3 Ideas to Sharpen Your Focus in the New Year (2022)

Learn about the power of intrinsic motivation and controlling your mind to focus. Follow these ideas to sharpen your focus and improve mental clarity in the new year.


On Intrinsic Motivation

Visibility does not equate success. It might seem counter-intuitive—especially since it’s so easy to see other people’s success on social media, but do not be deceived. Learn to see and appreciate the value in what you do even when you think no one is watching.

Over the years, I have grown more appreciation for the concept of intrinsic value and motivation. Intrinsic motivation is when your behavior is driven by internal rewards.  It’s when you do things for the inherent satisfaction they bring and not for a separate reward or consequence. Be patient and your day in the sun will come. Your work has value and, you have value.

You’ve planted the seeds, give them time to sprout and grow.

On Controlling Your Mind

In 2005, David Foster Wallace gave his notable speech “This Is Water” at a commencement address at Kenyon College. This excerpt from the speech perfectly captures the importance of controlling your mind and attention:

“Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.” Read the full transcript of the speech here. 

On Focus

“The ability to focus on the things that matter while ignoring the things that don’t is a defining trait of people who achieve their dreams.” – Nir Eya

We are currently living in a world of information overload. More often we pay attention to what is in front of us and not what we chose. So by default, our time and attention are controlled and manipulated by others. In his essay, Nir Eyal captures the importance of having a proper focus for our long-term wellbeing and goals. Read Essay Here.

Good luck!