Thursday, October 29, 2009

Focus, Part One

By P. Michael Biggs

The world of full of focused individuals. Tiger Woods, the golf legend is a prime example of this. He seems to be a man who allows nothing to interfere with his concentration or to clutter his mind on game day. How does he remain so consistent on the links?

Our own President Obama is another example. He not only is a driven individual but he has such focus on the tasks at hand. During his campaign he sang a one-note song and it was all about “change, change, change.” That is focus, regardless of your political likes or dislikes.

Maybe we can gain some insights into this elusive character trait and sharpen our own focus on the tasks and responsibilities we each face, whether you are a professional man or woman, student, or retiree.

In preparation for this series of articles, I called a photographer friend of mine in Centralia, WA by the name of Larry Curfman. Larry gave me some wonderful metaphors to use and I am going to adapt them from his perspective as a photographer. I think they are applicable to us today in our business life and our personal concerns as well. Let’s look at our goals, dreams, plans, businesses, and ideas from a photographer’s perspective and see where these ideas can take us.

Focus: When we look up the word focus, we see synonyms such as:
Focal Point
Meeting Point
Center of Attention

Larry said when he is setting up a photo opportunity his concentration is on the subject, the object of the job at hand.

I think Tiger Woods would agree. As Tiger approaches the 18th tee and is two strokes off the lead do you think he is focused on dinner that evening, or his vacation in two weeks? Absolutely not! Every fiber of his being is focused on this match and the next swing of his clubs. “Which club should I use? In which direction is the wind blowing? Should I use a full force backswing or lighten up just a bit?” Focus, focus, focus.

What is on your agenda at home or work at this very moment? Where should your focus be? What is your job at hand? What are the key issues and problem facing you and causing you the most concern for today? It matters not whether we are discussing business plans, family plans, or retirement plans. All of us need to focus on the essentials in our lives every day.

Have you ever wandered into your local grocery store without a shopping list? You can finish my thought here. Of course we end up filling the basket with a lot more “stuff” than we originally needed or wanted. We had no focus to keep us on track.

One of my favorite books is "The Winds of War" by Herman Wouk. In this book, Mr. Wouk recounts a scene in which General E. J. Tillet, military author and one of the Commanding Generals for England during WWII, is speaking to the main character named Pug Henry. Tillet is making an observation about Hermann Goering that is applicable to our topic.

He said this about Goering, “He’s wasted a whole bloody month bombing harbors and pottering about after convoys. He’s only got till September the fifteenth. His mission is mastery of the air, not blockade. Define your mission! Define your mission and stick to it!”

“Define your mission!” This is the first key ingredient when we talk about focus. What is your focus? What is your objective? What is your mission? Is it clearly defined? Do you have a mission statement or a business philosophy by which you operate? Do you have a stated goal for your life’s work? What is your passion and what is your life all about?

So, point number one is this.


Look for Focus, Part 2 next week.

Michael Biggs is a motivational speaker, free lance writer, personal speech coach and top rated vocal soloist. He lives in Edmonds, WA. with his wife Carolyn. His company is called Up-Words, Words to Motivate, Encourage and Inspire. Michael’s business experiences include Director of Sales and Director of Marketing for three major music publishing companies, Regional Director for Sylvan Learning Centers, and as a successful multi-line insurance agent. He is available to speak to your business or organization. Please contact him at 206-349-1888 or email him at

Friday, October 23, 2009

Up-Words Morning Notes

Good Morning
Welcome to Up-Words "Morning Notes". This is a space which I have created to share words that motivate, encourage, and inspire.

My intent is to keep these blogs relatively short so that you can read them in one setting and not be overwhelmed with the amount of content. In some instances I'll break them into two and three-part series, as I will do with one of the first submissions you'll recieve on the subject of Focus.

Your feedback is important and appreciated. If you find these writings helpful and encouraging in your life please pass them along to your facebook and twitter followers as well.

Happy reading as we enter into this experience together.

P Michael Biggs
Words to Motivate, Encourage and Inspire