There are many rules of writing a research article that you all probably have seen me talking about in my live sessions. However, if there is one rule of writing a research article that should be the most important one, what would that be? If there is one principle to write a research article, then what could that be? In my opinion the most important rule of writing and completing a research article is FOCUS.
In order to understand the word focus, we need to see the dictionary definition of the word focus. According to the Macmillan Dictionary, the word focus means “to concentrate on something and pay particular attention to it”. I define focus just for training purposes as “FO- Forget, C- Completely, U- Unnecessary, S- Stress”, because everything on your mind is stress. You need to clear your mind, and just pay your attention to one task. In this blog, I will discuss, how to focus.
A FAMOUS STORY ON FOCUS:
According to an Indian legend, a mentor once called his four students to aim at a wooden bird sitting on a branch of a tree one by one. Each of the students attempted their luck one by one. The first one when getting ready to aim at the bird, was asked by the mentor, “What do you see?” The student replied, “I can see the sky, I can see the tree, I can see the branch, I can see the other birds.” The mentor invited the other students one by one; the first three students had a similar answer. The mentor told all of them to drop down their bows and arrows. He then asked the last student to aim at the bird’s eye, before he could aim, the mentor asked him, what did he see? The student replied,” I can only see the bird’s eye”. Saying this he directly hit the bird’s eye.
What is the moral of the study? The moral of this fascinating story is, that when you have a defined goal, and you can see other things besides your goal, then you cannot be successful. You need to have a sharp laser like focus on your goal. No other thought or idea should come to your mind. If you have any other thought coming to your mind besides your goal, then you are not a successful person.
THE RULE OF FOCUS:
If you want to write your research article, I want you to have a sharp laser like focus just like that fourth student from the famous Indian legend. You should not think of anything else until you complete your paper. You should not have any thoughts about any movie, or sports, or a TV show. You should not even think of your family or friends. You should just have one thought and that is your research paper. All other questions and answers related to your research paper such as, how to complete the paper; how to finish the paper fast; how to improve the quality of my paper; what to include in my paper, will automatically start to come to your mind. Your goal should be not to think about anything else. Just stay away from TV, social media, and WhatsApp friend’s group. I am not asking you to stay away from them permanently, I am just asking you to keep this discipline of abstinence until you complete your research article. You are a human being after all, you will need social life as well. I am not stopping you from that, what I am saying is that, you should stay away from everything else until you are fully done with your paper.
When you do that, you will notice that you have completed your article faster than you ever imagine. Your article will be of extremely high quality because of this extreme level of focus. Follow this advice, and you will enjoy the success you are looking for.
HOW TO DEVELOP THIS FOCUS?
The extreme level of focus I am talking about is not impossible to achieve. It is difficult for all of us, because of too much of distraction of social media, text messages, and internet. We have become habitual of living an unfocused life. But if we rewire our brain, we can develop this kind of focus. People who have developed such a focus are human beings like us.
There are certain exercises you can do, like meditation, praying, fasting (to practice abstinence), and just practice focusing. Initially it will be tough, but gradually it will become easier and easier. If you still cannot learn to focus, then spend time with focused people and learn from them. You can also enroll in martial arts training; they will teach you how to focus. The meditation and other exercises they teach you in martial arts, increases your focus drastically. Practice to read with focus, practice to write with focus, and practice spending time alone, are those methods by which you can develop the high levels of focus.
Once you learn this focus technique, you will enjoy the fruits of this priceless skill for the rest of your life. But remember, it is not going to be easy, and it is not going to be overnight. It could take you months to years to improve your focus. You will need to keep this practice going, and must practice it every day, and implement it in your life daily, because it is very easy to lose that strong focus that you developed over the years.
Of all the properties of successful people, focus is not just one of the most important properties, but I believe it is the main property of success people. The laser sharp focus is responsible for all the achievements you have so far in your life. Similarly, the lack of focus is the main reason of most failures and disasters life. It is tough to develop supreme levels of focus, but it is still possible. All of us can do it, we just need the will and the desire to develop this invaluable skill.