Focus In On Ultimate Success

Blue-eyed Siberian Husky close up with intense focus


Concentration is the secret of strength.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking the Other Way

I’ve never been particularly competitive, so when playing games with my children, I’ve always focused my attention on helping them learn to play a better game. Just the other day, while playing Othello with my 11 year old, the usual dynamic was unfolding. I was offering her suggestions for possible moves, and now that she’s older and equally good at this game (if not a little better), she was returning the favor.

What we both noticed was that we were spending more time looking at each other’s game pieces than our own. Neither of us played a strong game, nor did either of us get to enjoy the game’s outcome.

We decided we would try playing in complete silence, and voila! our game improved significantly.

Choose to Create

The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on the things we desire, not things we fear.

Brian Tracy

What we focus on makes all the difference. I had been focusing on what I feared – that my child might get discouraged if she didn’t feel successful. In doing so, I had taken my eyes off of a more powerful goal of modeling

  • healthy competitiveness
  • fair play
  • gracious winning.

I was inadvertently teaching her that we’re here to play the other person’s game for them while our own is neglected. We now play our own side of whatever game we have chosen, and she and I are learning that this allows life to be richer for everyone.

Our ultimate success comes not from focusing on what we fear may happen to ourselves or someone else, but from enacting and modeling what we’d like to be true for ourselves. In doing so, we discover our greatest strength, and along with it, deeper fulfillment.


PS – What goals have you avoided by focusing your efforts on someone else’s ‘game’?


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