Making progress

Focus.

Is the primary resource of the human mind.

It’s what it takes to shape the world, create deliberate change.

It’s what it takes to build a legacy; for me, it’s what it takes to build a company. The skill of being a founder is managing your focus, always choosing the right thing to focus on, then sustaining it.

For real world problems that are complicated and don’t have a well-defined shape, focus is a multi-part endeavor. At first, the right thing to focus on is not obvious, not known – so the thing to focus on is the larger problem – finding the actual smaller things that can be focused on in unraveling the problem. Focus is at first devoted to seeing, not to doing.

What’s wrong in the world? What are the opportunities? Where is the missing cog in the machinery of human civilization? What does it take to build it?

Once the whole and its individual parts are seen step by step through focus, each of the components becomes a thing to focus on. Understanding turns to execution – the more familiar sort of flow.

The key to gracefully performing these shifts and unifying the method of progress is managing levels of abstraction. Switching the level of abstraction that thought is occuring at allows using a unified tool – focus – to make progress on meaty, complex, years long endeavours.

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