The best and fastest way to achieve something we desire is to focus fully on this one thing and take action. I think this should ring true with anyone, whether you subscribe to the idea of "the law of attraction" or you strictly believe only in what you can see and touch.

Here is what I mean: regardless of our believes, when we see someone who is very determined and very dedicated to what she/he does, no matter what her/his current situation may be, we say that this person is sure to succeed. I wonder why even though we can draw such a conclusion, the thought to make practical use of it rarely crosses our mind...

Unfortunately this kind of single-minded concentration is not an easy task for the average guy. I personally have to deal with many different things every day. I realize this condition is the result of (careless) past thought and action but it shouldn't be an excuse to not focus on what matters most. Even though in my current situation it is difficult to concentrate on a single thing, I can still define the few truly important things going on in my life right now that require my attention the most and immerse myself into them, leaving the unimportant behind. This will surly bring results. For me personally, those few essential things are:

-my indy-game project
-working on my art skills
-meditation and spiritual practice
-achieving a state in which I have the freedom to concentrate on a single task :)

Yeah, I think it's actually a very good idea to concentrate on reaching that state, which will allow me to fix my mind on a single task, without much distraction. After all, focusing on something is the sure way to achieve it.

I am quite "lucky" because even though I listed six items above they are all more or less interconnected. I am going to art school and I am creating art for the game project I am involved in. Thus by focusing on those two I am working on improving my art skills. And I believe my art will become a good source of income. Also, at least in my current mindset, money is a prerequisite for becoming free to do what I really want - you know, it's hard to focus on lofty ideas if you lack basic things like food and shelter. So by focusing on and trying different things to create wealth I am getting closer to my goal for complete freedom.

As for meditation, it simply improves my life as a whole.

I wasn't always that "lucky" though. I have made the mistake to ignore my passion (the thing I instinctively knew I should be doing) and follow a path that other people expected me to follow. However an inner voice was nagging at me all the time. It just wouldn't let go and I felt compelled to do what really mattered to me, yet at the same time I also felt obliged to do what others were expecting. As a result neither was getting enough attention and I wasn't making much progress in neither - again focused effort seems to be the only way to advance.

I didn't give up on my desire though and as a positive result of that I was eventually able to "create" the circumstances that would allow me to consistently work towards my goals. It took about six years, but what the heck - finally I am on my path. Consequently I believe that even with distractions a major desire or a goal will eventually crystallize as reality, however the process will be slower and filled with much more obstacles then when one uses focused effort.

This next thing might sound strange but anyway, here it goes: I read somewhere that achieving something that you consider major takes about five years, plus or minus one. Looking back at my life I kinda feel there is truth to this. A well known example of this is education - it varies among different countries but the 12 years of school are usually divided in periods of 4 to 6 years. Then you can go to university which is normally around 4 to 6 years. I haven't had a "normal" full time job yet but I can imagine that advancing in work and getting a serious promotion or a better position would commonly require a period of about 4-5 years.

Of course this only tells us about the average results the average person is getting and that is not what I am after. I believe the process can be accelerate immensely when one acquires the ability and resources to become absorbed into a single idea. To reach such a state I have to love what I am doing - no way around that. If I didn't it would be a strain, any non-sense on TV would win my attention and I wouldn't be able to focus on the task even for a little while, let alone for the extended period of time it requires to actually bring results. I believe this is the main reason why people have problem with concentration - they don't do what they love but what they "should".

In general though, there are two situations in which I think it's necessary and good to do something even if we don't enjoy it. Those are emergencies and when fixing the mess we've created in the first place :) . Emergencies are obvious - the life and wellbeing of myself and the people around me has much higher priority then going to school, money or anything else. Emergencies tend to naturally pull our entire focus to a single objective in order to have it solved as soon as possible. There is a lesson in this, don't you think? :)

Correcting undesired circumstances I've created by carelessness, neglect or ignorance is a bit trickier. Just dropping the matter altogether is not a good idea as I've found out. It's just immature. This is especially true when there are other people involved. I don't want to hurt or burden others with my actions. And besides, so far the unfinished affairs I've tried to leave behind have had the unpleasant tendency to always catch up with me and get in the way of what I am doing now. The moral is to take responsibility for past actions and bring everything to completion before moving on.

But I digress, let's stay concentrated on concentration.

Certainly, the few goals I listed above aren't all I want to accomplish in life. Some of my other goals are mastering lucid dreaming (conscious dreaming), becoming an excellent communicator, doing a thorough research on consciousness literature and reaching enlightenment :) among other things :). However trying to do all at once would be quite counter-productive and I might end up not achieving anything worthwhile. I've left those other areas aside on purpose. The truth is I can't wait to work on them. My conscious mind would just love it to jump from one thing to another without producing much results in the process. :) But I know better and I won't touch them before I accomplish some of the goals on my current list, thus creating some space for new aims.

Also I made up my mind not to drop things from my current list in order to make room for new ones (unless it's an emergency). This can be very tempting but I try to avoid it like the plague. A good explanation of this, as well as inspiring examples of how to stick to one's goals is given throughout Message form a Master. The following quote from the wonderful book " TheMaster-key System" is insightful too:

"...modern psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, or make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of failure; absolute, ignominious failure. If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start; if you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall; if you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one, interfere; the "I" in you has determined, the thing is settled; the die is cast, there is no longer any argument. "

I can imagine that people might argue that focusing on a single thing is tedious. Not when what you do excites you immensely. Time for recreation and fun is absolutely necessary though.

I would also agree that sustaining this bulldog determination 24 hours a day, 365 day a year is not always the best idea. There is time to do just the opposite - to scatter myself and try out every possible option. And that time is when I am not sure which way to go next. However, this seems to be the easier part of the equation so I won't give it too much attention here.

When is the right proportion of testing vs focus? Hard to estimate and I think it largely depends on the task at hand. However, I'd say that something like a week to a month of testing out followed by around six months of concentrated effort is a good rule of thumb.

I'd like to conclude with this quote from Richard Cech:

The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.
Richard Cech

I've written another article on a similar topic. In it I share some simple tricks to help you with concentration and even some ideas that I hope will inspire you to work even harder towards towards your ultimate visions!
(url to be added)
Read it HERE