The Zen of Prioritizing Your Focus

As I walked by a coffee shop I noticed an older woman in a wheel chair sitting across from a young woman. Both had their coffee cups on the table. It would be easy to assume they were supposed to be enjoying quality time. One was fully engrossed with her phone; the other’s eyes moved from watching to staring at her coffee cup. I suspected that if I’d sat down to chat the phone engrossed individual may not have noticed she’d be left behind.

Isolation does not always come from being alone.

One of the skills of becoming a more conscious leader in life and at work, is to notice where your focus is going. Think of it as the zen of prioritizing your focus – taking control of where and what you place your attention on.

Author of ‘Mans Search for Meaning‘, Victor Frankl stated:

“Between stimulus and response lies a space. In that space lie our freedom and power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.” – Victor Frankl

And in that space, the mindfulness of being in the moment, you reclaim the power to choose your response.

This Zen story from Wisdom 2.0 illustrates the shift from one activity to another:

“Some years ago, a Zen student was sitting with his teacher when the teacher received a much anticipated letter from an old friend. knowing his teacher had been waiting a long time for the letter and must have been very eager to read its contents, the student started to excuse himself.

“Stop,” the teacher boomed. “Please stay. I will open the letter later.”

“Don’t you want to open the letter now?” the student inquired, surprised. “I know how long you’ve waited for this letter, and news from your friend is right there in the envelope.”

“Yes,” said the teacher, “I have waited long, but I cannot open the letter until I have conquered the haste I feel. Once that has run its course, I will open it.”

How can this snippet of Zen wisdom apply to you and your world today?


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