Two brothers began rehearsing their acrobatic act. They jumped, and one landed on the head of another. They jumped again, and the one below now landed on the other’s head. They jumped another time, did a high-five in the air, and landed on the ground with a pose. Then they practiced their tightrope routine, balancing and even jumping, then landing on the rope flawlessly. What an amazing feat!
Prior to that, the main performer practiced his magic tricks. He had lots of tricks to wow the crowd, one of which was turning a yellow blanket into a Golden Labrador dog. The magician’s name was Thelé. He was an elephant.
These scenes were part of our playtime a few days ago. My son and I play a whole lot, especially with stuffed toys, and the theme that day turned out to be “circus.” The playtime included rehearsals, the actual circus show, and a meeting of the circus producers with a couple of business partners who wanted to bring the circus show to five places — Hong Kong, China, Japan, India and Russia. They struck an agreement with a handshake and a photo, and talked about logistics and how to make it happen. (The “circus producers” were two Grover stuffed toys, and the “business partners” were a dog and a bear.)
That was the end of that playtime, and it looked like this was “To Be Continued.” True enough, yesterday’s playtime was the continuation. We went from contacting the travel agency to acquire passports and to secure visas at the Japanese embassy (including singing and rapping while stuck in traffic in an “Uber” bus), packing and preparing stuff for the trip, checking in at the airport, and boarding the first flight. Whew! It was a whole lot of fun!
I was reflecting on this yesterday, and what came to me was FOCUS.
I admit, I can easily get distracted by so many things. But I decided years ago, that when I’d have playtime with my kid, I’d be ALL IN. I’d be fully PRESENT — whether it was just 15 minutes or one-and-a-half hours (like yesterday). There were no leaks in terms of attention, no distractions (read: no gadgets!), just pure enjoyment!
Merriam-Webster has these definitions for “focus”:
- a center of activity, attraction, or attention
- a point of concentration
- directed attention
Focus is like having this box or block of condensed energy with one purpose — it’s full, complete. It’s got clarity because one’s vision is sharpened. In my playtime example, my son and I had fun because we were both into it. Our purpose was to play. I didn’t have anything else at the back of my mind, shifting my attention and saying, “You gotta do this or that.” It was 100% in.
This goes for other things, too. I realized that when I eliminate unnecessary distractions, I get a whole lot more done with more joy and less stress. There’s a certain flow. Others call it being “in the zone.” The Bible calls it being “wholehearted.” I’m beginning to realize that it also has to do with excellence and giving our best for God. Check out these different versions of the same Bible verses:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23, AMP)
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. (Colossians 3:22-25, MSG)
When I learned more about how to focus, I realized it was possible to accomplish those things I had been procrastinating about. Of course, reaching the finish line was such sweet victory, but even gaining momentum and the process itself boosted my happiness!
So I encourage, dear friend, to FOCUS. It’s still the first month of the year, and you can decide. What are the main things you will focus on and improve? Your health? Your relationships? Your walk with God? Then take the necessary, intentional steps. You’ll be surprised at your progress!
If you want personalized support to help you focus and follow through on your resolutions, then I invite you to sign up for “Get Your Happy into Action!” — a 4-week one-on-one coaching program that will help you gain momentum towards your goals. Check out the video and poster below:
I also invite you to my free Facebook group where I’ve shared a free video training to go with a free “Moving Forward” chart. I also share other goodies in there. Request to join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/198924290681352/
Hope to see you there, and blessings on your week!
Mich Nicolas 🙂
>> By the way, my son has a YouTube channel where he posts videos he’s made (of course, I have to approve them first!). Here’s one that he did showcasing some “magic tricks” by the elephant.