The Peak Experience in Life: Focus
Focus—the word jolts us, reminds that we can do better, be more aware of our actions and surroundings, and do what needs to be done. Mental focus is the peak experience accessible to human beings because without focus, every other human experience is dulled and essentially negated. Without focus, we are in a funk or a depression, unable to feel the highs and lows of life.
We all know what it feels like to be focused, and we know what it feels like to be unfocused. Even the best of us are mostly unfocused. Sometimes we need some “downtime,” but we may still have our minds present instead of absent even when we rest. Some might suggest the word “awareness” instead of “focus,” but when we are merely aware, we cannot zone into work, a task, or a film, music, or a piece of reading. By controlling our focus, we can control where our attention is placed and thereby improve ourselves. Even not-fun tasks become a source of joy with mental focus.
Focused attention opens a door for us to appreciate art and music, share joy with friends and family, taste great food, communicate with others clearly and positively, and direct our minds to better ourselves, among so many other things. Focus is the basis for experiencing life—so it’s the most necessary peak experience for humans.
But there may be a small downside: focus could allow bad people to do bad things extremely efficiently. However, this is only partial focus; a “life of focus” would help us see how positive interactions benefit all people. Negative thoughts and emotions come from a lack of focus, which makes us uncomfortable with ourselves, and then act negatively, although some may perform bad acts with some focus.
In opening up the variety of human experience, focus—so seemingly fleeting—brings us to the best of life.