As I was exercising this morning, a political analyst was waxing about President Obama’s rather ambitious agenda–both domestically and internationally. The analyst was concerned about the fact that Obama might have too many irons in the fire, and what that might do to success in any one area.


As I was trying to fight the urge to stop my exercise routine, I wondered: Is success the result of one pointed attention (as the Buddhists advise) or is it the result of diversifying energy in order to increase energy and the possibility of real systemic change? Hmm….


Sometimes when I have a lot to do, I need to clear my desk and just focus on one thing because I’m drowning in possibilities. The focus brings energy for “the one thing.” However, there are other times, where my energy for my work is low and what re-energizes me is taking on more NOT less. In taking on ambitious and simultaneous goals, my energy is renewed and I’m off.

I’m not sure it’s as easy as just saying, if you want to be successful focus on one thing. Or, if you want to be successful diversify your activity and it will create more energy.

Perhaps the “ticket” is this: Success comes when I know when it’s time to focus (attention) and when it’s time to diversify (attention). In other words, I have to pay attention to the moment, the situations, the people and my own internal condition to determine which path to choose. 


I have to live awake.