THE POWER OF FOCUS. http://wp.me/p2EGlL-1cw
“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal”. Cavitt Robert.
If you are not where you want to be… You Can Change It… Everyone—everyday can find a reason NOT to do the things they OUGHT to do in order to accomplish the things they WANT to do. Nothing is easier than making excuses.
Understand. No matter how bad it seems… no matter how bad it actually is. As long as you don’t lose faith in yourself… as long as you focus on what you want to accomplish rather than simply cursing the obstacles in your path, you can overcome and accomplish virtually anything. With FOCUS and PERSISTENCE you can not only SURVIVE… you can THRIVE! I did.
Following is the God’s honest truth of the impossible circumstances, obstacles and failures I overcame to create ASN (The Solutions Network). It contains absolutely, NO, embellishments. I fourished, not due to the brilliance of an idea, but rather the commitment to a principle; a principle that anyone can use. No matter your circumstances… you can overcome and you can thrive!
My situation presented ample obstacles and opportunities for excuses. The issues I faced were enormous, numerous and usually my fault. They were bad enough that it would have been a simple matter to just say “what’s the use!” and resign myself and family to mediocrity. But whether because of my commitment to a dream or a slight touch of insanity, I refused to let external issues dictate my decisions, my actions or my future. In short… I refused to give in or relinquish control of my life. The only option I left myself was to move forward and succeed.
So what’s my story? Well, in a nutshell, not that long ago… While having no job, a pregnant wife, and a home in foreclosure, I “decided” to get a DUI, total our only car, end up in the hospital, then go to jail… We eventually,lost our home. After getting back on my feet and buying another home (that some called a mansion), the financial markets took a horrible turn for the worse… I proceeded to lose that home, too… not to mention the fact that I lost everything else I had manage to acquire during those good times… my home, boat, camper, vehicles… It was so bad, I couldn’t even keep my health insurance… During the foreclosure process and within the span of about 4 months of each other, my wife’s mother and then her father (who we were caring for), died in our home. Then while we were in mourning, someone I would have trusted with my life, stole everything that was left!
Shortly, thereafter, I realized I needed a rest and figured the best way to get it was by having a multitude of servants waiting on me hand and foot, 24 hours a day. So I had a heart attack! So, now we just added a $300,000 medical bill with no insurance to our situation. No income, no assets, no money, no credit, etc… It was a bit “difficult”, to say the least. What made it worse, was the realization that much of what had happened was my fault… If I had paid a bit more attention to who I trusted and had around me, many things could have been avoided. but if pigs had wings, they could fly… Coming back from all of this required a totally new way of thinking.
The bottom line?… here I was. I had a lot of problems and had made a lot of mistakes. But the one thing that I didn’t do, was make excuses!
PRINCIPLES THAT ALLOWED ME TO OVERCOME DISASTER–
I can’t express how important it is to take responsibility for your actions and consequences and to not make excuses for your situation. But that’s not enough.
Even when we take responsibility and refuse to make excuses… without directed focus, we still can’t effectively deal with the our issues. Even if we have the fortitude to continue to work towards our goals, we often have half our brain tied behind our back. Rather than focusing on where we are going, we are partially fixated on the obstacles and side issues that we see on the horizon. We can not properly follow our path as long as we are focusing on the problems, rather than the solutions. So we stumble… over and over.
Focusing on the Solution to an obstacle is fine… But simply focusing and worrying about a problem and it’s consequences creates a type of temporary paralysis that prevents us from really effectively moving forward to solutions. It is impossible to maximize your effectiveness when half your brain is focusing on your business plan and the other half is pondering the stopped up sink or the ticket you got last week!
We have to have to have all guns firing… in the same direction! Without directed focus, that can’t happen. This principle of directed Focus is so important that I am going to show exactly how and why it was absolutely essential to the creation of the Solutions Network Without the constant adherence to focus, ASN would not exist today!
NEVER TAKE YOUR EYE OF THE BALL
In Short… when you focus on your objective, obstacles become simple stepping stones leading you to success. When you focus on obstacles, obstacles become brick walls that can blind you to what needs to be done and obscure the goals and objectives that would normally have served to motivate and inspire you. When you focus on the obstacle, your motivation and energy is drained and effectiveness destroyed! It bears repeating… “Obstacles are those things you see, when you take your eyes off the goal”.
