Focus – Opposite of Distractions Posted on February 21, 2018

By Rameshon


Picture 1 – If a person focus, they won’t know what distraction is

Having trained myself, as an athlete, and others, as a coach, I have noticed that the reason for us to succeed comes from the word called focus. Many elite athletes usually will agree to this.

To my perception, focus means concentrating our efforts on the processes, minor and major activities, that we need to do so that we succeed in our aim, goals and objectives, in the short term, mid-term and long term. To discuss about this, it will be a good idea for me to share on what happened in my first overseas marathon challenge. 

One day, when I was in Japan, Otsu, in 1988, to represent Singapore in Biwako Marathon, Otsu, in the 1st Asian Marathon Championships, we were given dinner specially, outside, by some Japanese officials. At first, we exchanged gifts. I was given some gifts during the meet as the officials  were warm to the foreign runners.

I had an opportunity where an official told the Singapore manager that the former has done 2hr 24min in the marathon. In fact, his group of officials looked up to the gentleman.  It amazed me, at that time, with wonder, as I thought that it was a solid and marvellous time, indeed, and quite an impossible for one to attain. I was asking myself,” How nice if I could get it over time. The feeling would be wonderful to go through.” 

As I came in first, in the Singapore Mobil Marathon, with a time of 2hr 40min, I qualified for the 1st Asian Marathon Championship race. In the end, out of 10 countries that competed, I came in 7th, with a time of 2hr 46min. The weather which was cold, became colder and I could not take it and ran with a painful feeling in the hand, resulting from the unbearable 10 degrees centigrade weather. I could not focus on the race. My half -way time was 1hr 17min 07sec. However, my last 10km was nearly 52min, and it slowed down my timing a lot. 

When I came back, I started working hard and came up with a mid-term goal to get a sub-2hr 30min for a marathon. However, I did not know how to see success, throughout, all the way, in order to attain this time. At that time, I was not only training but also volunteering myself on some projects in the temple and it was time consuming. 

It was only when I went for a Buddhist talk that I understood what focus meant. The monk told that usually man has a lot of desires and most of the time, he or she will achieve the desires but it will be delayed. Mans’ wants are many but the resources to fulfil are scarce. However, if one renounces many of the desires and focus, achieving will become immediate or it is not far off. 

Hence, while training I come to an understanding that cinema, tv shows, reading newspaper, gossiping with friends, all sapped my energy, as it does not allow me to rest and recover well, which I think my body needed most at that time. Also, by renouncing unnecessary desires, I was able to have more time not to rush in training and do things properly by being in the present moment, also. 

In my life, I have seen very good runners who are talented, who could break records etc, lose focus on what they are supposed to do and get themselves diverted. There are many avenues to get oneself diverted. It is easy to diverted by one’s own ego to challenge other individuals for no reason and the energy is expended which is outside them, unnecessarily. Some while training, gets embroiled into internal politics, which is not a good option for one to get involved. This takes their focus away in a big way. Many years of hard earned results get affected for no rhyme or reason. Man must learn to be mindful of what they are supposed to do. Then they will see oneself progressing and moving forward.

Some popular figure, a personality, once told me this once and was truthful. He said, ” Rameshon, you are not political, but I am very”. I told “I am not political in anyway”. He said,” Yes, I can see. That is you! But I am.” When I heard this, I was pleased with this personality for uttering the truth on this. 

My perception is for one to focus and not to get distracted from ones goal from anything that is going on. In the world there are many problems and issues and to solve them it is not an instant solution. One should know that outside factors are changing, transient and temporary. Moreover, one should learn to go beyond emotion to continue with one’s goals.  Breathing technique have been seen to help in emotional problems.

Unnecessarily man, when they are unaware, gets themselves entangled and distracted when they were young and they may make the same mistake again over and over again and miss out on what they want to achieve, which they had set their mind on. 

Once a wise man gave a talk. He said that whatever activities, that are not worth it, which gives comfort and pleasure now, may result in unhappiness and failure, in the long run, it is better not to take. Whatever activities which give discomfort and displeasure now but bring success in the long run, it wise for one to take. 

Hence, over time, I found out that by renouncing unnecessary desires  one could make big progress in one’s processes in running and sports to achieve in the end. One saves time and there will be more time to put in some practices, physical and mental, and other things, like developing a good training programme, getting a log book, analysing the training and race, writing reflection etc. Hence, there will be progress to achieve a list of things which has been planned, earlier on, to achieve. 

In short, the essay above shows how I got my own 2hr 24min 22sec for Chiangmai SEA Games 1995 for the marathon race. And one of the golden thing that I have learnt, in the past, is that when you are serious, it is good to maintain silence, for at least 2 hours per day, for it is one of thing mentioned by a wise person to develop faith, which will allow oneself to transcend wisdom. Once a person has faith, it is easy to achieve anything they want. 

Edited By Tan Mariviv