I am an advocate of discipline and consistency. I speak about these two virtues all the time. Consistency requires focus – the ability to keep your eyes and hands on one thing, day in, day out, every year, for many years. You start something and stick with it. However, there is often more to it. I have listened to people say to me, on a number of occassions, that they have a problem focusing and so they often are unable to pursue one thing for long.
I am not a social scientist or psychologist. I also know that there are ways to develop the virtue of discipline. You should explore those too. But here, I want to explore another angle.
A person my be the most distracted person with everything else in the world. They may not bother about their appearance, about their clothing, abouty food, and be undisciplined in general. But there is always that one thing – that one thing – that is capable of holding their attention.
Picture the absent-minded scientist, music artiste, or software developer who pays little or no attention to his clothing, to appointments, to diet, to everything on a normal day. But place a science problem before that scientist and he is suddenly laser-focused. That music artiste sings and plays their instrument every day. You can’t get them to drop that one thing.
If you are unable to stay focused on anything for long, this may apply to you. It may be that you haven’t found that one thing yet. So search. Keep trying your hands at different things. The earlier you find it, the better. But even if it is “late”, better late than never, no? Keep searching.
The way to search is not to sit down and skim through the pages of books, magazines, or Google. It is to try your hands at different things. Just jump at every opportunity that comes your way. Volunteer here; get involved there. It is in doing that you discover that one thing that has the power to hold your attention for the rest of your life.
When you find it, no-one will be able to pry you away from it. I wish you all the best.