If you really want success at anything; If you really want to maximize your effectiveness… Learn to focus on the objective, while tuning out the obstacles and side issues... Learn to focus on your goals and the rewards of achievement… By focus on doing the things you know MUST be done, when they need to be done, you will get the outcome you desire. It’s not easy, but it’s a vitally important skill to develop.
Focus on Goals- Not Obstacles!
DOES THAT MEAN WE SHOULD IGNORE PROBLEMS?
Of course not! But we must learn to give problems only the weight, attention and concern they deserve… and only WHEN they deserve it.
Do you have to go to court? Of course, you have to prepare for it… then put your effort and focus back into your work. The day of court, go! But don’t worry about it for the prior 2 weeks. Worrying accomplishes nothing other than to create an incessant cloud of anxiety that diminishes your performance on productive tasks. It simply sucks your energy and focus away from productive, positive thoughts and activities. Worrying about finances? Stop worrying about it… DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. PLAN!… ANALYZE!… and when it’s time ACT!… Leave the “worrying” to others. Every moment that you spend worrying, is a moment you are not moving towards a solution. Don’t Worry Don’t get distracted… Do what you must, when you must…
This applies to all aspects of our lives. Not everything is business. Things happens, kids get sick, drains get clogged, cars get crashed, you fight with your spouse. Dealing with them takes up time and energy, both physical and emotional… but it’s vital to know when to deal with them… and when to deal with business. Don’t get them confused! At any particular moment, you must learn to focus on one or the other. Just as a divided house will fall… a divided brain will falter. Your brain can not properly serve two masters at the same time. Do what you must to solve the problem… but whatever you do, don’t simply worry about the problem!
REALIZE, IN VIRTUALLY ALL MATTERS, A SOLUTION DOES EXIST.
Whether business or personal worrying NEVER accomplishes anything! It’s the time spent finding the solution that matters. There is virtually always a solution to every issue, And for those rare occasions that a true solution doesn’t exist? There is always a best path. It’s up to you to find it. But, you will never find a solution by worrying. You will find it by thinking, analyzing, considering options… by actually working to solve it. When you have a problem… don’t dwell on the fact this “sucks”… Dwell on finding the solution. Don’t constantly remind yourself how horrible this is, how unfair it is, how hard it is, don’t ask your self “why me?”. This does nothing but accelerate a downward spiral. Focus on your goals, your desired outcome, develop a strategy to get you there, decide what you have to do… then do it!
REMEMBER, focus on the big picture; the goals and solutions, not the obstacles. Then, when you must deal with obstacles that arise, do so- but only when, and not until necessary. Until it’s time to address them, pretend they don’t don’t exist. Deal with them when it’s time and not a moment before.
Remember, It is impossible to BE your best when… you are WORRYING about the worst! Allow them zero space in your mind. Then, when it’s time to deal with them, do what you can at that moment. Then do no more until it’s time to deal with it again. Until that moment, forget it and go right back to focusing on the achievement of your overarching objective. Get back to the big picture. Don’t allow excuses, peripheral issues, opinions of others or anything else stop you!
THE KEY TO DIRECTED FOCUS
Focus on the objective, not the obstacle. Whatever the issue, deal with it… but only when it’s time to do so and not one second sooner. Then, after you’ve dealt with it, move on! That’s the trick… Don’t worry about problems. Prepare to deal with them, solve them, but don’t worry about them! When it’s time to solve them, do so… then don’t dwell on them, don’t look back! Notice… worrying plays no part of the solution process!
There’s a time to grieve, a time to plan… and a time to work.
DON’T GET THEM CONFUSED… Make Sure You Know Which is Which
HOW THIS PRINCIPLE CREATED THE ALL SOLUTIONS NETWORK
WITHOUT MY PERSONAL ADHERENCE TO THESE PRINCIPLES… ASN WOULD NOT EXIST.
This story is absolutely true with no embellishments whatsoever.
After reading it, you will understand why “I don’t believe in excuses“.
Success Principle “ACTION!“…
“Great ideas are useless without positive action“.
