Epiphany: Focus

One major thing that hit me during the last day of Jasmine's class - she is SO incredibly focused. No pun intended. She's always looking at how to best leverage her time and energy for her brand. She is always asking if an activity is moving her business where she wants it to go. Someone asked her if she pursues any other creative avenues and also if she would ever consider writing a book or e-book on photography business. She hesistated and then said:

I want to pick one thing and do it very, very well.

This followed shortly after Jasmine had been showing a couple photos from each of the five students (The CreativeLive Five) who attended her class live and in person. She was talking to Victoria about not only her photos, but her three words (she challenges people to choose the three words that represent their brand). Victoria was having a hard time, because she felt as if she's all over the place and couldn't really nail down something specific. I am in the same boat. Just look at my blog name and byline...it pretty much says it all.

Then Nate Perkes shared a Chase Jarvis quote:

It's easier to be inspired than it is to create.

This all just hit me like a ton of bricks.

I.   HAVE.   NO.   FOCUS.

Well, not a singular focus, anyway. Sometimes I can BE focused on something. But I want to do a little of everything, it seems. Sitting here in my studio, I look around and can list at least a dozen things I WANT to do. Because they're fun. Because they're cool. Just because. Whatever.

And then I wonder WHY on earth I'm so scattered and fragmented and hopping all over the bunny trails of my life?!?! It's because I'm my own worst enemy. I have no boundaries on the things I want to do. The funny (in a pathetic sort of way) thing is that I'm actually back in the same place I was probably nine or ten years ago.

Overextended. Spread too thin.

The big difference is that last time it was with outside commitments. Various ministries at church, my own business, volunteering at school, etc. I couldn't give my best to anything. Worst of all, my family just got leftovers. And I was not a happy, balanced person. Life was spinning totally out of control for me. But I would never say "no" to anyone.

Fast forward to 2010 and I'm doing the exact same thing. I LOVE blogging and reading blogs and hopping around the internet visiting peeps on FB, Twitter, blogs, etc. So I spend a ridiculous amount of time doing it.

I LOVE photography, so I buy books on photography, read photography blogs, join online communities, etc., and spend a ridiculous amount of time doing that.

I LOVE to sew, so I whip out stuff like crazy for awhile, buy books, look at sewing sites, bookmarking a ton of them, think of all these groovy things I could sew and sell. And spend a ridiculous amount of time doing that.

I LOVE to scrapbook, so I have magazines and sites and coupons and supplies and a ton of photos and just want to scrapbook. And spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the books & sites, and wanting to participate in classes.

I LOVE to write . . . I think you get the idea by now.

Never mind that I also have a family. And truly, my primary ministry from God (outside of my relationship with Him) is being a complement to my husband and discipling our boys. On that note, I homeschool those two teenage boys. Of course, there's a TON of other responsibilities and choices in my life, but it's pretty clear why I have a colander for a brain.

Unlike Jasmine, I want to pick 21 things and do them all very well.

Note to self: THAT is impossible. THAT is self-defeating. THAT will make you crazy!!!!

So. I think I need to spend a little quiet time working through the things of my life. Even more, praying about them and seeing what direction God wants me to go.

I WANT to be able to pick one thing and tdo it very, very well.

I don't want to BE Jasmine, but I want to be a better, more focused, less scattered version of ME.


Tracy said...

I went through this a couple of years ago and I think it was a book by Elizabeth George.

I decided to choose 5 things and ONLY five things to focus on...anything over the five the answer was NO!


I even have a file folder with my five things labled. As I research...the info goes into the file folders.

Lorraine said...

With the exception of sewing, because I'm sewing challenged... this is so me. The writing & blogging go hand in hand, and the photography and the scrapping (mine is all digital though, less mess & storage space). I find that my creativity comes in waves. Usually I get a spurt of writing ideas... but then I'll find myself with serious writer's block... then I'll suddenly want to photograph everything... Or I'll go for a week without picking up my camera at all. Other times I'll be able to crank out the scrapbook pages like crazy, only to find a week later I don't like anything I try to do.

But I'm also a wife, mother, and homeschool teacher. I was also a WAHM for a while. But a few years back I came to this same point you're at now... I decided I needed to focus on my young family first. I have 3 special needs kids - and that in and of itself is a full time job. For now, all that other stuff are my hobbies... what I do to keep my own sanity.

Maybe someday... Maybe someday when the kids are grown and don't need me as much. Maybe someday I'll pick an area and get better at it, until I become the best blogger/scrapper/photographer/etc ever. For now though, I just let the inspiration and creative spirit take me where it will and enjoy the ride.

Beth @ Pages of Our Life said...

I'm glad you were able to write out your epiphany. I'm still having them too. There was so much and yet some things hit me bulls-eye hard.

I enjoyed reading yours.

Victoria de Martigny said...

Oh Dianne, after reading this post I feel like I know you so much better! I only wish you lived closer by, because I would be hopping down the bunny trail to your rabbit hole, loaded down with ribbon, paper and glue dots for an afternoon of scrapbooking!

I know EXACTLY what you mean about loving so many things and being pulled in a million (or 21) different directions :) I wish I could be as disciplined as Tracy and just pick 5... Woe to us, the creative souls that we are!!

I can totally relate to you... well, except for the sewing (I can barely hem a pair of pants) and homeschooling two teenage boys (major KUDOS on that undertaking)... I really enjoyed this post and look forward to reading more of your blog.

The dB family said...

Oh, you hit the nail on the head with this post! You are not alone! I simply must create something every day. If I don't I feel out of sorts. I really should learn to focus on one thing and do it well, but there is soooo much I like to do...

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