The matter of focus – and on where it is at – has come up a lot for me in recent times. I touched on it in an exchange about where it should lie when dealing with titles, ranks, and how to use them effectively, and again in the midst of a similar discussion with Zeref at the Sith Resource. Before these encounters, I’d come upon the issue when I wrote Degrees of Control, because the idea of ‘control’ is as a focus is, well, a poor choice; it’s better placed on the deeper reality (and learning how to navigate it effectively) of ‘influence’ because that, and only that, is where a sense of control comes from. In fact years ago I saw the importance of focus – and effective placement of it – when it dawned on me that traits (such as ruthlessness, patience, cunning, etc.) only truly blossomed from within when the heart of a path was focused on. They emerge and grow naturally from it.
In thinking about the Jedi and how they might effectively deal with their many, many shortcomings (specifically, members of the light aspect at the Force Academy) it came to mind again, because one of the most horrid flaws I see is in the attention given to be ‘practical’, being ‘real’, being ‘credible’… See, CPR training doesn’t make you a Jedi, knowing what your local laws are doesn’t either. They’re all practical, natural extensions of what lies at the heart of their teachings, but they’re not where the focus should be. Interest and training in those sorts of things come from focusing on self-sacrifice, on serving others, acting out of compassion, and developing the virtues of a light practitioner through active practice; the rest follows naturally.
Another facet that opened up to me is focusing on what you enjoy, on what you resonate with, care about, and get off on. For a lot of people, it doesn’t seem that they pay much attention to that. In my own case, I don’t enjoy constantly being immersed in political discussions, especially not if it’s at the cost of a purpose I want something to serve, and definitely not at the expense of my enjoyment, curiosity, or sincere interest. So I’ve shifted my focus toward under-developed facets of Sith Realism (e.g. traditions, rites, lore), many of which I always like exploring, fleshing out, and experimenting with in discussion and effective application. If you’re heart’s not in what you’re doing or what you are a part of and you’re giving it time, effort, and attention, you’re wasting your time. I’m not wasting mine, I want satisfaction.
What you do with your head needs to be based off of what’s in your heart.
It’s a simple principle, and it’s one that I apply daily.