OBJECTIVES AND MARSHMALLOWS

L80pxtreeike betting cleverly on an accumulator, it was possible – with careful planning – to maximise holiday time this Easter. The consolation prize for those who didn’t get their act together is an amazing emptiness in the streets, and a mood of mild indolence in the office.

So ‘chop-chop’ cry the team leaders.

‘Lets focus, people!’

Objective setters are in the ascendant: they feel more needed than ever.

How else to drag our attention back to where it should be, to regenerate some drive and ambition?

Concentrate on the goal, keep your eyes on the prize, forward march.

But insistent exhortations to ‘focus’ and to get back to the objectives can make lots of us feel like doing the opposite (guilty). Why is that?

Some help arrived in the form of a little etymology paragraph at an exhibition.

Focus.

In Latin, it literally means ‘hearth’, the hearth of the household; a gathering point around the fire. As usage and meaning morphed (especially perhaps post Keppler in the 1600s around optics and mathematics and convergence) the sense of a concentration of energy at one point ahead came to the fore.

But how much more motivational to recall the older hearth and fire meaning.

The most indolent team might be persuaded by the thought of shared campfire stories, a toasted marshmallow or two. The idea of warmth, support and belonging is so seductive.

During any low energy in-between time it is helps to galvanise teams with reminders to focus. But perhaps it’s even more effective to gather them around a metaphorical hearth; a shared and supportive focus.

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