3 Tips for College Students to Stay Focused
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks” - Winston Churchill
When I started my Twitter account years ago I was completely overwhelmed by the various interests one could follow. I could follow the life of athletes like Kobe Bryant and other great NBA Stars or I could follow the Dallas Cowboys fans account and popular world changers like Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs and so on and so on... Today thousands of topics constantly fuel our Social Media platforms. It’s become second nature to connect with others, and If you’re anything like me, your Twitter feed can become overwhelming with so many different topics; and just like our social interests, our hearts sometimes feel overwhelming in the same way.
Here's a question you should ask yourself daily!
"Where am I headed?"
At many times in my life, I have tried to take on three or more pursuits at a time, where I felt my "heart" leading.. which of course lead to very little success in any particular area, if any at all. In those times, instead of flourishing a purposeful life change, I ended up losing a lot of energy and shrinking in my faith. No one ever became great while spreading themselves thin in so many directions. One word that I once heard my friend/one of my mentors (Coach Josh Eze) say continually which drew my attention during one of his Unplugged events was (focus). The New Testament disciples were inspiring because of their ability to maintain their focused on their purpose.
I believe so few of us actually achieve what God truly desires for us to achieve because we never direct our focus: on what matters most, Jesus. How do we began to concentrate our power? When the world around us desires to dabble through life without a precise course, we must remember that the Master of all has called us to master a specific area. Choose a specific life over a sporadic life.
"The greatest demand of focus is a clear destination"- Rashawn Copeland
Without a clear destination, life becomes very frustrating. It's very important to have a chief goal. For every believer our goal should not only be prayer, but the Word of God. The word of God and the person of the Holy Spirit is our only dual compass that will ensure us that we are heading in the right direction. It's so important that we filter all the distractions that may attempt to impede our journey with God. The greater lies ahead of you but to see ahead you must look inside of you first, and not around you. Don't give up! Next I will give you the 3 things that will keep you focused.
Without a focus, the energy we channel to changing each area of our heart will be limited. Take a look at these three steps for staying focused. - Unknown Author
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
PROVERBS 4:25 NIV
Rather than ask what is distracting you today, I want to ask what good are you compelled to do today? Maybe there are different sins you want to overcome, maybe you want to do better in school this semester, or maybe you want to get closer to one of your friends. Pick one that you will take on specifically (read also Philippians 4:11-13).
What smaller goals will help you accomplish your ultimate goal?
What distractions might stop you from looking forward?
Focus on God
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
HEBREWS 12:1-2 NIV
Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate example of love (read also Psalm 141:8). His love for us kept him focused on his purpose. His ability to overcome persecution, doubt, loneliness, and death can give us the faith to overcome any area of our heart.
What help do you need from God in order to remain focused? Will you ask Him?
Make It Great
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
1 CORINTHIANS 9:24-25 (NLT)
To become great you must train. Follow the practicals below to begin training. If we stay focused on our goal, we will be able to remain disciplined despite obstacles.
Pick one area of your heart that you really want to change (a conviction, a quality of God, a relationship). Decide that for four weeks you will continually address that area through bible study, conversations, prayer, and repentance.
Study out Paul and how he taught other disciples by reading the books 1 & 2 Thessalonians and continue reading through the Book of James. Take note of how Paul could have been distracted by so many things—persecution, the stresses of leadership, feelings of loneliness, his past—yet was never deterred. He was a man of focus.