Book Review by Taylor Berrett
Find Focus by Finding Clarity
Thibaut Meurisse is an author, blogger, and founder of WhatIsPersonalDevelopment.org, a website dedicated to helping people improve themselves across a wide range of metrics. He’s self-described as ‘obsessed’ with self-improvement and fascinated by the power of the human mind. His mission? Helping people reach their ultimate potential and highest level of personal fulfillment.
His latest book, Powerful Focus, is an extension of that mission. In this case, he’s turned his powerful approach to self-improvement on the topic of staying focused— something we’ve all struggled with from time to time (or even from one second to the next).
Like all of the books in Meurisse’s Powerful series, Powerful Focus is terse in length— just 86 pages total— but jampacked with actionable insights. And, also like the other books in the series, Powerful Focus makes a powerful claim— the chance to develop deep focus in just 7 days.
Daily Practice, Daily Focus
The book is broken up into simple exercises readers can practice each day, collectively promising to:
- Eliminate distractions and develop laser-sharp focus
- Stop jumping from one ‘shiny object’ to the next
- Overcome information overload and analysis paralysis so that you can move forward with your goals
- Gain clarity about those goals so you can focus on what truly matters
The most important insight from Powerful Focus is the idea that improved focus is about daily practice, not some all-at-once transformation. It’s about consistently honing in on the habits that lead to better focus and putting out the things that distract from that focus.
Meurisse also begins his book in an unexpected place— not with a series of habits to develop, but rather with a mission to clarify what you really want to achieve. After all, if distraction is the leading yourself away from what you really want to be working on, you first have to identify what that core mission is in order to remove the things that distract from it. That’s why the first section of Powerful Focus is called Gaining Clarity. It begins with 15 questions that anyone can use to identify their most important goals.
- What do you really, really want?
- If you were to wake up tomorrow, completely alone without any family members, friends, or colleagues to influence your decisions, what would you do differently?
- If you were to be totally honest with yourself, what would you start doing now and what would you stop doing?
- If you were guaranteed to succeed in everything you do, where would you want to be in three years?
- If you could spend your day exactly the way you want to, what would you be doing from morning to night? What would your ideal day consist of?
- If you could focus only on doing one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you understood and truly believed you could achieve absolutely anything you want by sticking to it for long enough, what would you pursue for the next three to five years?
- When you are happiest at work, what are you doing?
- What do you find so easy that you genuinely wonder why others struggle to do the same thing?
- What do people around you say you’re great at?
- What did you enjoy most when you were a kid?
- Who do you envy and why?
- If you had all the time and money in the world, what would you do?
- If you had complete confidence and were already your absolute best self, what would you be doing with your life?
- How do you want to express yourself to the world?
By asking yourself these questions, you may just begin to find the path to pursuing your greatest passion. From there, you can unlock the focus necessary to pursue it to the fullest potential.
The Bottom Line
Powerful Focus sets itself apart from other books by directing readers to the core source of distraction— an inability to identify what they’re most passionate about so they can cut away the things that don’t serve that goal.
Taylor Berrett is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and host of the podcast Alone in a Room. His other book reviews can be found here.