Hardly Focusing

Listening to found audio from the Internet : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_uLM5i0Z4c

I have too many Things. This includes physical Things, like household objects, as well as project-like Things, like work, self-improvement, hobbies, and fleeting interests. These all add up to an inventory. Even my burgeoning list of passwords and TODOs are part of this expansive inventory.

My inventory is a blessing and a curse of course, as are many gifts. The options available to me are by-and-large of greater number – any given Thing being a potential key to some door – but with options comes an implicit call to someday choose-it-or-otherwise-lose-it. I’ve written about this elsewhere at other times, but always I think for about the same reason: I have trouble focusing in one direction, when so many intriguing ones present themselves.

At the risk of being repetitive: the Things we are given, and the Time we have to filter through and then pursue them, seem rather mismatched to me. Where are the extra limbs and eyes and minds I need to see these Things to their better conceived conclusions (or better yet, continuations)? I am only one mortal man, with no more than the predictable number of attachments and powers.

Of course, we are a collective for a reason. We are meant to recognize in each other all of the potential we can’t ourselves realize on our own. Some of our quests might be better given to or shared with others.

I am engaged at work these days. The project I’m working on – to a good extent a realization of my own imagination, then empowered by the interests and experiences of several other minds – keeps me thinking and plugging away.

Last night, I put myself to bed in a happy state, excited for the next steps in this project. I felt a familiar feeling: engagement in what I’m doing. This is a signal that I’ve found something worth really focusing on. By that, I mean other things (at least for a time) need to give way to it, so the work can happen in a full sense, rather than a partial one.

This means I can’t write for hours every day, or read for hours every day, or spend hours and hours watching videos and tutorials unrelated to the principal task at hand. It means I can’t start new projects whenever I want. It means I can’t keep a thousand browser tabs open, to be lightly and continuously monitored while doing all of the other Things. Focusing on one Thing means something. It is different than succeeding at everything you feel you should succeed at.

I sometimes imagine myself occupying a position in Possibility Space. This is different though related to Physical Space. The directions aren’t informed by the same magnetism, but are instead directions of exploration, inquiry, and implementation. Each journey takes one toward some conclusion/continuation (with the requisite embedded learning), and then necessarily away from the others.

A person wishing to explore to the East and North will end up to the North-East – a place in between the two places they were actually interested in visiting. A person wishing to explore East and West at once will end up more-or-less where they already are. Of course, this metaphor takes one only so far – the point is, if you want to finish something fully, head toward that Thing with something akin to determination, and certainly with a good measure of focus, for some amount of time.

How far you go in that direction might have as much to do with how little you concern yourself with all of the other available ones, as with the walking you do in the direction you decide to actually walk. Walking with intention – enjoying the view, moving objectively forward. The destinations you leave (for now) might be more reachable from your new position, for all you now know, once you become elevated through your concentrated effort (like climbing). It’s all about an attitude for altitude, maybe.

2 thoughts on “Hardly Focusing

  1. Having “Things” doesn’t have to be bad if they are feeding your brain with ideas to help you with your project (which sounds mysterious but interesting). Creativity is all about connecting seemingly unrelated dots.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes the more complex intersecting of interests, experiences, and skills is one payoff of hanging around long enough to consider yourself middle-aged. 🙂

    Like

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