Focus is a huge and frightening issue in our modern society. More and more, our children are being asked for “focus” on things in their day to day life that we ought to be bringing into question.
The past U.S. election, for many people, has pulled our focus, highlighted, and brought to light a number of questions, fears, anxieties, and latent traumas in our culture that can no longer be silenced.
More and more, our lens of focus is getting dulled from repetitive actions we take for granted, and now, we are being jolted awake. It is painful, but necessary.
The internet, IT revolution, and our accessibility to knowledge- we already know- has changed our relationship to focus. In many ways, our access to information has expanded our focus, making it much easier to focus on things we find interesting, faster.
Our relationship status to focus, despite the boom in access to knowledge went from “in a committed relationship,” to “it’s complicated,” and not for the reasons we may all think.
We send our children to schools, because “we are supposed to.” Schools represent an environment where our children learn how to focus. If we have parents who are involved or have the luxury of spending money on private or independent education, we get the benefit of their input into “what school” we attend, or the “technique” they use to facilitate focus.
Ultimately, we give permission to an institution to instill a particular “type” of focus into our children from early morning until mid-afternoon- and in some cases- dinner time. These institutions create the method, ritual and experience of training our young minds HOW to focus.
Primary and secondary level education is important; a number of incredibly important skills have the potential to be developed in school like:
- critical and analytical reasoning
- respect for self and others
- oral and written skill sets among others
These skills are crucial in the creation of a successful human-being. Modern educational institutions place focus on what we fail at; by imposing the structure of: learn, test, grade, repeat, we instil in our children’s minds that there is only a particular way(s) to learn, that what we learn, we ultimately get tested on, and that the outcome of each test is more important than what we as inquisitive, creative, and amazing human beings choose to do with said knowledge and information.
More and more, it is becoming understood that our thoughts have a direct impact on our reality. More simply, what we focus on, we create more of.
Our planet no longer has the luxury of waiting for the next generation to clean up the mess; we need to change our focus from procrastination to action.
We must stop focusing on our failures; they will only bring us more. We must, instead focus on what we want to be creating. NOW.
Remember when your teacher asked your class what everyone wanted to be when they grew up? This is a first world luxury not many people realize: the luxury to decide, when ready, what you want to do with your life.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FOLLOW UP CONVERSATION? Why did we only talk about this once in first grade? Why are we not focusing on what we want to be every step of the educational path? Why do we stop focusing on this when we leave school?
When did “following your path” become a phrase used exclusively for the woo-woo new age spiritual people? We all are meant to follow our path. Why do we spend so much time avoiding it? Getting distracted by other things, and forgetting who we came here to be?
Because sometimes, following our path and FOCUSING ON IT is scary. Because sometimes it means we need others to help us. Because sometimes it means expanding our lens of focus to include things we never considered.
But you are not alone.
Our planet, and the people populating her are demanding that we change our relationship with her and with each other. Eventually, we each discover our purpose. For some, it is very easy, for others, it takes a while.
What if we gave our children the opportunity to remember who they are earlier?
What if we gave our students the structure- in their learning day- to focus on who they are becoming, and who they already are to begin with? EVERY DAY?
What if we also just started by doing this with ourselves?
Studies have shown, what people across the planet have known for centuries: meditation works.
I’m not referring solely to giving students an opportunity to self-reflect in school, but to reconfigure the entire school, student, teacher relationship to allow for our students to focus on what their amazing minds and souls came into being for. What happens if we allow our students opportunities to focus on what they love.
I challenge each of you reading this; for one day, focus on what you succeed at, on what you do well and where you excel. How does this change your ability to relate to your co-workers, your family, your employees?