Struggling To Focus? Lean On Accountability For Support
You look up to the sky. To the sun. To the warmth that shines upon you.
Your life has been nothing but cold and dark for as long as you can remember. And now, seeing the sun in all its brightness is... well... amazing. You reach out to grab it, to take the sun into your grasp. To hold it tight and never let go.
But alas, it is out of reach.
The sun above
Each passing day brings more light. And with that light, you grow bigger, stronger. With each new inch gained, you reach that much further, that much higher, up to the sun. Ever-expanding, ever-improving, you are determined to reach up and grab it.
Suddenly, a strong force rams into your side. You've been hit by some invisible current. Some powerful but secret enemy that you can't see, but can feel.
The sun will have to wait. You need to put all your effort into staying grounded.
A new friend
The next morning, you awake to the sound of digging and a shadow obstructing your view.
After a few moments, the shadow moves away and in its place is a wooden pole stuck in the ground right there beside you. Stuck for what appears to be the long term, as there are two small black ropes connecting you to each other.
"Umm... hello," you say awkwardly.
"Hey, nice to meet you," the pole replies.
"What's this all about? Why are you here?"
"They didn't tell you? Huh, they should've told you. I'm a tree support. I'm literally here to support you."
"To support me?" you ask, "Why?"
"Well... because... we all need support sometimes, right? And for you, that time is now. You want the sun, yeah? I'm going to help you get it," the pole explains.
You think to yourself: I'm not sure how some pole is going to help me get the sun, but there's no use complaining. You shake your branches and issue a hello to your new roommate, the pole.
The following day you awake like any other. The sun shines down upon you and you, in turn, reach up to grab it as best you can.
Suddenly, you are hit from the side. Just like last time! It's that pesky...well...I don't know what it is...but I don't like it!
You're hit again by what appears to be nothing at all. It's a clear day like any other and though your leaves are moving around more than usual, all else seems to be normal.
"Hang tight, buddy! I got you!" the pole shouts over the sound of the boomfs.
"What's going on?" you ask, panicked.
"It's just a little wind. Don't worry about it. I'll keep you steady. You just focus on the sun."
So that's what you do. You reach up higher and higher. You grow bigger, stronger. All the while, the pole, your friend, cheers you on. Urges you to keep going. To stay focused on your most desired goal.
Stronger from support
You continue to grow bigger and bigger. To spread your branches and establish deeper roots. And alongside you, all that time, is the tree support. The pole whose very job is to keep you focused on the sun.
To keep you going, growing, upward.
The wind still bothers you from time to time, but the pole takes care of that for you. You don't need to worry about distractions like the wind any longer. Your time is free to focus on what you want to do. On grabbing the sun.
A job that would be that much harder without the support of a friend.
What kind of tree are you?
On your journey of goal success, distractions abound. Phone notifications, emails, the whole deal. They're everywhere. And the more you give into them, the more they control you. The more they prevent you from achieving your aims.
Not to mention, there are a slew of negative emotions that can just as easily prevent you from getting to where you want to go. Feelings of doubt and pessimism can derail the strongest of us, thus crushing our hopes before ever reaching the sun.
Now, that's not always the case—there are plenty of trees that grow just fine without support—but who do you think is better off:
The tree without the support that gets knocked over whenever the wind blows?
Or the tree that can focus on growing because it has the support it needs?
My journey of support
A little over a year ago, I was at a shaky point with my business. I was filled with uncertainty over the future and worried about the viability of my path forward.
So, I got support.
I founded a group of link-minded bloggers whose sole purpose was to support each other—through the ups, sure, but more importantly through the downs. Through the tough times that you continually face as a business owner.
The group got together over video chat once a week for an hour. During that time, we each had a chance to vent and learn from one another. I don't know what would have happened to my business without the empathy and understanding of that group.
It's powerful stuff.
The accountability you need
This doesn't just apply to blogging or trees, it applies to everything. Whether you want to know how to focus at work, or how to focus when studying, or how to increase focus in general, it doesn't matter because the answer is the same.
Surround yourself with a support system.
A system that, like our friend, the pole, keeps you focused on what needs to get done. In other words, a system of help and accountability. Because sometimes, you are the wind railing against yourself. Sometimes you're the sloth on the couch.
And it's then that having accountability becomes so powerful.
What to do
Creating a group or finding an accountability partner is straightforward. The hardest part is actually deciding what you want. For example, when I formed that blogging group, I was specific about the person I wanted to take part in it.
I made sure that those who joined had a certain amount of traffic, email subscribers, and sales.
Basically, I ensured that we were all in relatively similar spots with our businesses. That way we would be able to empathize and get value from each meeting.
The same, if not a little further along
It wouldn't make sense to join a group of ultra-marathon runners if you've never run a mile before. You're in different places. Instead, you're better off joining a group of novice-to-intermediate runners until your shoes are a little more broken in.
A group who is at the same level if not a little further along than you. That way, you can learn and ask questions as you go without feeling too far behind.
And as you run more and more, you can join different groups and push yourself in exciting new ways.
Moving forward with your accountability partner (and/or support group)
Once you know what you want, it's simply a matter of finding the person or people for the job. Something that you can do in a lot of ways. For instance, by:
Posting about it on any of the social media platforms
Reaching out to similarly-interested friends or relatives
Or by downloading an app specifically made for such purposes, like Supporti
You have a lot of options.
So decide what you want, form a group or find a partner, and start utilizing support to attain better focus and goal success.
The sun is within your reach.