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Read Letter

Something Called Focus

Dear Jack,

It is important as a young man for you to have focus. Time has allotments for stages of attainment. If you don’t achieve certain things at a certain age it becomes much harder later, or falls into the crack of opprobrium. There’s a time to go to junior school for example. If you go much later in life you must be willing to despise shame. That’s the manner of life. It has expectations for slices of our years on earth. When we fail to adhere to its timetable life rewards us with shame, or makes things harder. That is not saying we cannot achieve after the generally prescribed or allocated time. It just means you have to be very determined to achieve. That’s the way to overcome life.
By the same token life expects you to put your act together before a certain age. That presupposes you have a vision – meaning you want to become successful. Now life doesn’t mind if your vision is blurry. It understands the limitation placed on humans. We are creatures of time. We can only see so far. There’s an event horizon. But life insists you have a vision, whether sharp or blurry, whether written or inner. You can’t achieve without a goal or target. There’s nothing to work towards. You must apply yourself to the opportunities life presents to you.

The control of life is beyond us but application of self to opportunities is within our control. Too many people are looking for grand breaks in life, but the little breaks create the doorknob to the grand break. Breakthrough is not something you achieve without exertion. Dreams are free – be it night or daydream. But achievement ain’t free. There’s a price and a cost. Sitting in your house waiting for “breakthrough” and not seeking opportunities is laziness by another name. And the lazy man always has a scheme – a scheme that will leapfrog everyone and make up for all the years wasted.

Opportunities drop fortuitously. When they don’t we must manufacture them. By the time you’re getting married you should at least have some direction for your life. In marriage you’re going to be responsible for lives, not just yours. In what direction do you want to take your family? Focus. You need to focus.

Vision gives us direction. What do you want to become? What will it take to achieve it? Everything else is a distraction. Determining what it will take to achieve our vision gives us an audit of our capacities. Again I ask you, what do you want to become? Define it in broad strokes at least. That’s a start.

Without desire there can be no attainment. Desire for success generates drive in us. And if you don’t want it bad enough that you’re willing to put in your all you won’t attain it. Life will push back against your ambition. It’s its way of determining if you’re deserving of your dream. Those who give up at the first sign of discouragement never ever attain. To achieve you have to keep pushing, and keep pushing… on the inside of you. You need mental tenacity.

Life is diagrammatic. Life draws pyramids. In life’s pyramid there are few at the top. The bottom is populated. The apex has room for only a few. No matter the latitude of the angles of the top it can only take a few. You don’t want to be at the bottom. It’s not a pleasant place to be. It’s the place of loss of identity. Diligence creates wings to strive to the top.

A lot of what determines whether you rise to the top or remain at the bottom is your thinking and your grit. There are many young people who have already capped how far they’ll go in life. It’s in the way they think. A victim mentality is a heavy stone. It weighs down, kills drive, credits us with advance justification for non-striving. Life is not fair. Has never been, will never be. But that rule only holds when we aggregate life in general.

At the localized individual level life does try to be fair. It rewards effort. Some are born into privilege, but not being born into privilege you have something in common with 99.99% of humanity. That you were born disadvantaged is not an excuse. It’s your motivation to achieve. Don’t be ashamed of your past. It’s your testimonial. A lot depends on you.

You have to determine what you want to become, and how far you want to go. One thing life at least does is allow you to do your altitude setting. The dials are inside of you. If you’ll just be focused, not running all over the place, and concentrate your energy, you’ll succeed. It takes incredible mental and emotional discipline to succeed. It’s why you need focus. If you want to be a successful executive, apply yourself. Get to work early. Put in extra… Be diligent. Be smart. Learn to think! That’s not something people like to do these days. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll have to work hard and persevere. However smart you are you still need to work hard. A smart rich man named Solomon said something like that.

These things I’m telling you will impact on your marriage. You just don’t realize it yet, but you’ll see! If you don’t want to lose your wife’s respectability be diligent at your work, provide for your family. If you really want to become handsome, become successful! No success is worth the cost of your family. Some realize too late. In all your strivings, commit your way to the Lord. He will give you success at a fair price.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Focus, Time, Vision

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