保持正確聚焦的挑戰

By: Jim Mathis

前些日子,我被一篇漫畫的洞見所震撼,內容是有關於一個人連一件事都很難專心完成。故事的主人非常地努力但是失敗的很慘,原因就是因為他必須要同時處理很多事。

長時間專注一件事對現代人來說似乎越來越難了!現代化的社會讓我們的注意力越來越短。如果我們仔細留意電視或是電影,會發現影片的影像和步調都很快。典型的電視廣告幾秒鐘或是更快就移動一次,理由是:如果我們不能立即得到一個人的注意,他(她)就會轉去做別的事。

從網路、手機簡訊到電子郵件,很多事情都會轉移我們的注意力。我們甚至懷疑,我們真能專心一件事嗎?但是事實是,世界上大部份的偉大成就,都是由能專注一件事直到成功的人所完成的。

今天我們被教導「多重任務」是好的,也就是能同時做很多事。但是,「多重任務」也意味著我們能分給每一件事的注意力其實很少,我們沒有辦法將精力100%投入到任何的事上。

幾年前,我決定刻意縮小自己的專業範圍成為攝影師、作家和音樂家。能放棄很重要,它意味著我不會成為一個高爾夫球員、園丁、漁夫或是木匠。因為我知道每天我只有有限的時間,我決定要專注在那些我很享受也做的最好的事上-最後,我會找到並追求我自己的呼召和命定。

自從那時開始,我就發現定義「我是誰」以及「我要做甚麼」對我的專注力有很大的幫助。畢竟,不同於精密的相機,我們大部分的人都不會「自動對焦」(auto-focus)或是像我聽到有人這麼說: 自「會」對焦 (ought-to-focus)。

即使生活充滿了令人分心的事物,有一個很重要的屬靈定義標示出聚焦的重要性。那就是在聖經的新約中所說的-「無論做甚麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名,藉著他感謝父 神。」「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的。」(歌羅西書3章17、23節)

當我們環顧神奇妙的創造時,我們看到神從不分心或是做事平庸,祂所做的每一件事都是卓越的,因此我們也要竭力像祂。無論是經商、顧客服務、經營婚姻關係或是教養孩童,我們都必須專注,並確保我們是全心專注並且盡自己最大力量的。

Jim Mathis在堪薩斯市Overland Park有一個攝影工作室。專長為執行、商業和戲劇人像,目前也擁有一個攝影的學校。之前,他是一個咖啡店的經理和堪薩斯市CBMC的執行總裁。

思想 / 討論題目
你對於同時處理很多事的看法如何?有些人感到非常地驕傲,覺得自己是更有效率的,你是其中之一嗎?分享你的看法。 哪些事常會佔據你的注意力?你覺得你能成功地平衡一些會互相衝突的要求嗎?分享你的答案。 本文作者下決心要專注在某些專業以及個人的事物上,你是否也曾做過類似的事情呢?你覺得專心對你有幫助嗎? 聖經告訴我們:「無論做甚麼,都要從心裏做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,」(歌羅西書3章23節),在你看來,這句話的意義是甚麼?如果是你,要如何應用在自己的職場上呢?註: 如果你手上有聖經,想要查考或討論與這個主題相關的經節,請看:
箴言2章11節、12章24節、18章9節、19章2節、21章5節、24章27節,帖撒羅尼迦前書4章11節

THE CHALLENGE OF KEEPING THE RIGHT FOCUS

By Jim Mathis

Some time ago I was struck by the insight of a comic strip that depicted someone having great difficulty focusing on a single task. The character was trying desperately – and failing miserably – to handle all of the demands screaming for his concentration at the same time.

It seems like it is becoming more difficult all the time to concentrate on one thing for very long. Modern society has definitely caused us all to have shorter attention spans. If we carefully watch any TV shows or view movies, we will notice how quickly things move and how fast-paced the drama is produced. A typical TV commercial shifts images every few seconds, sometimes more often than that. If we cannot capture an individual”s attention immediately, we reason, he or she will turn to something else.

With so many things competing for our mental energy, ranging from the Internet to text messages to e-mail, it is a wonder that we are able to focus on anything at all. Yet, the reality is that most of the great accomplishments in this world seem to have been achieved by people having the ability to stay focused on task until their goals were reached.

Today we are told “multi-tasking” – doing a number of things simultaneously – is good. However, multi-tasking simply means not truly paying attention to anything in particular for very long. It amounts to not giving 100 percent of your attention and energy to anything. Many accidents – whether driving a car, operating machinery or taking care of a child – occur when people become distracted or try to do more than one thing at a time. But even when calamity does not occur, allowing numerous demands to vie for our attention results in mediocre performance.

A few years ago I decided to intentionally narrow my professional focus. I would define myself as a photographer, writer, and musician. Those in themselves may seem like a lot, but what I left out was just as important. It meant I was not going to attempt to become a golfer, gardener, fisherman, or woodworker. Knowing I have a finite amount of time every day, I determined to concentrate on those things I enjoyed and did the best – ultimately, recognizing and pursuing my calling.

Since then I have found clearly defining who I am and what I do has gone a long way in helping me to maintain focus in my life. After all, unlike sophisticated cameras, most of us don’t become equipped with "auto-focus" – or as I once heard someone express it, "ought-to-focus."

There is a strong spiritual principle that underlies this desire to maintain clear focus despite life”s myriad distractions. In the Bible”s New Testament we are told, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:17, 23).

As we look around at God”s wondrous creation, we see that He never does things half-hearted or with mediocrity. Everything He does with excellence. So we should strive to do the same. Whether in conducting a business, serving a customer, building a marriage, or parenting a child, we need focus, making sure whatever we are doing at a given time is receiving our full attention and best effort.

Jim Mathis is the owner of a photography studio in Overland Park, Kansas, specializing in executive, commercial and theatrical portraits, and recently has opened a school of photography. He formerly was a coffee shop manager and executive director of CBMC in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
What are your thoughts about “multi-tasking,” trying to accomplish several different things at the same time? Some people take great pride in being “multi-taskers,” believing they are more effective and more efficient. Are you one of those? Explain your answer. What are some of the things that most commonly compete for your attention? Do you think you are successful in balancing these potential conflicting demands? Why or why not? What do you think of the writer”s determination to intentionally limit his focus, both professionally and personally? Have you ever done something like that – or do you think that could be helpful for you? The Bible passage is cited that instructs readers, “Whatever you do, do your work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” In your view, what does that mean – and if you were to do that, what would it look like in a practical sense?If you would like to look at or discuss other portions of the Bible that relate to this topic, consider the following brief sampling of passages: Proverbs 12:11, 12:24, 18:9, 19:2, 21:5, 24:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:11;

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