Staying Focused and Resilient: What is Your Blueprint for Success?
In my addresses as a graduation and commencement keynote speaker, I frequently ask my audiences if they have the determination to stay focused and resilient in mapping out their blueprints for success.
“Staying focused” has become more difficult than ever. In a recent psychological survey that came out of Canada, 89 percent of workers, mostly Millennials, claim they waste time at work. Eighty-five percent of Millennials and Gen-Y admitted to being on the internet (for personal reasons) at work. Yet, here is the odd-ball statistic: 84 percent say constant work interruptions make them unhappy.
The Lack of Focus
In a 2018 study by Baylor University, 60 percent of college students “admitted” to being addicted to their cell phones; about 10 hours per day for women and 8 hours per day for men.
While I am not bashing the internet, cell phones or college students, we have entered an age of serious distraction. As I relate in my keynotes on staying focused and resilient, if our blueprints for success include welcoming distraction, a lack of focus and an absence of priorities, we welcome a career path that reassures a lack of direction.
Writer Jason De Mers for Entrepreneur magazine studied this increasing lack of focus. One of his conclusions concerned prioritization: “You could also have trouble focusing simply because you aren’t sure what you should be focusing on. The typical entrepreneur (worker or student) has dozens of tasks on his or her plate at all times. So, if you’re one and unsure what to do next, you might jump among tasks frequently, leaving them half-finished, and only dedicating half your attention to any of them…you’ll need to work to establish a firmer system of prioritization.”
Interestingly, the lack of focus leads to a lessening of resiliency. If we focus on prioritizing a series of important tasks, for example, applying for grad school, getting into shape, raising our GPA or looking for work after graduation, and we are constantly distracted, the results will be a lessening of concentration and that leads to failure of the task.
Being focused on a priority allows alternative ideas, other paths or an expansion of knowledge to take place. Without focus, there is no vision, only scattered thoughts; without determination and the grit to push away distraction, there will be a lessening of results.
When I found myself in a hospital bed a quadriplegic, I was determined to get as well as my body would allow. I allowed myself the vision to see movement and daily improvement in my mind and body. I knew that through good times and bad I would need the intensity to be successful. I blocked out distraction and focused on the challenge at hand.
In speaking at graduations and commencements I issue the same kind of challenge to the graduates. In developing your blueprint for life, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of interruptions. There is a choice: give in to the distractions or be passionate about your priorities.
Contact Scott Burrows, Graduation and Commencement Keynote Speaker on staying focused and resilient, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169