FOCUS: The Benefits of Priorities, Passion & Purpose

Yesterday my husband and I enjoyed our 1st wedding anniversary. Since we met almost 3 years ago everything I’ve wanted in life and spent so much time and energy working toward has fallen into place. As hokey & romantic as that may sound it’s true. However, it has less to do with the magic of love and more to do with a decision I made about a year before we met, and subsequent choices that were consistent with that decision.

The decision was to FOCUS.

To get into MY zone.

To STAY into my lane.

It was more difficult for me to do than it sounds. At the time I was an advanced graduate student, an active member of a large church and one of its more active areas of ministry, a great friend, a sister & a daughter; I was someone’s girlfriend; I was a good citizen of my university and department community; I was….

I was…

I was…

I was so many things.

I was everything I needed, and as much as humanly possibly I was also what students, friends, the first lady of my church, my brother, my neighbors, the more novice graduate students in my department and at times even what the stranger on the bus needed.

It wasn’t that what those folks needed or even what I thought I needed wasn’t noble or good.

Yet much of it had little or nothing to do with my purpose

And so I was using ALL of my energy and I was completely unfulfilled. I had no joy, despite the fact that I was a good person.

I went looking for joy, using so many formulas. One of which was to make myself laugh at least 3 times a day. I mean a belly laugh, not a giggle, every day.

So one day I was watching comedy videos clips on YouTube, and a comedian I find hilarious did a routine about focusing on your dreams and staying in your lane.

And that is when I began to realize that I needed to FOCUS. I didn’t know at first what that meant, yet over the course of the next six months God presented opportunities almost every moment of every day and every choice I had I FOCUSED on three things:

1)      Priorities NOT opportunities: Everything that sounds good isn’t what’s good for you. Just as there are times that you see an outfit on a hat that look good on someone else, then you try to pull it off and it doesn’t work. It isn’t that it isn’t still a good look, it just isn’t for you. The same with that promotion or job or relationship. If you make decisions by focusing on your priorities you limit unintentionally putting yourself in mismatched or overwhelming situation and also make the decision process less confusing and agonizing.

2)      Passion NOT consistency: There were times that I would find myself committed to something I didn’t really want to do because it was something I was good at. Someone would approach me with a favor or opportunity because they knew I was good at that sort of thing. I’d also find myself passing up opportunities by hiding behind the fact that it just wasn’t the kind of thing that I was accustomed to doing or the kind of thing I was good at. Sometimes staying on message limits you, paints you into a box and allows you to hide from actual living. Choose to do those things that ignite and keep your passion lit and brightly shining.

3)      Purpose NOT platform: This essentially means that you should choose clarity over recognition. When you are faced with a decision regarding what to do with your time and energy focus on opportunities that CLEARLY line up with your purpose and communicate to the world what you believe in. Whether it’s personal or professional if health is a priority for you then make sure you are clearly communicating with your words and deeds that message. Even though that may mean turning down bigger platforms in the beginning, the clarity in your message using smaller platforms is better than confusing folks when you don’t appear passionate about what you are doing on a larger platform.

Once I began to focus on PRIORITIES, PASSION & PURPOSE the universe conspired to bring me everything I desired as if it was always there just waiting for me. Soon after applying clarifying and applying this set of ideas in my life I met my husband for the first time. Then we met again a few months after that and began dating. A few months after that I defended my dissertation proposal; five months after that we got engaged, several months after that we got married, and six months after we got married I successfully defended my completed dissertation.

Some folks would say I hit my sweet spot.

Others might say I found my groove.

I can say without a doubt that what actually happened was that I began to FOCUS. God didn’t do anything differently, I did; and tapped into my joy during the process.

What do you do to focus your life? Let me know on twitter by following @busi_B.

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