Posted July 7, 2021 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: 3 Steps of Change: Focus
When we’re faced with a crisis moment, we can’t be passive. There are 3 steps we can take—and the first one is focus. Stay tuned for more, coming up next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 238 show:
Welcome—you’re now in The Perna Syndicate! I often share the story of my childhood tree-climbing misadventure, when the branch I was standing on suddenly started to creak and crack under me. I was high up; it wasn’t going to be a pretty fall. In that heart-stopping moment, I took three steps: focus, plan, and take action. And thankfully, I was able to extricate myself from danger and make it safely out of that situation.
This week I want to break down each of these steps, starting with focus. Now focus might sound easy—just focus, right?—but it’s actually not so easy to do without a strong motivation. My motivation in the tree that day was about as strong as motivation gets: I didn’t want to die. The imminent danger grabbed all my attention and focused it on that single, compelling goal.
I’m afraid that many young people today are never allowed to feel the branch creak beneath their feet. They don’t feel any fear of loss or sense of urgency, because they’ve never felt the weight of consequences. Are there too many safety nets in our parenting and education strategies, preventing them from ever experiencing what failure feels like? Is this really how the world of work will treat them, once they launch their career?
That day in the tree I would have loved a safety net, but it wouldn’t have taught me anything. Instead, I had to focus—deeply and fully—so that I could make a plan and ultimately take action to stop myself from falling. I’d encourage you to evaluate any safety nets that you’ve put out, for yourself or for the young people you influence, and ask yourself if they are pushing you to grow, or just enabling you to be passive.
The next step toward making positive change is to make a plan. We’ll talk about it on the show tomorrow, here on The Perna Syndicate. See you then.