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Without Focus, You’ll Get Nowhere

Or maybe you’ll get somewhere, but it won’t be anywhere you were hoping to be. It takes focus to keep your eye on a distant goal while juggling present responsibilities. It also takes a bit of pruning– cutting out all the bits that don’t contribute to what’s really important in the long term.

The critical thing is to decide what really matters, and what will matter 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Do you have long term goals mapped out? Have you thought about what you’d like to accomplish with your family or in your home, business, or education?

If you haven’t done this, take a few minutes to visualize your ideal life. Perhaps you’re RV-ing through Europe, enjoying the culture and working whenever you hit a wifi hotspot. Or maybe you’re teaching online classes about literature from a worldview perspective while homeschooling your children on a hobby farm. Perhaps you’re writing mysteries while living beachside in a quiet little town where your kids can ride bikes in the street and you can walk down to the corner grocer. Whatever your vision, write it down in vivid detail. Take the time to walk yourself through an imaginary day, and record all that you do and see. How well does it match the life you have now?

Now, start brainstorming. Get a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. Keep your written vision nearby, and refer to it as you start listing what you would like to do, be, or have in 5, 10, 20 years. List whatever comes to mind– no one is looking over your shoulder. If you’d like to travel to Tibet, or take a watercolor class, or just create a loving home environment that your family will remember with joy, write it down.

You may be wondering what this has to do with creating multiple streams of income, but stick with me. There is a point. I believe that everyone has a gift of some sort, and everyone has a purpose in life. If the life you’re living today fulfills your gift and purpose, it’s probably similar to the life of your dreams. Perhaps all you’ll need to do is sharpen your focus and jettison the things that don’t fit.

Chances are, though, that your current life doesn’t have a lot in common with the ideal life you visualized. You may be putting in long hours at a job that leaves your soul unsatisfied or your financial needs unmet. Figuring out how you’d rather be living is the first step toward making it happen. If you are lost in the middle of New York City, the first step toward getting where you need to be is to figure out where you are. Otherwise, you could walk and walk and walk and walk and never reach the place you were meant to be.

Walking through the process of visualizing your ideal life then brainstorming the individual elements that would make your dream come true can give you a clearer idea of what you need to do next in your life in order to move closer to doing what matters. Make no mistake– knowledge is power.

Knowledge plus focus can get you started on the long road toward living your ideal life. For example, if you hunger for a hobby farm but feel tied to a dead-end job in the city, nothing can stop you from taking baby steps toward bringing your dream to life. You can read and learn from articles about people who have succeeded in making the move; you can start creating an extra stream of income that will go into a special dream fund; and you can start learning and practicing the skills you’ll need to create an edible landscape and manage a few animals.

Years will pass no matter what you do. You can choose to focus and move steadily in a direction that will bring joy and freedom, or you can stay where you are. What will you choose?

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