Specificity

Distinctive, definite, explicit definition, description or expectations; precise details or explanation

You cannot make it as a wandering generality. You must become a meaningful specific. Zig Ziglar

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. John Wooden

Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come. Perry Paxton

  When we focus and pay attention to whatever we are thinking or doing, the more likely we are performing at our best or close to it. The more we daydream, get distracted, multi-task, and generally do not focus on what we are doing; our effort or performance is less than our best.

     We all can relate to this. When we are specifically focused, zero in and blot everything else out of our minds, we think or perform at a higher level. We can remember a time where we “aced” a test, wrote a perfect paper or letter, came up with a tremendous solution to a problem or came up with a wonderful idea. Sometimes these things are called epiphanies, mountain top experiences, paradigm shifts, mystical moments and so forth. Athletes call this “being in the zone”. We were excellent at what we did, maybe even living up to or achieving at our potential. We were able to move from the “general zone” into the “specific”. There are moments in life where we surprise ourselves and do better than we expect or think we can do. Is there an explanation of why we able to do these things and what conditions allow them to happen?

     We are complex. All of us have quirks, idiosyncrasies, flaws, faults, strengths and weaknesses. Our computers sometimes foul up and do not do all they are supposed to do as quickly and as efficiently as we expect. We are much the same. Our wires get crossed and we malfunction. The best race cars must be finely tuned, everything working perfectly, in order to race at peak performance. We are the same. Our “i”s and “t”s must be dotted and crossed and “p’s and “q’s” properly used. We must be focused and on top of our game to achieve our best. We must be specific. If we cannot put it all together with specificity, we will not perform at our best. Most have chosen or are choosing to be general and mediocre, not willing to embrace specificity.

     Chances are every one of us has more to give than we give and are capable of doing more than we are doing. We are where we are, because we are where we have chosen to be. A little more specificity might help us do better. Sometimes a little more focused effort goes a very long way.

Challenge: This is a good time to perform an instant replay. Relive in your memory an experience where you performed and achieved peak performance or excellence. Chances are you were focused, in the zone, and pursuing your task with as much specificity as you could muster. In some ways becoming focused is like a fine tune adjustment to your mind. It is like a zoom lens. The more you can zoom in the more you can concentrate.

Wisdom: The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. William Morris

 Spiritual: (NIV)

In all our ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:26

Most of us spend more time in the general realm than in the “specific”. It takes focus and concentration, discipline and motivation and other ingredients to keep focused. We hold ourselves less accountable and responsible in the general rather than the specific. The path of least resistance favors the general and not the specific. Generally, we prefer the general and mediocre. We can ask God’s help to become more specific.

Prayer: Help me to do better at living up to my potential. Help me to wisely use my talents and abilities. 

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