Why Great Work Demands Great Focus

One of the few things I remember from studying music history is that J.-S. Bach wrote a lot of great music. Most pianists and organists (and other musicians) have been exposed to Bach music at one point of their musical journey. Bach was a prolific composer who created many great works.

When you study the lives of the “Greats” (i..e. people who are known for their great contribution in their field)—whether it be Bach or Shakespeare or others—they have at least one thing in common. Other than the fact that they were exceptionally talented in their chosen field, they were people of extreme discipline. When it came to doing their work, they showed great dedication.

They devoted their attention and energy to the few activities that helped them produce results and they ignored the rest, for the most part.

Perhaps we can learn something from such giants.

The Great Challenge

I’m assuming you at least have a modicum of talent in your chosen field. Talent isn’t the issue. The challenge is: Can you discipline yourself to stay focused on your work? That’s the variable of success, and you have complete control over it.

Lack of focus is one of the great challenges that prevent you from producing great work. And it manifests mainly in two ways.

First, you lack focus when you try to be a “jack of all trades and a master of none”. Nowadays, there are so many options that it can be difficult to stick to one thing (or at least a few things). When you “want it all”, you bite on more than they can chew. Because of the diffuseness of your attention and energy, you reduce the results you could otherwise get if you focused on your area of genius.

Second, the lack of focus manifests when you give in to the unremitting assaults of distractions. Even when you’ve chosen one area of focus, you still struggle to give your undivided attention to your work because of distractions (e.g. TV, social media, etc.) that rob part of your attention.

The Cost of Great Work

If you aspire to create great work, you must devote yourself to your work. Your attention and energy and time and money and talent must be consecrated to your work. This demands that you sacrifice activities that, though interesting, don’t contribute to your work. Doing great work has a cost.

To make great work, you must renounce to all distractions—and everything that doesn’t contribute to your work is a potential distraction. Renouncing to distractions is your cost of entry. That’s the price you pay to be into the “Great Work” game.

Not too many people are willing to pay that price. And I understand why. The cost is hefty; you must go against the grain, separate yourself from “the crowd”, ignore the latest fads, to consecrate yourself to your work.

You give more “power” to your work when you minimize the time and energy you spend on activities that take you away (i.e. distract you) from your work.

Great work demands great focus. Put all your efforts into becoming as disciplined as you can in your chosen field. If you do, the results will take care of themselves. Great work comes from doing the work. The more your produce, the greater your results.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.