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 🐟