Everyone strives toward goals. Some people have huge ideas for the future, while others just want to chip away at one day at a time and try to make each day better than the last. I tend to think of myself as being somewhere in the middle.

Lately I’ve been really thinking about the idea of ‘focus’, what it really means to be ‘focused’ and find some kind of way to gauge just how much focus I actually have and just how high of a priority I hold my goals for the future. Are my goals the most important part of my life right now? Am I surrounding myself around the right people and the things that get me to a place of great satisfaction, where can mark that goal as ‘complete’?

Recently, I decided to change a significant goal: my degree. Whilst it hasn’t officially changed yet, the strange year that has become 2020 has moved peripheral thoughts and ideas into an incredibly sharp focus – it’s not like we’ve had much else to do, many people appear to be thinking deeply about the future.

What had become an idea of “getting something done” to justify an end (in finishing a university degree) has created in itself a change towards a significant long-term goal, an idea and an opportunity for living a sustainably richer, more intentional life. Whilst I’m sure that may sound a little cryptic, focusing on the now and making intentional decisions today for the future, against the short-term pleasure of simply completing my studies for the sake of it, has created a sense of intentionality and purpose in my higher education.

Upon reflection, I think that’s the idea of tertiary education. I’ve come to appreciate that very rarely do people enter university and enrol in a degree and see that degree through to the end. Having a rough idea on what your interests are can help guide you through the first year or two, but by your third year you have a far stronger idea about what your values are, and what drives you, as well as where you see yourself succeeding in life when you finish.

Whilst I may have come to this party later than most, but the critical thinking skills that I’ve learned through a higher education at the most basic level have helped force me to criticise my own thoughts and feelings – criticising my own intentionality. This is a blessing in disguise, because it guides me down my true path of purpose.

Focus is available to anyone and everyone that wants to use it – but for it to be of any use, you have to be able to think critically. Without that, everything is just a blur.

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