CHALLENGING CONVENTIONAL WISDOM

Knowledge, mural by Robert Lewis Reid. Second ...

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I love to read.  Whenever I visit a bookstore, time passes me by.  I lose myself leafing through the pages, assimilating the knowledge and thinking of its application in real life.  I developed the reading habit early in life – and I have my parents and siblings to thank for it.  However, because of my multiple interests, I read different books everyday.  And that’s where the challenge begins.  With so many things in my mind, there is a tendency for my thoughts to wander.  I become prone to losing focus.  Must I simply be a doctor and read only on topics essential to my chosen profession?

How essential is it to focus?  They say being focused leads to success.  As the saying goes, we can do anything, but we cannot do everything.  In  that case, must I stave off the desire to delve into different subjects at the same time?  What if learning from different angles becomes a person’s passion?

At times, one must be willing to challenge conventional wisdom.  People have different formulas and different approaches to life.  Well-known authors may bare all and share all their secrets to success.  We can follow their suggestions to the letter, but we may not duplicate their accomplishments.  Why?  Because each of us is unique.  We can never imitate and expect the same outcome.  We have to know ourselves, our tendencies, our values.  We are in charge of our destiny.  If we feel that narrowing our focus limits us and inhibits our creativity, then there is no reason for us to avoid multiple interests.

Focus therefore is about having a singular goal instead of having a singular interest.  This is what well-known authors like Jack Canfield, John C. Maxwell, and Brian Tracy have in mind.  If you  read John Maxwell, for instance, you will see that his singular focus is to be a leadership expert, but he has interests in sports and religion.  If you click on the link on this page (click on his name), you will be taken to a video where John elaborates on his interest in books.  What he does is to relate his experiences in seemingly diverse fields as he writes about leadership.

As for me, my ultimate goal is to learn, to teach, and to teach others to teach.  I see a lot of  patients, and I teach a lot of students on different subjects.  The challenge is for me to touch base when I face different people, and being knowledgeable in diverse fields helps me get my point across.  Instead of narrowing my focus and only reading books on the subjects I teach, I read and analyze other texts to expand my horizons.  Is there a relationship between science, religion, sports, and current affairs?  There is, but it requires inductive reasoning to relate them, which is sadly not emphasized too much in a school environment that focuses on deductive reasoning.

So if you find yourself having the desire to expand your horizons and to spread your wings, don’t let a wandering focus stop you.  A passionate soul who tries to keep learning and adding to his or her abilities will l always have a place in this world.  Continue to pose challenges on what  you can do.  If there is one thing every human being must focus on, it is continual learning.  And what we learn in this life must be passed on to future generations.  That’s the legacy that every living person must strive to achieve.

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