I initially wanted to write a review of The Focus Course, but there's no way of explaining what it did to me whilst staying neutral and not sounding like Shawn Blanc endorsed this post. What happens during this course is much deeper than just participating to an online course and checking off the tasks you need to get done to accomplish it. It's much more emotional. If you let it, it will change you. Again, this is not a review. The following words are thoughts I would've never shared publicly before.
When I first heard about Shawn's new project, I was really curious about having a look at what it was. I was really interested in an idea called the "Focus Course". It all sounded really good to me. I mean, who wouldn't want to be even more focused – especially if you think that you're good at focusing.
After seeing that Shawn sent out a questionnaire to subscribing members to participate to a Pilot Course, I instantly filled out the questions the best way possible to be part of it. I remember that I just came home from work around midnight and spent a good amount of time considering my answers on my iPhone while not even having taken my second shoe off. I was really ambitious to be part of it and couldn't risk to wait any longer. I was serious about being part of it, and the effort was worth it.
When getting the email that Shawn wanted to have me on the Pilot Course, I couldn't wait to tell my fiancée (when taking the course, you'll realize why this is so important) that I'd be part of something great.
Days before the course started I was already getting nervous about it. Not knowing what was coming. No idea how it would make me feel. Anxious about the result. What if I failed and realized that I'm not as focused and productive as I always thought I was? Mixed feelings about the unknown. Especially during a part of my life where I was considering a major change – just having come from a time where I wasn't sure of the path I should be taking.
This year many things changed for me. There were many things I thought I would have achieved by now that turned out to be impossible (at least for now) with where I was. I grew tired of the person I was. Feeling like doing a plethora of things at the same time, always coming back to the same state of standing in place with the same amount of things I still want to do. It gets worse when you see where you want to be, but always end up in the path that is already there. Without the right motivation I may have ended up on this old path again – with a half finished course and one more thing that is just there, unfinished, in the back of my mind.
The Focus Course made it clear to me that I needed to get a little deeper than just starting again. The modules are created in such a way that you will see yourself from a different perspective – if you're honest and ready to make changes. Since the beginning of this year I wanted to make things better. Change the way I used to do things. Improve the projects I was working on and finally start making them a reality or at least share them with others. I always believed that there is a right time for everything. Anything happens for a reason. Opportunities are often there, but they're hard to acknowledge if you can't focus on them.
In the beginning stages of the course I often thought about doing things in a different way than I had before. Taking a different step than I was used to. This was the right opportunity to try and be more courageous about my personal efforts. When reading the day's assignment I was often surprised about how similar it was to what I had been doing on that exact same day ("morning" – due to the difference in time, the day's assignment often was published at 2 PM my time and due to the newness of the course I was lucky if some days were ahead of publication). It fascinated me that I had subconsciously started to work on myself the same way as it was described in the preparation phase of the course.
Besides journaling every day, I started a separate journal about the course (something you're recommended to do in any way you want). Reading where I was in the beginning and where I am now gives me an interesting feeling. Seeing the progress throughout the days is fascinating. I had always thought of myself as someone who was "productive" because I always had many things to do, ideas to work on, projects I wanted to put out in the world, several things to talk about that were in the process of being created when someone asked me about them. The reality though was that I tended to have ideas and opinions about things that I ended up working on until I lost focus again.
Helping me focus on where I was, I realized that my biggest challenge was "fear". When you are afraid of something, you lose focus. You can't concentrate on where your thoughts should be and you start drifting off. With the right words Shawn enabled me to see this fear and counter it with focus. Through building a better foundation, standing up again after a fall was much easier and faster. Each Module made me stand stronger. Sure you fall down again, you're human after all and can't make complete change in such a short time, but with every fall I rise taller.
Reading these words it sounds like I built a whole empire of [insert whatever sounds interesting to you]. Truth is I'm not really different than before, I'm just where I want to be now. As I wrote on Shawn's Focus Course site:
"Throughout my life I will change. Several times I’ll be a distant self of the person I used to be, but the core will always be the same, and this is what’s important to me. I’m already the person I want to be in the future; just a better version of myself."
I would've never shared anything like this before. I would never write anything personal about myself. Never share feelings or deep thoughts about myself with others on my site.
Many years have passed by where I wanted to be part of bigger projects and work with people I admired. Fear and a lack of focus have always held me back from pushing through to the end. With the completion of the Focus Course, I'm finally at the point where I'm willing to open up and do my best and most meaningful work.
I always wanted to be someone who changes things, who makes them better. I have always felt an urge to try and make things different. Look at them from a different perspective and change the outcome to something others can also benefit of.
I encourage you to do so as well. Join me in being a better version of yourself. Work better, enjoy your free moments better, focus better.
Where I am right now wouldn't have been possible without Shawn and the Focus Course. He put his heart and soul into this project. I can't recommend The Focus Course enough. If you're struggling with where you are right now or want to change something with the way you're currently working, if you want to be better at focusing or find out what meaningful work means to you, take this course.