Thought Leader Christina Bengtsson InterviewBack to blog
I naturally developed a deep interest in human cognition and emotions long before my careers as an athlete and officer. This passion drove me to analyze myself and others rigorously, leading to valuable insights. The ability to eliminate distractions and tap into inner potential became crucial for my success, both short-term and long-term.
After leaving the sporting and military worlds, I observed a lack of focus in society, marked by quick fixes and attention addiction. Motivated to make a difference, I decided to share my lessons on focus. After helping diverse individuals and receiving positive feedback, it’s clear that focus is under siege in our time and needs greater attention in both individuals and society to address the challenges and opportunities ahead.
Starting late in sports, with its technical and mental demands and razor-thin margins, turned out to be an advantage. I was already a strong individual when I pursued becoming the best in the world, safeguarding my sense of self even if I failed in my goal. My aim wasn’t solely to win medals; it was also about personal development, which helped me find deeper meaning and passion beyond victory.
My success was rooted in discipline, creativity, and a touch of madness. I practiced shooting in the dead of night in remote woods, even dressing up as a rooster on the range to inject humor and enhance sharpness. I sometimes shot at biscuits instead of traditional targets to ease the pressure. While I was technically inferior to others, this drove me to develop intense focus and concentration, valuing quality over quantity. Despite numerous setbacks, this approach led to exponential growth in technical skill and self-esteem.
Focus is the key to combating personal and societal fragmentation in our fast-paced world. It involves self-discipline, cognitive control, and cultivating qualities like presence, attentiveness, and empathy. While meditation and mindfulness play a role in achieving focus, it goes beyond mere presence. It includes precision, excellence in thought, choosing the right direction, and shifting from scattered attention to unified focus.
While people often associate focus with peak performance and productivity, it encompasses deeper values, connecting to empathy, active listening, learning, and effective communication. Focus means a distraction-free mind aimed at excellence and the optimal use of our cognitive and emotional potential.
Working with a diverse audience, from motivated students to successful individuals, reveals that when people unite their focus for a common good, positive societal impacts occur. In our fragmented world, focus may even outweigh IQ in importance.
Consider the flip side – think about the immense potential lost in a sea of irrelevant information. This is disheartening, especially in a world inundated with information overload and the constant demand for attention.
Reflect on these questions:
Respecting one’s own attention led me to appreciate the importance of respecting others’ attention, fostering contentment and constructive calmness instead of perpetually seeking validation. The idea of “full potential” varies from person to person and situation to situation. It’s more about functioning at your best, sustaining performance without exhaustion, and living a purpose-driven life.
Focus helps us find satisfaction in ourselves and our circumstances, providing the courage to strive for excellence. It’s worth recognizing that the solution for a fulfilling everyday life often begins with our own intellect, addressing the shortcomings within ourselves.
Focus is contagious, and it’s valuable for leaders to serve as role models. However, this sets a high standard, requiring adjustments and careful monitoring due to the fast-paced nature of work.
Leaders also have a responsibility to create an environment where employees can develop their own focus, tailored to their organization’s unique needs. This process varies between organizations and takes time, but the positive effects are motivating when they become evident.
By championing fundamental values and methods that support focus, both internally and externally, leaders play a role in driving positive systemic change. This contributes to a healthier and more cohesive society.
It’s a bold mission that stems from my drive to do more than I can as thought leader, guru and role model.
Reclaim Focus® is committed to illuminating the value of focus, and the impact it has at individual and societal level. It’s a non-profit organisation which, through research, strives to help current and future generations to learn focus strategies for life.
Reclaim Focus® is a movement that partners with people, scientists and organisations from across the world through a Focus Theory of Change to instil and develop the power of focus in a fragmented world
We take a holistic approach on focus and how it can be used to address societal challenges. It is about empowering individuals to use the power of focus to gain freedom, improve performance and lead a more fulfilling life, and hopefully to move our social, economical and cultural life in a positive direction.
We all want human potential to develop and not be hindered, and if our ambition is to move from blur, ambiguity and shallowness to clarity, directness and quality, regardless of whether we’re looking at the large or small perspective, then we all need to help one another.
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