Pre-Ramble: So, 2010 is the 50th anniversary of the invention of Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation – a.k.a. the LASER.
I know!! What are you going to wear?!
Yep - 50 years ago, scientists messing around with light and mirrors came up with a snazzy new way to do everything from encoding information on discs to sending information over fiber-optic cables to enticing a cat.
As with most game-changing discoveries, the laser has its roots in the work of Albert Einstein, specifically his paper, Zur Quantentheorie der Strahlung (On the Quantum Theory of Radiation). Einstein toyed with the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation to arrive at the fact that highly-focused particles of light are able to accomplish amazing things. I simplify this explanation for our purposes here because there were many brilliant minds and turf-wars involved in the evolution of the laser concept and its applications, … and also because I don’t actually understand most of it.
The point (heh-heh) that I would like to build upon is that the laser gets its power from being focused. I’m thinking that there are many areas of our personal and professional lives that would benefit from a little extra intentional attention. Particularly in this age of digital technology, successful individuals and companies seem to benefit from a defined focus for their chosen career, product, service or point of view. Many effective brands use a highly effective drag-net of conventional and new social media mechanisms that bring focus to their agenda.
My man, Sven – Even our local weather guy uses the power of focus. He builds ratings by hosting ancillary programming, writing a blog, playing front man for mobile weather applications, cheer-leading the Facebook fan page, and Twittering pithy meteorological fun facts. This nearly constant source of purposed noise serves to direct attention from many diverse angles to a single focal point — all roads lead to Sven as the go-to source for information about the weather.
Like the “narrow-wavelength electromagnetic spectrum monochromatic light” of a laser, the weather guy and his PR team have identified and established him as an expert in his subject matter area and work hard to promote that focused identity. Here, the concept of “focus” not only works to clarify or define an entity from the inside out, but it also creates a point that can be “found” by energy/attention from the outside in. Somewhere between goal setting and the “Law of Attraction,” what is defined and “put out there” into the world becomes something that “the world” can then respond to.
The Take-Away: Whether you are drafting a college application essay, making a case for a business proposition, or setting up some personal improvement goals, the more clearly articulated these narratives or plans can be, the more likely they are to be realized. As you work to advance your goals for 2010, take a minute to consider ways that you can focus your approach to bring about a more successful outcome. (If you’re writing a blog for example, write on a topic that can support what you are doing in other areas of your life, rather than digressing around some lame anniversary of quantum radiation … I bet there wasn’t even cake.)