story, the horses represent the mind. The driver, who has an undisciplined mind, steps onto the chariot but has no hold on the reins. The four horses run wild all day, exhausting themselves and the driver as they bump along off the chosen path, constantly changing directions. They do not know where they or where they are going at any given moment. The driver holds on to the railings and is just as helpless as the horses as they all watch the scenery go by. In contrast, a disciplined driver, who has the reins in hand, is in control and directs the horses down the focused, chosen path, wherever it might be. The horses now have no will. Their energy is directed by the refined commands of the disciplined driver. The ride is smooth, and they all reach their desired destination in the least amount of time, with the least amount of effort and fatigue. Which would you rather be?” –The Practicing Mind: Bringing Discipline and Focus Into Your Life, Thomas Sterner




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