The Trouble With Focus

October 01 2017

People say run­ning is a simple process. You put one foot in front of the other, then repeat. But when we con­sider the details, it’s clear the process isn’t as simple as we’re told. There’s a mil­lion things hap­pen­ing in your body at once, like the mech­a­nisms that are work­ing together to keep your bal­ance and pace, while your heart and lungs rebal­ance the nec­es­sary ingre­di­ents to keep you from col­laps­ing on the spot. Not to men­tion the mental focus it takes to keep going for long dis­tances.

While run­ning is nat­ural for most people, it’s very dif­fi­cult or impos­si­ble for others to run on their own accord. And for them, no amount of train­ing or endurance will allow that to happen. They can’t run with­out help.

I can run fine, but because of my brain chem­istry, I can’t focus with­out exter­nal help. No amount of tools, tricks, or trying can change that. Because that’s how my brain works, fin­ish­ing projects at home is dif­fi­cult. Usu­ally the med­i­cine has usu­ally has worn off by then.

Half-con­sid­ered projects are trapped in Idea Pur­ga­tory, entic­ing books are hold­ing chip­board book­marks hostage around 64 pages in, and dozens of tiny mock­ups and draw­ings and let­ter­ing ideas are pinned to my board primed for the next stage.

I’m told that I should just focus” on one thing at a time so I can finish it, but it doesn’t work like that. Willpower isn’t strong enough to over­come any phys­i­cal­ity.

Focus is said to be a simple con­cept. If you do one thing for a while, I’m sure you’ll get really good at it. But for me, I’m hap­pi­est when I make small pro­gres­sions on wher­ever my brain takes me.

The trou­ble with focus is its dis­guised com­plex­ity. For me, the impor­tant thing is the move­ment.

Just keep swim­ming. –Dory 🐟