Super-focus: An Experiment in the Art of Awesome
The Art of Awesome is a new series of articles and experiments on developing superpowers to get amazing sh** done. Unlike most content you’ll find online it’s focused on real-world results from my own experiments in the field, as well as accounts from certifiably awesome modern-day heroes who are actually doing epic work now. Subscribe to my email list or RSS to get free updates.
Art of Awesome #1: Superfocus
I only recently began to realize the implications of this previously unknown and misunderstood "superpower." It’s absolutely incredible, and I may end up focusing a lot more on this particular phenomenon for the next few weeks or months, depending on the level of interest. NONE of the content I've found online on focus can even close to capturing the essence of this superhuman power (which practically defies explanation).
The reason being, in order to explain what it is, and how it works, demands the application of the superpower itself (something which unfortunately eludes the vast majority of people writing online). Thankfully, the art of "superfocus" can be cultivated, developed and called forth with practice.
What is it?
Superfocus is that rare state of being, in which whatever you focus your attention on achieving gets completed with near effortlessness. In the example of writing, as in creating this post, it’s as if a divine essence is channeled through you, and the output flows easily and without resistance.
The main difference between this form of focus and ordinary focus, or even the refined and exemplary form of focus as shared by Leo of Zen Habits, is that superfocus is not primarily a mental or physical effort.
In fact, superfocus requires an extra amount of effort to be removed from the mental realms and brought into the higher realms of multi-dimensional sensory perception. This includes a combination of emotional, energetic, intelligence-driven, expanded auditory and visual faculties. Most important, it requires a connection to the higher creative self -- the aspect of our spirit that’s connected with “the soul of the universe,” as Paolo Coelho put it. Once mastered, this process can become quite effortless.
Our high selves are in fact tapped into the ultimate knowledge of super-consciousness, which connects us all like billions of nerve-endings in one body or soul of the universe. Tapping into this super-consciousness is as easy as dropping into a state of deep meditation, or deep into the act of love-making, or making great art.
I’ve always been fascinated by the infinitesimally tiny percentage of people in the world who actually do amazing work, and I’m no longer content to read the pathetic stabs in the dark of 99% of the personal development and productivity bloggers out there trying to make sense of this incredible superpower.
In this role I’m sort of a lone citizen detective... that guy who accidentally gets handed the top-secret plans to an epic conspiracy, and must deliver them into the right hands before the evil powers-that-be take over the world and destroy life as we know it.
The unfortunate truth is: Life as we know it IS ending soon, and it’s up to the superheroes among us to fight for what’s right in the world and make epic sh** happen to help restore the balance of abundant good-ness over greed and destruction.
My experience with superfocus
When you exude the power of superfocus, you become a magnetic force of attraction, and the world takes notice. There’s a super-human drive, a mission and a power that informs everything you do while under the influence of superfocus. It’s not something that can be accessed through the mind or will alone, it must be cultivated and nurtured from deeper place of resonance.
I’ve only recently begun learning how to consciously access this power, though I’ve experienced it at times in the past...
The first time I became consciously aware of this particular superpower aspect of focus was on an otherwise ordinary innocuous trip to my local co-op market to pick up lunch.
As I walked into the market and made my way over to the deli-bar, I noticed this effortless glide in my step that carried me directly to the goal, without a moment of hesitation. In the sea of crowds it was like the way parted, and a ray of light shone ahead of me in the path. At that moment, the experience became absolutely extraordinary in every way. Every step I took, I noticed people around me look up, and linger a bit longer in their glance. It was as if some invisible force magnetized their interest.
At that moment, I happened to be in the midst of a surge of excitement and energy about the work I was doing, and the effect it was having. There was this knowing that I was in the right place, doing the right thing, and my actions were having a good effect. That knowing creates gravity. (It’s a similar energy to the digital gravity experience that Everett describes and clearly rides in himself.)
