Part of Paul’s amazing success was because he was so focused. ‘I press towards the goal for the prize of the upward call.’ Focus can bring energy and power to almost anything, whether spiritual, mental, or physical. Sociologist Robert Lynd observed that ‘knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts not to bother about.’
The birthing of a potential breakthrough often results from sharing many good ideas. But to take ideas to the next level, you must shift from being expansive in your thinking to being selective. A good idea becomes a great idea when it’s given focus time. It’s true that focusing on a single idea for a long time can be very frustrating, but your perseverance will pay off. The mind will not focus until it has a goal. But the purpose of your goals is to focus your attention and give you direction, not identify a final destination. As you think about your goals, make sure that they are:
(1) clear enough to be kept in focus;
(2) close enough to be achieved;
(3) helpful enough to change lives.
Paul described his goal as ‘the upward call’. When you think only of yourself, you’re thinking ‘downward’, but when you think of others, you’re thinking ‘upward’. These three guidelines will get you going. And be sure to write down your goals. If they’re not written, you can almost be guaranteed that they’re not focused enough. And if you really want to make sure they’re focused, take the advice of theatrical producer David Belasco, who said, ‘If you can’t write your idea on the back of my business card, you don’t have a clear idea.’