focus joyful living purpose

How To Stop The Mental Focus Deprivation Torture

A Kafka-esque World

Everyone’s racing around trying to get more done.  Faster. More, more, more.  It’s a system of torture kind of like a Kafka-esque world where we don’t know why we’re rushing around but we know it’s important.  We are becoming shallow and it’s all because of focus deprivation.

Uber Generation

Hard to believe only ten years ago, the iPhone was introduced to the world.  And it’s changed us.  It’s made us always “on.”  Caffeinated, pumped-up, arrogant, “Uber generation.”   Whomever pushes further, faster with the sharpest elbows wins.

There are lab rats who would rather ingest cocaine than even food.  Every few seconds, a beep, buzz, chime alerts them to another dose.  It’s the same with the modern smartphone user.

I’m no luddite or ditching my phone anytime soon.  (I’m an Apple fanboy since 1985!)  But to truly make an impact in the world (and isn’t that what we all want?) we need to slow it down.

And we need blocks of uninterrupted time so we can work with deep focus.

This is impossible when we have a lifestyle that encourages shallow thinking.   Open office plans may be great for sales people or customer service.  These folks need to be reacting to others all day.  But for anyone who needs to think deeply, it’s torturous.  It’s kind of like sleep deprivation where someone pokes you every 5 minutes.   Focus and deep work can never happen with constant interruption.

So How To Get Mental Focus?

For getting impactful, meaningful work done, we need blocks of deep focus time.  And that requires you to…

Turn off your notifications!

Try it for a day.  A week.  You just may want to continue longer.  You don’t need someone else telling you that they are important.  You need to preserve the sanctity of your focus.

Turn off your notifications!

And see your productivity soar.  Do not continue this self torture by being a lab rat for Facebook.

Turn off your notifications!


awakening focus

A Funny Thing About Commitment

If you commit yourself 100% to a project, it becomes effortless.

There is no friction.

It’s all or none.

You do not battle yourself of whether you should or shouldn’t.

You don’t prioritize, you just do.


It’s when you’re at 95% when there’s trouble.

At 95%, there is stress.

There is worry.

There is anxiety.

There are too many choices.

There are pros and cons.

You start to second-guess everything.

Procrastination sets in.


That little 5% is what separates the winners from the almost.

It’s what makes you Usain Bolt and not the next guy, what was his name?

At 100%, there is a zen-like calm, no more driving with the brake on.

Enjoy the process.

Just do.

awakening focus inspirational quotes purpose

You’ve Got To Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Everything in life can be viewed in one of two ways, positive or negative.  Re-reading the classic book The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz, I came across this wonderful passage where he talks about having an internal broadcasting system.

“View it this way. Your mind is a mental broadcasting station. This broadcasting system transmits messages to you on two equally powerful channels: Channel P (positive) and Channel N (negative).”

I love this.  The mind is a screen that you can project the images you have control over.

“You own it, so manage your thought broadcasting station . When your thoughts turn to people, make Channel P your listening habit. If Channel N cuts in, say stop. Then switch channels. To make the switch, all you must do is think of one positive quality about the individual. In true chain reaction style, this one thought will lead to another and another. And you will be glad. When you are alone, you and only you can decide whether you will listen to Channel P or Channel N. But when you are talking with someone else, that person has a measure of control over how you think.”

Tune Into Channel P, for Positive
Tune into Channel P and Eliminate the negative.

The more you tune into one or the other the more you get of the same.  You’ve tuned your frequency to only receive on that channel.  It’s like setting the defaults on your car stereo or the favorites on your TV remote control in your living room.  It’s also what everyone has been saying with the Law of Attraction.

“Bear in mind that the longer you stay tuned to either Channel P or Channel N, the more interested you become and the harder it is to switch channels. This is true because one thought, positive or negative, sets off a whole chain reaction of similar thought.”

What channel are you tuned to?

Do you need to change the channel?

It may take some effort at first, just like learning to program the remote on your TV does.  But this one is far more powerful with much greater impact.  And it will last, as long as you stay tuned to…Channel P!

This of course makes me think of the wonderful song, Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.

You’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
Elim-in-ate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
And don’t mess with Mr. In Between.

– From the 1944 popular song of the same name – Music by Harold Arlen and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer


And here’s one of my favorite versions by the great Aretha Franklin.