ASN didn’t always exist. It was once just a great idea that without being combined with an enormous amount of work, perseverance and absolute commitment and focus to overcome what seemed like insurmountable adversity, would just be another idea that disappeared after drinking another beer. The idea was great… the obstacles I overcame seemed IMPOSSIBLE! Overcoming it all meant I had no choice but to focus on the goal, not the obstacles. If I had allowed myself the luxury of worry, The Solutions Network would never have become a reality.
Why Not Practice Law?
In 2000, the solutions network was little other than the germ of an idea; an assortment of notes on scratch paper and a couple of html pages residing on my computer. I already had my law degree but hated the practice of law.
Since,I was lucky enough to have been one of the top students, I had the honor of clerking for the dean of the law school. It provided me the opportunity to see the complete practice of law, up close and personal. It wasn’t nearly as much like my favorite television shows as I had imagined or hoped.
I found that no matter how you tried to practice, no matter how much integrity you had, a major key to continued success in law was, not to solving problems, but rather creating more of them by creating more issues that provided additional billable hours. Think about it, if you are working on an hourly, billable basis, as soon as you conclude your case; win or lose, that “job” is over; that source of income has stopped! On the other hand, if you are clever enough to interject a new issue into the legal mix, the other attorney has an obligation to respond; you then, have to respond to the response, they then respond to your response… This is what’s known as creating billable hours; a sort of legal tennis, where new issues are lobbed back and forth and with every lob, you are get paid again. The nature of the system is such that, often, doing a truly good job for your client, is often not so good for your pocketbook.
Even if you try to stay out of this despicable money grabbing game, you can be forced to participate, because as soon as the opposing attorney, creates a new issue, you have no choice but to address it, or your client loses on the issue by default. All the while you and the opposing attorney are racking up billable hours at the rate of, at least, $200 to $500 per hour. Great money, but I like being able to look in the mirror and still like the person that looks back at me. I have always been about solving problems, not creating or participating in their continuance.
Consequently, I decided not to practice. I decided I was not going to participate in what I see as system that is often little more than legal theft. So, I did nothing other than an occasional Bankruptcy here and there and handled a few legal issues for a select group of friends and acquaintances. I was also performing as a professional musician, playing local clubs a couple of weekends a month. Consequently, money was the thing I needed the most but had the least. I wanted and needed money, but I insisted that I earn it on my own terms.
MY LIFE WAS FAR FROM BLISS!
Oh yes, I also had a wife who was about 7 months pregnant, could not work, and I, like many, had no insurance (couldn’t afford it). Oh, and to top it off… my home was in foreclosure. (as God is my witness, this was my life)
I didn’t have much, but I did have a goal… an idea. I was going to create the solutions network; (a marriage of my education and the internet), and reach out nationwide; even worldwide to provide the kinds of services and opportunities that everyone needed. I wanted to create a system that would allow anyone, no matter their circumstances or education to join with us and improve their lives by helping others improve theirs.
Many friends thought I was suffering from delusions of grandeur 🙂
I didn’t feel I had any delusions. I simply believed in the idea and was absolutely committed to making it happen. (My friends and family thought it was more than that I was committed… they thought maybe, I should be committed) In spite of the opinions of others and my dire financial situation I continued to focus on my long term objective rather than my short term issues. I was totally convinced that my idea would work and that everything would be alright. If I could actually create the system, I couldn’t even imagine how or why it would NOT work… But there was a caveat… I would be alright ONLY as long as I continued to do and concentrate on the things that I KNEW needed to be done– rather than concentrating on the opinions of others or worrying about all the reasons that I should be doing something else.
Things were tough, my wife wasn’t happy with many of the choices I was making, and even though, on balance, my friends thought I was a reasonably intelligent guy, they just couldn’t understand how could I not be taking advantage of my legal education to rake in the big bucks and instead chose to live on the brink of losing everything; while continuing to pursue a “thought”, an intangible idea that was nothing but a dream that was nowhere in site. No one understood. But it didn’t matter. I UNDERSTOOD, and that was enough! I was committed to making this happen. I chose to concentrate on my objectives rather than focus on obstacles and the opinions of others.
