Monday, October 15, 2012

The Good and the Bad on Having a Strong Focus Strength

Over the past few weeks, I've talked about strengths.  Authors Tom Rath and Barry Conchie put together a book called Strengths Based Leadership, which is about finding your strength and using it to maximize your skills. Through their research, they have an online tool called Strengthsfinder which is a series of questions one answers to find out what those strengths are, and have categorized them into 34 separate themes.

My first two are futuristic and ideation--these I talked about briefly before.

My third strength is Focus.

This has been both a blessing and a curse for me.  Tied up with also having a strong futuristic talent, I have a tendency to focus too hard on the future and my goals, and when some day-to-day disruption rears its ugly head I may dig my heels in resist--this has both good and bad repercussions.  If, in the larger scope of events, it's for the better, then I have to adjust my focus temporarily.

A real life example of this would be a month of so ago my youngest daughter got Diabetic Ketoacidosis (she was six years old, and has been a type 1 diabetic for the past few years), which required an immediate trip to the hospital in Grand Forks, ND, and also an overnight stay for treatment and observation.  Now, I didn't dig my heels and prevent us from seeking treatment.  But the loss of time caused me to re-plan what I was going to write--not a big deal, as my daughter's health is MUCH MORE important.

Haivng a strong focus helps at work, at my day job, because what am I usually doing during breaks and lunches: writing.  I work on my novel in a large cafeteria, at a table by myself, surrounded by a few hundred people.  One can easily get distracted, but I typically don't.  I just focus hard on the pages and tune everything else out.

Is this something you're strong at or can be able to do, to focus?

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