Posted on Jun 24th, 2006

I have previously written:

I absolutely g-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e that if you focus on your dream – THAT YOU REALLY FOCUS ON YOUR DREAM, that you believe in your dream – THAT YOU REALLY BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM with total confidence – that you be committed to your dream – THAT YOU REALLY BE COMMITTED TO YOUR DREAM – that if you do all this, YOU WILL EMPOWER YOUR DREAM.

What exactly did I mean by “focus”? What is focusing all about? Why is being focused so powerful? Baseball gives us many examples of the importance of being focused. One of those many examples is Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

Steve Carlton, for those of you who are unaware of his identity, was a pitcher who spent most of his 24-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1972, Steve was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Phillies and proceeded to win 27 games for the hapless last place Phillies, which total by Carlton accounted for almost half of the hapless Phillies grand total 59 victories. That year, he won the National League’s Cy Young Award, which is baseball’s award for the league’s best pitcher. Steve Carlton proceeded to spend the off-season that year on the banquet tour and making endorsements and granting interviews, etc., etc. The 1973 season saw a reversal for the lefty pitcher. He went from 27 wins to 20 losses! His ERA shot up! What happened? Steve Carlton, in his own words, “lost” his “focus”. He failed to concentrate on his job, which was pitching baseballs and winning games.

In retrospect, though, 1973 turned out to be a blessing for Steve. He went to work on his attitude. He decided that worrying about the reporters and the endorsements were a distraction to his job. They were a distraction to his career and if he permitted them to continue, these distractions would divert him from the task at hand and ultimately reduce him to mediocrity. So, instead, he focused only on his physical conditioning and baseball. He shunned the distracting reporters and the meaningless banquets. The reporters tended to brand him as aloof, as a selfish player who refused to talk with them. Fans cheered his pitching but they didn’t take to him personally, as he stayed away from most autograph opportunities and speaking engagements. Steve Carlton, however, knew the secret. He knew that his mind needed to be focused on pitching if he was to achieve the pitching success he wanted, if he was going to be able to Empower His Dream.

Did Steve Carlton EMPOWER HIS DREAM? Judge for yourself. After that disastrous ’73 season, Steve Carlton proceeded over the next 14 seasons to amass a total lifetime victory count of 329, a total of 4,136 career strikeouts (most ever by a left handed pitcher), 2nd lifetime only to the legendary Nolan Ryan. He became the 1st pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win 4 CY Young Awards. In his first year of eligibility, Steve Carlton was voted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Steve Carlton EMPOWERED HIS DREAM by concentrating his focus on his dream.

That is what focus is about. It is a mind set on your dream. According to the well known motivational speaker and late night TV infomercial star, Anthony Robbins, 80% of success is figuring out why to succeed, of directing your focus. Robbins asserts that the “how” to succeed, the actual tasks, are only 20% of the equation. That’s what Steve Carlton learned and that’s what each one of us needs to understand and employ. Discard the distractions. Put them aside. Decide ahead of time what your desired result is and keep THAT as the only element in your mind. The “how” will come. Don’t worry about the “how”. The “how” is unimportant. The actual steps to the realization of your dream will emerge on their own if your focus is on your dream and nowhere else. Missouri is known as the “Show Me State”. Talk to a Missourian and they will tell you to show them first, and then they will believe. I dare to say that show me first is a formula for defeat. Show me first is a formula for losing.

Believe and then it WILL happen. BELIEF comes first. And, belief is developed through focus. Steve Carlton’s team mate on the World Champion 1980 Phillies, Tug McGraw, coined a phrase for the 1973 National League Pennant Winning New York Mets, “Ya gotta believe!” Tug McGraw didn’t say, “Let’s win and then we’ll believe.” Tug said, “Ya Gotta Believe!” In other words, he instructed the Mets fans, and later the Phillies fans, focus on the winning and we will win! Ya Gotta Believe was and is more than a slogan. Ya Gotta Believe is a way of life. And the belief I am talking about is not a hope. It is not a “I wanna.” The belief I am talking about is a true and committed belief that there is absolutely no way that your dream will not be realized. The belief I am talking about is a true and committed belief that your dream IS reality!

Do you want to empower your dream? If you answered yes, then you must focus on that dream and understand that no other reality exists. You set your eyes and mind on that dream and the reality of that dream and allow absolutely nothing to distract you from the physical realization of your reality. That is focus. And “focus” will EMPOWER YOUR DREAM!

© Copyright 2003. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J. Kevin King, J.D. is a Personal Life and Business Coach, and the Founder and CEO of The Empowerment System Network, which publishes the very unique weekly Success & Motivational ezine Empower Your Dream. Kevin has over 30 years experience in business and personal coaching.

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