Posted by: universitymindlab | August 3, 2008

The Power of Focus

The Power of Focus

By Bakari Akil II, Ph.D.

Recently, we bought a pool table for our new home. I have always wanted one and moving into a new house presented the perfect opportunity for creating a billiard room.

Now, I haven’t played pool regularly all my life. As a kid, I sometimes played at recreation centers. In the Army, I occasionally played in the barracks. It was always a ‘toss up’ on who would win whenever I played. However, at this stage of my life I wanted my win-loss ratio to be different. I wanted to see what would happen if I focused on playing at least two games, at least 5 times a week, over a significant period of time.

I decided I would test out my experiment against certain family members who I recalled thrashing me in an outing to Dave & Busters (D&Bs) a few years ago. (I’m a regular Count de Monte Cristo). To keep track of my progress I designed a simple system to record how often I played.

After a week of practicing, I saw no progress and actually lost most of my games. After two weeks I noticed improvement. —– I am proud to announce that, after two months, I had a group of people over to play pool, including most of the group I lost to at D&Bs and I beat every last person and didn’t lose a match the entire night.

Now, Of course I won because I have a pool table in my house (the majority of my guests do not).

Of course I won because I played at least two games a day (5 days a week) for two months, while other people concentrated on other things.

However, the important point is that I focused on this outcome. I came up with a plan and visualized myself winning. Further, I only spent 15 to 30 minutes a day practicing. Enough time to have fun, but not long enough to feel like a chore.

I concentrated my energies on a task that was important to me. Yes, I have witnessed this at times in my life in other areas, but I wanted to conduct the experiment with our pool table because I knew that within my social circle, I could quickly measure the results. I practiced every day in small spurts which paid off in big personal dividends.

Imagine what could happen if we continually applied focus to the most important areas of our lives.

Coming up with a plan and applying concentrated effort until you achieve your objective is the key to success. Not losing sight of one’s vision and applying focused action to make it happen is a valuable habit to acquire.

All I can tell you is that it felt great. I am a more competent player and others acknowledged my new prowess. I can also carry that confidence into other areas and I can also guarantee that it increased the desire of my guests to raise their own level of play.

For me, it was playing pool. For you it may be a sport, a class in school, a task at work or your career in general.

Make a Plan – Continue to Focus on Carrying it Out – Enjoy the Benefits!


If you enjoy or are inspired by these writings, leave a message. I am always glad to hear from you!



  1. Great post. has great tips and guides on improving your brain power. You can give your brain power a boost just by follwing the tips that has got to offer.

  2. Thanks Samantha,

    I will definitely check out your website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: