Editorials by Robert Kirwan

Changing Your Focus Can Produce 
Remarkable Results

Have you ever come up against a problem that you just couldn’t solve? Where it felt like you were simply banging your head against a brick wall - over and over and over again - without making any “headway”? Sure you have. And can you remember how you finally came up with a solution? You most likely took a step back and approached the problem from a different angle, with a new focus which enabled you to find a simple solution which was there all along. 

Consider the lesson of the moth which was discovered in Joe Lake’s garage one day. As Joe was preparing to travel to his office, he opened the garage door and startled a large moth which immediately tried to escape by flying to the circle-topped window of the door. It tried frantically to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass. Joe tried raising the garage door higher in hopes of aiding it’s escape. That caused it to fly higher and become entangled in a spider web. Fearful that it would remain entangled in the web, Joe took a long-handled broom to assist him in helping the moth escape the tangled threads. The moth then returned to furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but instead, the moth remained captive. By simply turning his focus to one side, he would have easily exited his prison. Rather, due to his intent on one direction, he remained confined, captive and perhaps doomed.

People are quite the same as the moth in this story. Too often we come across individuals who are so sure of them self that they refuse to change their focus. They would rather continue in one direction without changing focus or giving consideration to other alternatives. How often we have witnessed failure, when a simple change of direction would have resulted in success.

It is very much like the old farmer who had plowed around a large rock in one of his fields for years. He had broken several plowshares and a cultivator on it and had grown rather morbid about the old rock. After breaking another plowshare one day, and remembering all the trouble the rock had caused him through the years, he finally decided to do something about it. When he put the crowbar under the rock, he was surprised to discover that it was only about six inches thick and that he could break it up easily with a sledgehammer. As he was carting the pieces away he had to smile, remembering all the trouble that the rock had caused him over the years and how easy it would have been to get rid of it sooner.

Next time you find yourself facing a “brick wall”, before you spend too much time banging your head needlessly against it, remember the moth banging into the glass. Remember the farmer who finally decided to put a crowbar under the rock and discovered a simple solution. Try to change directions and refocus on the problem. By approaching the problem from a different direction and viewpoint, the solution may be easier than you thought.

Until the next time...


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