THEN IT GOT WORSE
As I mentioned, I was also a musician and during this time, music actually generated a large portion of my income. One Friday night as I left a performance at about 2:00 am, I was convinced to take “one shot for the road”. I had been drinking already, not to excess but enough. But since I hadn’t eaten since about 10:00 am, there wasn’t anything to absorb my last “harmless” little shot. The club was a quaint little bar in the mountains and the road home wound round and round through the hills and cliffs. That “one for the road” was not one of my better life’s choices.
While driving home, all of a sudden that last shot hit me like a ton of bricks. As I rounded one of the many dangerous curves, all of sudden, I was now in a drunken stupor I saw 3 roads, totally lost control, spun out and ended up, upside down in a ditch, (if I had gone on the other side of the road, I’d have gone off a cliff and probably be dead). The car was totaled, my shoulder had been slammed through the side window, cut up horribly, (the crash bag didn’t inflate), I was knocked unconscious, etc… The end of a very bad night?…
Then the police showed up. They took me to the hospital where I was bandaged up and then carted off to jail. It turned out that my blood alcohol level was .18 so now I was looking at some uncomfortable legal issues…
My pregnant wife who was about 7 months pregnant showed up at the jail to pick me up. She used my bother’s car because now, the only car we owned was in a ditch… totaled.
So now my life had just gotten even worse and the obstacles more numerous. I had no “job” to speak of, No money, A big DUI, Fines on the way, Hospital bills, A license that I was about to lose because of the DUI, an unhappy wife, a baby on the way, No car, a home in foreclosure, etc… But I did have one important thing left. My Goal. My Dream… and I would not, could not, let it go.
MY DREAM, MY OBJECTIVE WAS BIGGER THAN ANY OBSTACLE. My friends thought I was nuts!
The dream was bigger than any obstacle. I had a dream to create a company that would allow me to earn by creating a worldwide opportunity that would allow anyone to earn by helping others… all with no investment.
Years ago I had heard a statement by Zig Ziglar that always stuck with me. “You can get anything in life you want… if you help enough others get what they want”. This is the fundamental precept of the solutions network. It is the idea that permeates every aspect of it. That was my dream and I would not let it go, for anything.
How did I deal with this “impossible situation?
My circumstances were now such that anyone in their right mind would have changed directions. Friends and family urged me to do so. Remember, I had a law degree. I could have given up the dream and gone out the next day and gotten a great job with a successful law firm and solved all of my money problems by simply suing people. But I just didn’t find that very exciting or fulfilling… that wasn’t my dream.
Most sane people would have re examined their life, their situation and changed paths. What did I do?
The moment I got home after returning from jail at about 9:00 am, I sat down in front of the computer and went back to work creating ASN!
FOCUS ON THE OBJECTIVE: After spending a night in jail and the hospital; after totaling my ONLY car, knowing that I would lose my license, incur huge fines, etc… knowing that it had just become even more difficult to improve my financial circumstances… instead of giving up the dream and taking the path that “made more sense” i.e. joining a law firm, I rededicated myself to my goal. I refocused on my objectives.
I could have curled up in a ball in the fetal position. I could have given up, I dare say many people might have done just that. But I had this one thought that wouldn’t leave me… I just couldn’t shake it…
“Bruce… you know this is a great idea. There is no way this can’t work. If you just do, what you know needs to be done; if you make the right choices, you will get the right results”. It became my mantra… “Do the right thing, get the right result”.
I could so easily have given up and just joined a law firm, as everyone urged me to do. Instead, and this bears repeating…
The moment I got home from my hospital and jail visit (around 9 am), I literally walked into my home (that I was losing) and sat down in front of the computer and continued transforming my notes and ideas into an actual website. I worked 18 hours a day for about 4 weeks straight, not letting ANYTHING or ANYONE distract me.
My pregnant wife was furious (why didn’t I get a job?), my friends perplexed (they “knew” I had better options), within one month I had the first incarnation of the solutions network.
I’ve never looked back since. That’s not to say there haven’t been more issues, more obstacles, setbacks… There have been… big ones! I’ve had a massive heart attack… in one span of 4 months in 2007, my mother in law, then father in law, passed away, in our home. I then had to help my wife and children get through the horrible emotional trauma this caused, not to mention the fact that I had cared deeply for both of them and had my own sorrow to deal with… then, if that wasn’t enough, during this time of distraction, someone I would have trusted with my life, stole everything, that wasn’t nailed down…
Unfortunately, things happen… If I had to bet, I’d guess I’ll have to deal with more issues and more setbacks in the future.
