Michael Jordan knew how to be successful; to shut out the noise and be in the moment.
Be in the moment.
Call it focus, or just shutting out the noise that surrounds us, but being in the moment is one of the most important skills to have if you want true success in life.
Being fully committed to the single thing you’re doing in a given moment gives you the opportunity to do that task to the very best of your ability.
A great example that I’ve used before is one I come across a lot: using a cell phone on the golf course. I just played golf couple weeks ago, and one of the guys I was playing with kept on answering his phone. Each time he’d get distracted, then end up hitting shitty shots off the tee. His mind was in far too many places at once – and by that I mean it was in more than one place at once.
He wasn’t giving himself the best opportunity possible to succeed.
Cell phones are an easy thing to pick on. I see couples out on dates and both of them are on their phones texting. Each of them are in two worlds at once, not giving each other the attention that they deserve. It’s a terrible way to start or have a relationship, when you’re not completely invested in each other. Shut off the phone’s when you’re on a date fellas!
Personally, I’ve come across ‘being in the moment‘ as an obstacle in a few different stages in my life.
Often, it’s not a physical thing like a cell phone that distracts us, rather, our own minds that run away with an idea or a scenario that catches out attention. I’ve had problems with this in everything from relationships, to sports, to work but have found a few things that help shut out the noise and bring my mind back to the present.
In sports, especially in high school and college basketball, I’d let these scenario’s get in the way from time to time. As boxing began to be my number 1 sport, I was able to focus a lot better. I was able to commit to the moment and to the task at hand. It could be because I knew that if I didn’t completely focus I’d get dropped like a bad habit – but I think it had more to do with the enjoyment of the sport, and my reasons for competing. I was competing because I truly wanted to be there, not because I had some end goal of place I wanted to be down the road which was my primary focus.
I enjoyed being in that moment, so that’s what I focused on. In basketball I focused too much on the end result, the dream of where I wanted the sport to take me. As a result, I never quite performed up to my capability.
Another example would be work. Having too many things on the computer screen at once is a big one. Writing a blog article, working on an ebook or a program, and getting the social media stuff done all at the same time was always a recipe for disaster.
No matter where you are, be present. If you’re talking with a girlfriend, with your family, even competing in a sport, or doing work, be committed to that moment.
A few tips to help you remain focused and present.
1. Have one thing on at a time.
If you have work to do on the computer that doesn’t involve being online, shut off your internet connection while you’re doing work.
2. Turn the phone off.
If you’re doing work, on a date, playing with kids, and you don’t have to be near your phone, shut it off or leave it in another room.
3. Identify what brings you the most benefit.
In work for example, what skill or thing you do each week makes you the most money? Make a list of the things you do from top to bottom. At the top: things that bring you success. At the bottom: tasks that distract you, or tasks that don’t need your full attention at the beginning of the day.
Start your day off by doing the most important things and leave the ‘mindless’ tasks for later in the day or even later in the week.
4. Be aware of your thoughts.
If you’re in a conversation and your mind starts to wander a bit, bring it back. But you won’t be able to bring it back if you’re not aware of the fact that you’re thinking about the football game and not the kids, which is what your wife is talking about.
What is a tip you’ve learned over the years that helps you focus?
What’s your favorite Michael Jordan play of all time?