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Thomas Maples

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

(Albert Einstein)

What is the secret of life? Why are some people successful in their endeavors, yet others who share many similarities unsuccessful? What is the secret elixir of success, and how do we not only attain it, but replicate it within all areas of our life? While the answers are as complex and various as their are people who ask these questions, in this article I will explore only one answer,  our simple ability to FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Successful) on that which we wish to answer.

In our modern time, there is a push to multitask. With the dawning of the information age, we seem to be pushed to answer emails, field phone calls, review emails again, answer client questions, answer questions from colleagues, managers, and yes clientele we serve. We work, work, and work, but towards which direction are we headed? Well, within this scenario, we ultimately work ourselves towards failure, attempting to solve everyone else’s problems as a method to distract us from the dreams we wish to pursue.

In today’s fast paced world, it is a wonder that we are able to FOCUS at all. Now, not only are children diagnosed with ADHD, but what was once only a childhood disorder, is now seen with increasing prevalence amongst adults. Psychiatrists prescribe methalphenidates, psychologists try to make sense of symptoms and prevailing causes for our inability to sustain focus, while psychotherapists work on behaviors, helping their clientele develop healthy coping strategies. But to what end does all this work, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all point.

People yearn for happiness. In asking the Big Questions, with yes, I will say it, Simple Answers, we tend to FOCUS on that which we do not have. In doing this, we dream, we yearn, and we formulate plans to attain those things we yearn for in life. This is daydreaming at its best. Attention Deficit, active imagination, or a waste of time? It is how you perceive it that will ultimately determine if the dreams formulated find fruition or become the dusty memories of aspirations once forgotten.

In life, it is imperative that we dream. In recent years, I have seen a push within the therapeutic establishment to view dreams as a symptom, a problematic behavior at best (daydreaming), or a psychotic delusion (nightmares) at worst, to be treated, medicated, thrown out, and forgotten within the context of how it affects our individual lives. This stands in antithesis of the way dreams used to be viewed by the therapeutic establishment, as “the royal road to the unconscious” (Freud), a place where burgeoning hopes can meet with conscious determination to assure personal success.

What is the secret of life? Why are some people successful in their endeavors, while others who share many similarities fall flat? Is it luck of the draw, or simple determination to FOCUS on that which you want? You make the call, and in doing so, you may just see different results.

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