It’s so unfair! but guess what—that’s life. Get Used to It!
We all have setbacks. Some are big, some are small, some are HUGE! But we have no choice.
Either WE overcome problems… or THEY overcome us!
For me, when new problems occur, I will do what I’ve always done. Focus on the objective, not the obstacle. Whatever the issue, I’ll deal with it… when it’s time to do so and not one second sooner. Then, after I’ve dealt with it, I’ll move on. That’s the trick… don’t worry about problems. Prepare to deal with them, analyze them, solve them, but don’t worry about them! When it’s time to solve them, Do it… then don’t dwell on them afterwards.
In Life, there’s a time to grieve, a time to plan… and a time to work.
DON’T GET THEM CONFUSED… Make Sure You Know Which is Which
I don’t care what you do, who you are or what you want to accomplish…There is no business concept that is more important to your success. Focus on your objectives not your obstacles. And once you’ve dealt with the obstacle, forget about it. Don’t dwell on it or the person that caused it. It’s impossible to effectively move forward if you are always looking in the rear view mirror.
WHATEVER YOUR DREAM YOU CAN DO IT
When you have a dream, don’t give up. Don’t let anyone steal it or diminish it. If you’ve analyzed it and know that it is sound, workable and worthwhile for yourself and for the public, focus on it and don’t let anything stop you. YOU CAN DO IT!
But remember… that doesn’t mean that there won’t be obstacles. THERE WILL BE. It doesn’t mean there won’t be set backs; even temporary failures. THERE WILL BE! No matter what you do, things will not always go your way. It just means that you have to deal with them. But don’t worry about them before necessary and don’t dwell on them afterwards. What’s done is done. What will be, will be. To a huge degree you control your destiny, providing you keep your eyes on the prize.
Focus on the objective and deal with the obstacles when you must… but not one second longer… and never take your eyes off the goal.
I truly believe that the Solutions Network is the ultimate opportunity; the most potential, no risk of any type, no investment required, ever. A unique opportunity that is wrapped up in the philosophy that “the more people you help get what they want, the more successful you become”. See ASN
That was what I set out to do. In spite of obstacles, setbacks, criticism from family and friends, I persevered and accomplished that objective. It could never have happened without the ability to maintain focus in the face of adversity.
We’d love to have you join with us helping us to help others. If you happen to choose to do so, we will help you in any way that we can. But we understand that we each have our own dream, our own path. It is not our goal to persuade you to change course. However, it is our goal to help convince you that whatever your dream is, whatever path you choose to pursue, with persistence and proper focus you can achieve it. NEVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE!
THE HAPPY ENDING???
Remember the house that I was losing? I wish I could say that I was so brilliant and quick that I fixed everything at light speed and saved my home and didn’t have to move my family. That would be the fairy tale ending, but it would also be inaccurate. Some might say a lie 🙂
I COULDN’T save my home. No matter who you are or what you do, what you know, how bright you are… things do not always work out- THEY JUST DON’T! But I was able to use the techniques that we teach for FREE at ASN, to find another home; a home that we moved into with nothing down. It was larger, nicer and a much better fit for our growing family.
I didn’t accomplish my original objective, but because I didn’t give up, didn’t put my head in the sand… because I continued to move forward, I actually ended up with an even better outcome!
The moral to that story? Even if you don’t get exactly what you are after or accomplish exactly what you attempt, as long as you keep your head up and your eyes open, things still work out… Continue to do what needs to be done… eventually you will get a positive outcome…even if it’s not EXACTLY what you originally had in mind.
Remember, If you are reaching for the stars, you will never come up with a handful of mud!
It all worked out for the best, but only because I looked for, pursued, expected and focused on the best. If I had, instead, buried my head in the sand and asked “why me, why is this happening to me” I and my family could have ended up in the street.
Remember, when problems occur… don’t get down, get moving!
As Napoleon Hill said in his classic book “Think and Grow Rich”,
“Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit”. If I hadn’t been in the process of losing my existing home, I’d have never purchased the home that ended up being so much better for my family.
Success is within the reach of each of us. It always has been and always will be. However, it always requires that we focus on
where we want to go. Without that clear focus, finding it is impossible.