How To Focus by Finding Your Why



“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

What do you do when you have a problem with distractions?

Or when you lack the discipline to get things done?

Or you lack the focus to stick with something long enough to see it through?

In a video by Brendon Burchard, Unfocused? Find Your Why a member in the audience really struggles with distraction, discipline, and focus.

It’s no joke and it’s destroying his life and he feels he’s losing the person he loves the most.

Brendon reminds him that you don’t need more judgment.

You need your North Star.

Distraction is a huge problem.  Discipline is a huge problem.  Focus is a huge problem.

Matt, the person in the video who struggles with distractions, says he was diagnosed with ADHAD and put on meds and told to meditate to work on his focus.

Matt puts it like this:

“Distraction is a huge problem.  Discipline is a huge problem.  Focus is a huge problem.”

Brendon responds:

“Um…So let’s talk about the focus.  Let’s talk about the discipline, let’s talk about the distraction.

Uh, who in the room, does not have diagnosed ADHD, but also focus, distraction, discipline is also a major issue for you? 

Can you look around the room?… OK.

And, by the way, first and foremost, please recognize the number of people who raised their hand.

Please raise your hands again.”

The room is full of hands in the air.  Matt is not alone in his struggles.

This is the Human Condition

Brendon acknowledges the room full of hands.

He makes a very clear point that to struggle with distraction is a very human thing.

Brendon says:

“This is the human condition.

You’re not broken.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

You beat yourself up expecting to be amazing.

So when you see a sea of people from 40 countries raise their hand and go, I too have focus and discipline, it’s hard for me…I want you to feel good about that.

I want you to go, ‘Oh man, I’m really hard on myself.’”

Your Breakthrough Comes from Another Level of Demand

Extreme focus comes from extreme necessity and extreme demand.  Without it, we waffle among distractions, delays and decisions to our detriment.

You don’t need to judge yourself or beat yourself up or find some magic pill.

But you do need to operate at a higher level of demand and necessity.

Brendon says:

“No breakthrough is going to come from more judgment.

No breakthrough is going to come from more judgment.

What the breakthrough is going to come from is another level of self-love and demand.

Who has ever had a sudden demand placed on you?

…And you kicked a!# for like weeks?

Now keep your hand high if you are also the one prone to lack of discipline and focus, but you still kicked a!#.

That was necessity.

That’s demand.”

You Need that North Star

Similar to how Maxwell says, “You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller, but by making yourself bigger”, you overcome your distractions by making your focus bigger — into a big and bright, shiny North Star.

Finding your North Star is how you will beat distractions, execute with discipline, and find your focus.

Brendon says:

“We need something bigger than our impulses to keep us focused.

We need something bigger than how we feel to keep us disciplined.

When we talk about service, when we talk about dreams, when we talk about mission, the truth of that really is, we need that North Star to get us out of our funks.

We need that North Star to get us out of bed.

We need that North Star and a connection to it, to organize ourselves.”

Your Greatest Power Is to Rule Your Mind

As Horace put it, “Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

Your ability to focus your attention among a sea of distractions, all competing for your attention, is one of the greatest abilities that you can develop.

As Brendon puts it:

“Our greatest personal power is the ability to take over our impulses and direct our minds to choices and commitments that will serve us.”

It’s time to let your mind know, who’s the boss.

Now do you have your attention?

Find Your North Star

The beauty is your North Star is already within you.

You already know what really matters deep inside and what you really need to do to find your breakthrough and operate at a higher level.

You just have to bring it into full focus before you, and use it as your North Star to light your way forward.

It may take some guts to make your gains, but your North Star is the backbone of your energy and effectiveness when it comes to making great things happen.

Wait, where was I going with this?  … *Shiny object*

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Discover Your Why
Download The Purpose Pack (PDF)


  1. Great content as usual, JD.

    I saw you posted on Robbins’ The Six Human Needs in

    I also see you read quite a bit in

    The Charge was amazing. I’m still learning from it…

    Have you read Burchard’s High Performance Habits yet?
    I don’t see that on your site.

    Have you heard of the 5%/95% rule?
    I believe it’s a huge factor on finding and getting to our North Star.

    Best, -Jared

    • Thanks Jared.

      I remember reading High Performance Habits a while back. I liked that it was consistent with my approach around using vision to create clarity and connecting to your mission and values to generate energy. I need to write a book summary.

      I really like the message that’s behind the 80/20 and the 95/5: It’s not about giving less effort– it’s about honing in on and discerning which specific activities drive so much of your value and impact.

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