Our culture today will tell you that you need to do everything so that you don’t miss out on something. But you will get more out of life when you focus on one thing.
Today our culture has Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). There seems to be an insatiable need to be doing everything all the time. Constantly checking social media while you’re doing other things. Getting your kids involved in every activity in their school years. Trying to become more marketable by becoming credentialed in multiple areas.
But that’s not how life really works. You get more results, rewards, and recognition when you focus on one thing.
In his book Digital Cocaine, Brad Huddleston tells how multi-tasking actually harms how much you are able to accomplish. In fact, research has found that the more that you multi-task, the less competent you become at trying to do multiple things at the same time.
In reality, you are not multi-tasking; you are just task switching. And you can’t do either task as well if you are constantly switching back and forth between them.
God did not make your brain to be able to multi-task. You are actually able to do more if you just focus on one thing at a time, instead of trying to keep up with what everyone else is trying to do.
In my high school graduating class, I had several classmates who wanted to get into Harvard University. But only one got in.
None of the super smart guys from my class got in. None of the well-rounded brainy athletes got in. While they all shined, they all looked the same.
The guy who got into Harvard was probably in the top 20% of our class academically, but he made it on the US Olympic rowing team. Focusing on being one of the best rowers in the country made him stand out to Harvard—not by trying to pursue the same path as everyone else.
When I interviewed Phil Cooke about his book One Big Thing, he told me that you should carve out a niche for yourself. He said to “find an area where there’s not a lot of competition, where you could stand out, where you could be extraordinary, and that’s the way to get on the radar. Then the world’s open to you.”
Phil also told me that the woman with the most Grammy awards in history is not Celine, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, or Barbra Streisand. It’s Alison Krauss, the bluegrass player, because she has dominated that musical niche.
The point is that you don’t have to do things the way that everyone else does things. Trying to focus on one thing will help you accomplish more, stand out more from the crowd, and be who God made you to be.
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