My Favorite “F” Word

And how it can help you slow down.

A recipe for focus

Focus, the limited amount or lack of it entirely, is the number one complaint that clients approach me with as they enter coaching. Usually, though, they don’t use that specific word. Instead, they talk to me about being overwhelmed and stressed out. About not having enough time in the day to get the things done that need to get done. About being pulled in a hundred directions and juggling multiple balls all day long.

Their sleep patterns are interrupted. Some use alcohol to calm their nerves at night. Often their tempers are short. Many have weight issues using food not just for nutrition and not attending to nutrition as they fly from one spot to the next. Their health is often affected, with their bodies echoing what their minds are saying: “stop this train, I want to get off!” Who could blame them? There is little satisfaction in that existence. It’s no small wonder that more heart attacks occur on Monday mornings than any other time. Facing a week of that madness makes your heart literally explode.

Does this sound at all like you? Are you ready to stop that pattern? Keep reading and start the process of making your life significantly better.

First, we need to define connection then we can see what focus has to do with connection. In our personal relationships, connection means some level of love or caring mixed with a sense of being known and understood. I used to say that one of my purposes in life was to love. As beautiful and lofty a purpose as that was, it missed the mark for me. I can love people all day and all night and still not feel satisfied. What if they don’t love me back? What if they don’t treat me well? What if I feel invisible around them? What if they love me for how I serve them but not for who I am? That’s love, yet it’s hollow and dissatisfying.

What’s missing? Connection. Feeling like you and the other person are on the same page. Like you are being paid attention to and you mean something. It’s when you feel like someone is holding your hand even when they are not even there. When you don’t have that connection, you could be sitting right next to someone and feel lonely, like you’re the only person in the world. It’s such a tragic feeling. Robin Williams said it best, “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.” So many of us have found ourselves in relationships where this is the case. You’d prefer to actually be alone rather than be with that person and feel shut out.

A dear friend of mine has a story that may sound a lot like your life. She and her husband run a household. Their two teenagers are clothed, fed, get good grades, participate in activities, and act like kids do. They do family activities. They have friends. They host and attend parties. Everything seems “fine” to the casual observer. If you dig below the surface though, you find that they don’t have any real connection. They have roles, and they wear their masks, and they function.

But functioning and living are two different things. They don’t know what the other one is feeling or wants, and they don’t seem to care. As long as they tow the line and do what they are supposed to do to keep up appearances, everything is “fine.” But emotionally there is no fulfillment. They aren’t connected. They aren’t loving each other. They are roommates, not lovers. Driving alone on parallel tracks. And this fog could go on their entire lives. It could be enough to live for the image. Or one or both of them could demand to be real. To feel connected, to be present, and to rip off the masks and live authentically and not just for the “show.” To focus intently on one another and not the day-to-day distractions that take them away from their relationship.

What would you do if this was you? What if this IS you? Are you ready to take a chance to see if you can repair this hollow existence? Or are you okay to keep the status quo? As with everything in life, it’s your choice. Make the best one. Life is too short to live small.

Live Life Large.

Dr. B

Originally published at

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