Why Finding Focus Doesn’t Feel Like Making Progress


I’ve noticed a significant theme in the journey’s of guests I’ve interviewed for our How’d You Get Into That podcast. I’ve noticed it’s rare that people come right out of the gate and land on exactly what they feel like they were meant to do.

Most people tend to bounce around a lot and take a very indirect path. Often times, our roadmap for gaining clarity looks a bit like this:

scribble2(ht to Pat Flynn for letting me use this doodle gif!) 

From the outside looking in, it appears to be a pure chaos. There’s seemingly no rhyme or reason. If there’s any sort of roadmap, clearly you’re taking the scenic route. 

No wonder our family and friends get concerned about us. No wonder they question our sanity.

But if you watch that doodle closely, you’ll see that it’s slowly narrowing down to that middle purpose. You certainly don’t take the most direct path, but make no mistake, you’re headed towards the middle. 

Here’s a good way to think of it. Have you noticed when a photographer is trying to focus in for a high quality picture, what do they do with the lens? They turn it to the left. Then back to the right. Then back to the left. Then a little more to the right again. Then a fraction of hair to the left once more. And eventually, what happens?

Everything comes into focus, and they have clarity. 

That’s the story I hear from so many guests on the podcast.

“I tried this, and it didn’t work, but I discovered I had this certain skill set. Then I tried that, and there were parts of it I enjoyed, but I knew it still wasn’t quite right. I tried something else and discovered I was super passionate about it, but it still wasn’t a perfect fit.”




Maybe you’ve been taking steps down a bunch of different paths and wonder if you’re really making any progress at all. Don’t get discouraged when try something, and it doesn’t work. Just rotate the lens back the other direction. You’re getting closer. It may not look like it, but you are. You’re slowly focusing in on the path you’re supposed to take.

Keep working at it and eventually, you’ll find the clarity you’re looking for.  

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  1. Such a brilliant and different perspective of our journey. Whoever called it a roadmap should be captured and stoned 😉 However, I guess “You’re on the right track” wouldn’t have the same ring to it if the saying were “You’re on the right messy doodle that leads to a big clump in the center”.

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