Run to success

Back in the summer I was taking a walk one evening, enjoying the late sunshine and that very special time of the day when most of the ‘busyness’ is over, and the day is slowing down. I was reflecting on some of the challenges my business clients were facing and, as is often the case, through reflecting in a relaxed state I started to see their situations differently and through a different ‘lens’. Walking is one of the best ways, incidentally, to help the mind to relax and see new possibilities and new ideas. It is akin to meditation in that sense, and I for one never regret going for a walk as I either get those lightbulb moments that don’t appear when you are slaving away at a desk, or at the very least I come home feeling refreshed, energised and relaxed.

On this particular evening back in June, I was thinking about a scenario  that was facing a number of my clients. They were getting distracted. As a result of being distracted they were starting to lose focus…and as a result of the loss of focus, they were losing their confidence.

Distraction can come from a number of directions for business owners and this is something I can relate to having run my business for nearly 20 years! Things like:

  • family
  • friends
  • social media
  • competitors
  • bright, shiny things 😉
  • latest trends
  • persuasive messages popping up from all directions…

Anything can be a distraction if you let it! It isn’t the distraction itself that is the problem here, it is our reaction to it. Most importantly, I believe, is the impact that a distraction has on our ability to focus and work towards achieving our own goals. In the case of my clients, the distractions they were experiencing were causing them to lose sight of what they wanted to achieve in their businesses. It also impacted on their belief in their own offering, and their confidence in staying close to their own values and uniqueness.

It was whilst I walked along a Devon lane on that perfect June evening that I was pondering the distraction issue and how to deal with it. After all, we have to ‘check out’ something before we decide if it is important and something we need to pay attention to, or whether it is in fact a useful or an ‘unwanted’ distraction. As I walked I began to notice the hive of activity in the hedgerow, all the insects making the most of the last few rays of sunshine before the sun set for the evening. In particular I noticed the bees; they moved from flower to flower as they went about their business, every single one of them was totally focused on its own activity, not a single bee looked around to see what other bees were up to, they were immersed in their own work.

I wondered momentarily if the bees were stressed and I decided after watching them for a few minutes (and trying, and failing to capture their focused activity with a photograph to use with this blog!), that so intense was their focus and certainty about their role, that they simply looked to be operating with purpose. My conclusion was that bees don’t give a ‘buzz’ about anything except their purpose! And very happy they looked too!

So, the focus with which those bees were working on that wonderful June evening had a lot to do with their sense of purpose. When I feel distracted, or when my clients start to lose focus I will think of those bees and I’ll ask the question, ‘What’s your purpose & what do you need to do right now to fulfil it?’

I’d love to know what you do when you feel distracted and any tips for finding your focus.