A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hear Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor, talk about the power of focus.

Mark related the story of his neighbor, who was incredibly irate that the squirrels in his backyard were raiding his bird feeders for the bird seed. Despite the neighbor’s best efforts to capture, kill, or deter the squirrels from getting into the bird feeders – the squirrels prevailed and continued to clean the bird feeders out on a daily basis.

The neighbor even went to the step of buying an expensive “squirrel-proof” bird feeder from his local hardware store that was specifically engineered to keep the pesky yard-rodents out of the bird seed. After purchasing and installing this “squirrel-proof” bird feeder, the neighbor was infuriated the next morning to find, once again, the squirrels had successfully navigated the traps and deterrents of the “squirrel proof” bird feeder and cleaned him out again.

Later that day, the neighbor went back to the hardware store and angrily confronted the shop owner about his frustration with the failure of humans to engineer a bird feeder capable of out-witting an animal with the brain the size of a peanut.

The shop owner asked, “How much time every day do you spend thinking about how to keep squirrels out of the bird feeder?” The neighbor responded, “Oh, maybe 15 or 20 minutes a day.” To this, the shop owner asked another question, “Well, how much time every day do you think the squirrels think about trying to get into the bird feeder …?”

Which brings me to the point of this post: focus. Being smart, having the resources you need, and having the latitude to get something done are secondary variables compared to the power of focus on a singular and important goal.

With that said, I will be taking a hiatus from posts to this blog site until I complete my dissertation. I’m working on chapter four now, so the end is in sight – but I need to put the power of focus on accomplishing this life-long goal.

If there are any “tempered radicals” out there who would like to contribute a post that is in line with the spirit of this site, I’d be honored to consider it.

Thanks much, and I hope to see you on the other side…

Jason Glass
Des Moines, IA