Maintaining a positive focus key to success

I will never forget what my drivers’ education instructor told us in high school: “If you ever have to leave the roadway, never focus on the tree or utility pole you want to miss. You will surely hit it. Focus on the open space between them.”

This has proven to be good advice for me. We get what we focus on, good or bad.

When we were getting started at Shale Crescent USA, we knew our target market was the 100 largest energy users in the world. Occasionally we would get off track. Mr. K from our executive committee would tell us, “I believe we are chasing bright shiny objects.” We knew he was right and we would refocus to get back on track.

Willey Jolley, Hall of Fame speaker, author, entertainer and my friend, says, “Success isn’t about hocus-pocus it is about focus-focus.” The human mind can hold only one thought at a time. I encourage you to keep yours positive. The late Earl Nightingale, radio host, speaker and author said, “The greatest secret is … we become what we think about.”

If we try to have a phone conversation and type a report at the same time, both will probably suffer. I can’t watch the Mountaineers play and really listen to my wife at the same time. When we focus on our phone we can’t be attentive to those around us. However, I was always amazed when my wife had the craft group at our house. I would come home for lunch and six women were all talking and working on crafts at the same time. When a child cried, somehow the mother would hear, know it was hers above all the commotion and go to comfort it. That must be a maternal thing. It is not the norm.

As a coach, I always tell my players to keep their focus on the game and their actions. If they allow their opponent’s actions or an official’s call to distract them they won’t play very well. I do my best work and writing early in the morning or late at night when I can focus. I can get more accomplished. I avoid TV and other distractions during this time. I never check my email or messages if I am on an important task. It can wait until break.

The work that Shale Crescent USA is doing is non-partisan. Bringing in high-wage jobs that raise people’s standard of living and allow young people to stay in the region if they choose is non-partisan. So are giving people hope, improving the environment and making our region more prosperous. Hope is one of our best weapons in the war on drugs.

There is a lot we can do and are doing without the help of Washington, D.C. However, national security and infrastructure are two things we can’t do on our own. As the Ohio Valley expands an alternative to the current W.Va. 2 and Ohio 7 (like an expanded Interstate 68) and the proposed regional storage hub for ethane are just two of a number of essential projects.

Unfortunately, as we saw this week, the focus in Washington is on investigations not infrastructure. I know this frustrates our own elected representatives, who understand our needs and those of our country. Isn’t it time for Washington to move on and start doing the work of the people? We need infrastructure. We have problems at our southern border. We have an opioid crisis. We still have countries and terror groups that want to kill our people. Those are problems we can’t solve locally.

This week’s media circus didn’t move our economy forward. It played into the hands of our enemies and actually helped Russia and other nations we compete with by keeping our country divided and distracted. Washington isn’t focused on infrastructure, trade and all the other things we the people all know we need handled. Maybe it is time to investigate the investigators since they don’t get it. Should we remain silent?

One thing we can control is our own thoughts and actions. What do you focus on in your business? What do you focus on in your life? Are you focused on what is really important, or are you chasing bright shiny objects? Since our mind can only hold one thought at a time, is yours positive? Is your phone or email distracting you from those you love and making you less productive?

I saw a lot of anger on TV this week. That is a luxury we don’t have. Anger distracts us from going after our dreams. It pushes positive thoughts out of our minds. People do and say some really stupid things they later regret when they are angry. A good habit is to never send an email or electronic message when angry. Let it go. Smile it off. You are better than that. Don’t let others control you and drag you down.

“Success isn’t about hocus-pocus it is about focus-focus.” Stay focused on your dream and the life you want to live. Keep your thoughts positive. Smile. Don’t let the small and unimportant distract you. Maybe we can teach Washington a few things.

Thoughts to ponder.

Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry.


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