Natty see it coming a thousand miles away...

By 10:47 AM

...Unless Natty was distracted.

Life Lesson # 16 : Maintain focus.

Today my father asked me a very interesting question: "Do you think that you've put 100% into your university experience?"

Of course, having resided within myself my whole life, knowing me, my answer was yes. As long as I've known myself, I've loved school and learning. The only classes I've done poorly in were those that I found very difficult to understand or that one semester when I attempted to do 5-6 subjects with 2 of them clashing rendering it damn near impossible to go to either class and having to tutor myself - I passed though but by the skin of my teeth and no I'm not doing that again. I've generally been an A student, completing assignments by deadline, ready for my quizzes and exams, etc.

I told him the only thing I could say that screwed me over was being naive and not being cognizant of the people around me that were undermining me hardcore the whole time. In retrospect, as stories happen and do come full circle, it doesn't surprise me now the things I've heard that were said and by whom, more so as I realized the agenda it was assisting soon enough anyways. However, not nearly soon enough to be able to do anything about it - the damage was already done. People are always people, but if you're not on your A-game you leave room for underminers to do what they do best.

*And that is what he said. My last sentence there. The one thing I didn't say in our brief talk.*

After I spoke, he told me that looking at my university experience while I am a bright student, I was distracted. That this year, was the first time in a long time he's seen me this focused on myself and actively looking out and seeking my interest. I was struggling in a course this semester due to a series of difficulties with a professor - so I found a tutor that brought me up from a fail grade to a B grade in a virtual snap - which reminded me once more that the power is also within you to change your story. How many people you know could plow through or want heavy, new material that they've barely covered at any one point in their entire life in a matter of days and just be armed, willing and waiting for an exam for the remainder of weeks... rather than just start over fresh. And that's just one of the feats I've been able to achieve this semester by shifting my focus and minimizing distractions. 

This year the lesson I've learnt and applied was - love another but always love and respect yourself more. That doesn't mean be selfish. It means to try to know exactly or have a sound idea of what you would put up with, what you won't put up with and what you're willing to compromise on and set boundaries, with everyone. When those boundaries are set, and those around you have set boundaries as well, everyone knows where they stand and has a better idea of how to move. And... If you know what you stand for and what you want, you consequently have an idea of what direction you want to and will head in.

Also, that moment when you could finally look back and see what was happening objectively it's hard not to be mind blown.

My dad, however, phrased it more poetically. His analogy was that it was like someone going on a stakeout but being on a phone call arguing with your boyfriend or girlfriend the entire stake out so you don't even see the person you're staking out walk right up to the glass and shoot you.

It's not about lacking the skill or ability. It's about losing focus on what your purpose in any one particular setting is. There's a time and place - know that time and place. As hard as it may be to keep public and private life separate, no one is a robot, you must retain focus as best possible.

It's not being blindsided if you get approached in plain sight, and most likely, you'll get taken down and you don't want that right?

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  1. Andre7:56 PM

    Well said 'Love another but always respect yourself more.....' its a narrow line to tread and most people make it difficult with their selfish ways, and if given the chance would have you living your life the way they want it. Two song artists said it best: the Eurythmics 'Sweet Dreams' and Snoop Dogg The world is filled with pimps and h...' you do have to set boundaries and maintain them if you want to achieve your goals in life..