Its amazing how powerful the ability to focus on one clear thing is.
The setting of an expectation, a goal, an objective and then the powering of that goal with a specific positive focus. It astounds me how many people fall prey to problems and challenges that can be remedied by taking time to focus and creating a clear sense of the future for themselves - setting their expectations for lives that they want to live.
This was brought forcefully to mind this evening. Currently I am in Oxford running a two-day seminar and had just called home to see how everyone is....as you do when you're on the road. I was greeted with news that my son (who's just a little guy) had just scored 23 out of 26 in his German test (both he and his younger brother have just moved to St. Kilians German School in Dublin). Last week he came home with 2 out of 16 correct.
So, we had a conversation about setting expectations. We talked about how having ability but not focus is not enough (now this sounds like a far more rational conversation than it actually was because 'me-as-Dad' was fuming!). However having talked about how important it is to focus and that there are 'minimum acceptable expectations in this family' (God, sounds pretty awful now actually) the message must have struck home.
Talent without focus is useless. Focus without passion, without meaning and purpose, is destined to fail or fall way short of the mark. An expectation is only accomplished when it is clarified (the 'What') and empowered by meaning and passion ('the Why').
My No. 1 son made the grade today with 23 right out of 26 this time and I told him I was proud of him. That same message of how important it is to recognise a job well done with a simple word of thanks or encouragement was the message I heard from the adults who attended my seminar today.
Focus, Passion, Recognition and Acceptance. Four things that can change a life.