Blog

Is Today the Day You Get into Focus?


Today, we are reposting a blog written by our friend Matthew Ferrara (pictured below). – The KCM Crew

Matthew CameraInsights come in ordinary moments. At dinner recently, some friends were talking about their hundreds of internet bookmarks they never return to. We’d all formed the same habit of opening ten tabs of pages we “wanted to read” but eventually closed, unread. It’s a familiar moment to many of us: so much stuff, we don’t know which to choose. And we really burst out laughing when I said:

I think I have so many apps on my iPad, it’s making me a nervous wreck!

Flashbulb. We live in an era of abundance, for which we’re grateful for the opportunities of modern technology. Yet we’re increasingly stressed, overwhelmed, under-rested and distracted – as the endless array of attention-grabbers beep at us. As I write this very article, two tweets have popped across my screen; I try not to look at them, to keep writing, stay focused…. Um, what was I just saying?

We all must respond. To update. To upgrade. To announce. To express. To contribute. To engage. To exist in multiple virtual dimensions, and in none at all.

Even my camera plays this trick on me. Twenty years ago, my Nikon 2000 had a single focal point in the lens. Align the two halves and your image was in focus. Today, my D7000 has 39 focal points (I just popped open a browser tab to quick-search that fact, to make sure it was correct). That’s the paradox. Modern technology can focus on 39 things at once, but does it follow that so can we?

(Excuse me while I press save.)

I take my camera everywhere because it helps me slow down in an otherwise rushed schedule. I stop to look around me, when I know I should be thinking of other things: It’s a struggle. What time does my speech start? How long it will take to get to the airport? Can I upgrade my seat? Excuse me, a text has just arrived; Oh, sorry, that beep was from Facebook. I can’t keep track any more.

Damn, I just missed a shot.

Life is about taking the shots. Not all of them will be great. But you can’t take any shots if you’re not looking thru your lens. Patient and persistent and prepared to seize the moment. Using all 39 points of your tools and skills to improve your chances of success. But ultimately it’s up to you to release the shutter.

We often look ahead and imagine ourselves in the future. We then try to setup the conditions for success. We adjust our stops, speed and sensitivity. We make a few practice tries, a week at the gym, reading whole articles, clearing our desks every night. And then….. something happens. Things start ringing, flashing, whizzing into view. We return to the tempest, our view buffeted everywhere. We risk losing our focus.

Which makes me wonder: Do I really have too many apps on my iPad? If I collect them into folders, neatly organized, will I feel any less pressure to check them? What if I turn off the beeps? Somehow, the solution isn’t to organize the overwhelming. It’s to get into focus. To select and frame and concentrate. To choose the people, places and things that will contribute to big picture.

To compose the shots we want to take in our lives.

Share
Matthew Ferrara

About Matthew Ferrara

Matthew Ferrara wakes up every day with one mission: Help improve how people think. Whether it’s real estate agents, teachers, technology entrepreneurs, or global sales organizations, Matthew prepares his clients for the challenges of the next generation of consumers, markets and technologies. When it comes to personal growth, sales achievement, modern marketing and global leadership, Matthew helps people create the future they want to live. To learn more, visit www.MatthewFerrara.com.

4 Responses to “Is Today the Day You Get into Focus?”

  1. Noemi January 24, 2013 at 10:08 am # Reply

    Matthew, thank you so much for your post. As a single woman, mother, realtor, bread winner, business entrepreneur and an amateur photographer I completely get all the nuances of your article. You are absolutely right, sometimes we make our lives busier than it should be and I wonder if all works as a scape, so we don’t have to think, nor have time to think with so many beeps, rings and alerts, on the things that are really lacingk or the things that are truly important…the people in front of us…As for me, I am reviewing my apps right now, and deleting anything that only clutter a life that is claiming for SIMPLE. Thank you.

    • Matthew Ferrara January 24, 2013 at 11:47 am # Reply

      You’re welcome Noemi, and thank you for your comment. I think you’re right: To some degree we can “lose” ourselves in the myriad attention grabbers, and almost use it as a “reason” to be unfocused. Recently I’ve been really working hard to play “by the hour” meaning focusing on the task at hand, only. When I want to check comments on a post or Facebook or email, I do it during the “appointed time” and focus on those; then when I’m supposed to be writing or talking to customers or whatever, I close the laptop and focus on the task or person. It’s suddenly *hard* to do this, but it’s a habit I believe I can relearn – as can we all! :>

  2. Pat Gust Tasker January 24, 2013 at 4:33 pm # Reply

    Someone told me they had 700 apps on their phone, I didn’t even know that was possible! You are right about being constantly “de-railed”. I like how you use the photography as a healthy distraction. I find turning off alerts for a few hours brings some peace in a crazy world of technology.

  3. Amy January 25, 2013 at 9:12 am # Reply

    So well said! I struggle with these exact sentiments every day. Such a great perspective!

Leave a Reply