As I swept through the market on my invisible superfocus wing-feet (only way i can describe them), the energy I was carrying multiplied ITSELF and became even stronger. All the while, my focus and excitement continued to sharpen, and none of the usual distractions could take my attention whatsoever.
On my way out, I passed a homeless man on the corner with his dog. Just a brief glance at him, and I had captured his attention. Even he was intrigued by this mystery man, as his heightened stare followed me out of the parking lot...... but no matter, there was work to be done. :)
How to cultivate superfocus
1. First off: Super clarity in your life
You need to get super clear on your life and work -- why you’re here, what your role and your purpose is -- before anything else. Don't be content to just have an idea about this. Have a conviction. (you can subscribe to my email list to get the passion-maker life purpose test and the 5-minute interactive freedom fighter’s manifesto free).
2. Clear your mind (and your space)
Clean your work space, and your living space. Get rid of crap you don't need! Spend time outdoors, and to yourself. Do nothing. Actively, and regularly. Just sit, and breathe. Or walk somewhere outside, preferably with trees, and just walk. Don't think, just feel your feet on the ground, and the sensation of your existence. Leo's aforementioned free "focus" ebook is really an exceptional resource for help on this stuff. Adam Baker has a great resource for getting rid of your crap.
3. Focus on the blazing passion in your heart
Bear witness to yourself. See the glorious awesomeness that you possess and wield in your self, and start turning yourself on. Build a juicy container for getting amazing sh** done, and practice extreme gratitude. Quit wasting the precious limited hours of this short life.
4. Allow that essence to emanate through your work
From this place of turned on energy, passion, and sexy deliciousness, allow that essence to shine forth and emanate through your work. Whatever it is you’re doing, whatever you’re trying to accomplish at that moment, tap into that energy, and let it carry you. This should be an almost effortless process. It should feel as though you’ve cleared the antenna of your awareness, and you’re able to tap into the ultimate channel of creativity: the super-consciousness.
5. Keep going until you’ve reached completion
Don't ever give up. There will always be forces working against this current of flow -- forces of mediocrity, compliance, ignorance and darkness which will try to get in the way of your progress. Never listen to those voices, and never allow them to interfere with your art. They will always wither when faced with the great shining sun-force of superfocus.
6. Take time to rest and recuperate
You can’t always be 100% ON -- you need time to rest and recharge. This time is essential. You must take care of the vessel. Eat well. Rest long and often. Stretch and move the body. Take deep, long and slow breaths...!
7. Step away from yourself
You need to give yourself space to just experience life, and not be constantly driving the relentless gravy train towards your goals. Let go and let the universal energy flow carry you some times. Amazing stuff most often occurs when you set the process in motion, and let the course dictate itself.
For the next 40 days I'll be looking at everything in my life from the perspective of super-focus. The question becomes: "What would superfocus do now?"
I will practice cultivating superfocus in nearly every moment of my life, and get to understand the limitations of my own being, and that of superfocus itself, if any. I'll lay out some of my goals for you to witness, and use superfocus to help accomplish them. I will see what I’m able to accomplish, push myself to the limits of super-focus and beyond, and report back to you what I find.
I may also interview certain key people I consider super-focus masters, though I've interviewed so many of them here already, I may just dig deeper into those interviews.
My first superfocus goal: Write only potentially life-changing content, and write as much as possible every week for the next 40 days. (Goal: at least 1,000 words per day, including two posts for this blog, and one towards each chapter of a secret book I’m writing)
I guess you'll see the results, and I'll be reporting on my progress...
To join me in the superfocus experiment, subscribe to my email list or RSS. Follow me on twitter, use the hashtag #superfocus to tweet about your experiences with this, but most importantly: try it out, and blog or write or share about your own experiences with superfocus with people you love.
You can also of course share this post with your friends by using the twitter, facebook, and social buttons below -- always good things.
What are your experiences with superfocus? When have you come into direct connection with endless creative energy in your life? Who are the people you consider to be super-focus rockstars? What are your questions about cultivating superfocus? These are some of the kinds of things I’d love to hear about from you...
Love and blessings,