What’s that? You can’t seem to focus, Mr. Bigglesworth? Spare me.
If you’ve ever been fooled by a magician or laughed at a comedian’s joke then you are capable of focus. The magician directs – or misdirects – your attention in order to fool and delight you. The comedian keeps you engaged during the set-up so that the punchline pays off. In both instances the artist is relying on your focus to make the art possible.
So important is focus to an artist that it’s practically the benchmark for movies: did your mind wander during the movie? Then the movie is a failure. Did the movie keep you interested in what would happen next? Then it’s a success.
The truth is that for most people the issue isn’t the ability to focus but the ability to focus on the right thing. The truth is we’re always focused on something, as anyone who has ever found meditation to be a waste of time can readily confirm. It might not be what we want or should be focused on or – and this is where little boys in particular tend to excel – we quickly shift our focus from one thing to another.
It’s practically axiomatic, then: achieving your objective doesn’t depend on whether you are focused but what you are focused on. And what are we focused on? Much of the time, failure. Especially when the stakes are high.
But the elite downhill skier doesn’t focus on the trees: he focuses between the trees. A pilot doesn’t focus on the bodies of water straddling the runway: he focuses on the runway.
Why do you think shooting out a candle in the darkness of night one of the easiest tricks in the marksman’s bag? The answer is simple: because there’s nothing to see but the target.
Return to daviddeeble.com or learn how a head injury that cost me the coordination in my arm instigated my journey from conventional to comedic juggler.
Recall past visits to your local high school running track and ponder the difference that just two laps can make.
Then ask yourself why, for example, does the body of the 800-meter world champion David Rudisha say “athlete” while the body of his fellow Kenyan 1500-meter world champion Asbel Kiprop screams “Somebody feed me”?
How man meters are you from a breakthrough?
Return to daviDDeeble.com.
Let’s face it:
Let’s call it the First-Time Flyer approach: instead of encouraging loyalty among customers by rewarding them for it, the First-Time Flyer approach seeks to reward new customers for abandoning one of their competitors.
The mindset which focuses on gaining new customers by imposing costs on long-established ones is widespread.
You call an internet service provider to arrange web access in your new home or apartment. It’s explained to you that as a first-time customer you are eligible for a special discounted rate, one not available to those chumps who have been customers for as long as there’s been an Internet.
The next time you visit your local grocery store, consider the “15 items or less” sign above the check-out. Set aside that it should read “15 items or fewer“: the mindset encapsulated in such signs is crystal clear: “We aim to reward those the most who are profiting us the least”.
Imagine shopping at a grocery store where such signs are replaced with ones which read “Customers Shopping With Us For Three Years Or More”. I’d wager that such a sign would encourage first-time customers to become longtime customers. (I’d also wager that the novelty of such a rewards program would prompt some customers to take pictures of such signs and share them on social media.
Then you’re really in business.
Return to daviDDeeble.com or watch my most-recent performance at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach.