Lately, perhaps given the holidays and increased tasks along with adjusted schedules, I’ve been thinking about our time as it relates to focus and stress.

An aspect of directed focus can be looking inwardly, not in a selfish way, but in a way that puts a priority on us and what we are doing.

I think it’s common that we experience the feeling that we “should” be doing such and such at a particular time.  Maybe we’re on a trip to a new city, sitting down for lunch at 2:00PM.  Glancing around the charming Mexican restaurant, its emptiness becomes very noticeable and we think, “shit, it’s late for lunch, I should have eaten earlier, I have a bunch of work to do.” There may be a little twinge that we are currently operating outside the general constraints of cultural normalcy.  A resulting feeling of being rushed or trying to get “back on schedule” may result. Perhaps there is irritation and annoyance that then may affect those with whom we interact.

One way to direct our focus and alleviate this odd twinge, or more problematic feelings of annoyance and irritation, is to tell ourselves, “No, this is what I’m doing now and this the time for it.”

Be confident and comfortable in doing things on your own timeline.

For an instant be the trend-setter, the outlier, the center of the world you are living in.  Direct your focus inward.

Looking inward does rely on a bit of pseudo-confidence in that we have to assume that what we’re doing is good, right, correct, productive, etc.  And, this is not an easy thing to accept.  One problem is that confidence can only be hashed-out over time – time that if we’re caught running with cultural norms does not often seem available.  But that’s point of direct focus.  It needs to be tested in order to be utilized. And, in order to be utilized it must be relied upon through testing.  A circle for sure.  One aspect of direct focus is to not be rushed, not be bound by the generally accepted time frames of others.

Of course we do live in the real-world and typically need to play by the rule set of cultural norms in order to achieve what we want in the future.  So it’s not always possible to direct our focus inward to this self-centered use of time.   But when given the opportunity or when through circumstances you find yourself outside the normal time schedule, stop, think about this, and embrace it.