What Does Focus Even Mean?

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Relax.

Focus.

Teachers and invigilators tend to say things like these before an exam begins, in an effort to give us a pep talk to instantly calm our frantic nerves, all those neurons revising last minute details. They try to motivate us to write down every single answer that we didn’t even study while preparing!

When it came to me, however, I never really understood what they were trying to achieve. I mean, I never really got what they meant when they asked me to focus. They say focus, I ask howww? What do you mean?! How should I focus, what should I focus on? You know?!

And so, today I’m going to try and answer the question: What does focus even mean?

It was about a year back that I began to understand what focus might mean. I was in the middle of this intracollege writing competition and I had advanced to the final round, and it felt like everything was falling apart because I had no creative clue of what to write next. I don’t know what wise old neuron gave me this idea, but I began focusing on my breath.

I remember being told right from my childhood, that whenever you feel angry, anxious, nervous, scared, just close your eyes, count your breath, focus on it, and you’ll calm down. Since I had nothing else to do, and nowhere else to go, I decided to do this. When I opened my eyes a minute later, I saw this third year student, who was supervising the event. She looked at me with her eyes wide, as if trying to say, “Time jaa raha hai, aankhein bandh kyu kar rahe ho! Likho jaldi! (You’re running out of time, why are you sitting with your eyes shut? Quickly, write!)” I smiled at her and for the next 15 minutes, I tried my best to write down whatever best I could come up with.

Later, I found out I won the competition. I’d never gotten to the point of hoping to win it, because in that moment, all I was doing was breathing, and acknowledging that process.

Of course I sound all wise right now standing here, but its something I just happened to do, and it worked. Since then, any time I begin to feel overwhelmed, I just breathe. I don’t know, maybe that’s what focus means, or at least that’s what it means to me. So, today I want to ask you, what does it mean to you?


Remember, a few months back, I shared a post with you, which I said was a speech I gave in my Public Speaking class? Well this post was the latest speech I gave in the class.

I hope you liked it! If you want to read more of what I write elsewhere, or just see the stuff I do in life, go check out my Instagram and Facebook. You’ll find the links at the bottom and top of my page, respectively.

I’ll see you guys soon!

On New Opportunities

They said (degree) college life will be fun.

They were right.

They said I’d learn a lot there.

They were right.

They never said I’d learn so much so early! ‘Cause I have. I’ve learnt a lot. And very little has been from studying the subjects, ironically enough.

One opportunity I got at college was to take part in and volunteer to organise the fests that take place at college annually. I volunteered for two such fests, which took place during the past week.

I definitely learnt a lot just from working with so many people organizing something of this scale, but I think I was offered more to learn, because of the different experiences I had working with two different sets of people on two different things. The people I got to know, the things I got to be a part of; it was all worth the ‘trouble’.

One of the fests was organised by a department that I wasn’t connected with in any way because the curriculum I’ve chosen doesn’t include that subject. Had I not gone to that first meeting when they were calling out for volunteers, I would never have been part of this great event, and never would have gotten to know all of those wonderful people, just because I don’t share a subject with them.

Hmm. Funny how that could have worked out.

Now that I think of it, these fests were an awesome place to conduct a social experiment. I realise now that my perceptions of a lot of people changed over the course of the three to four months we spent planning for the fests. Some people to whom I was indifferent, I now really respect. Some who I really respected, I don’t as much, anymore.

I won’t say that this change in perception is solely because I got to know them better over time, because we all judge people and we have a perception in the first place because we’ve made a judgment of them. That isn’t always bad if you don’t consciously let that judgment get in the way of you interacting with them and working with them. I’ll admit there were a few incidents where I failed at doing that. I really did not like a few people I had to work with. There were moments where I consciously despised them and did not want to meet them at all. I ranted about them to my friends and parents. I got myself angry over them. I tired myself out over them. I’m just really fucking grateful to have my parents and friends around, because I would have been cribbing for much longer if they hadn’t listened patiently to my rants, and then given me a kick up the butt to get it together and do what I gotta do.

At the same time, there were so many more people who I’d love to spend more time with. There’s so many people who I have massive respect for and I always will. I had disagreements with a few people in the heat of the moment. I got pulled under the pressure a little and let go for a bit. I said some things to some people, and I shouldn’t have done that. I let them know of that, and I think my relationship with them is in a better place because of the past week.

The last week has been really good for me. I’ve done a lot of running around, both out on physical ground, but also up in my head. I’ve made a lot of new friends, and been a part of a few things at college, and had experiences I’ve never had before. Since the ‘first time’ only comes once, I guess I’ll never have those experiences again.

I wouldn’t like it to be any other way.