Have a 'Goal' or 'Focus' in Life
by Elizabeth Menon

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It is a well-accepted fact that having a focus or a goal in life makes that person a better achiever. We all focus on something or someone at some stage in our lives whether we realize it or not. Perhaps it acts as a magnetic force that drives one forward, to achieve greater things in life. Many people believe in God and some may have faith in the paranormal to achieve their goals. It is good to have something to look up to whether it is God, an idol, a priest or a fellow human being who has reached the zenith of his career. The three wise men had a star to focus on all those years ago on their journey to pay homage to the infant Jesus. The three ancient stargazers focused on the eastern star to arrive first on the scene carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh and the three of them were quite aware of the importance of having that 'eastern star' as their focus.

Belief in anything, be it God almighty, an earth god, astrology or numerology, it is guaranteed to be alien or incomprehensible to those who do not hold same ideas. Yet, while it is easy to dismiss the beliefs and ideals of others as misguided or meaningless, it is difficult to have no opinion about what lies behind our existence. The variety of theories to which question of life or focus is attributed is endless that has evoked many conflicts. One may find many similarities in a Christian praying before a crucifix, a Hindu or a Buddhist chanting before a deity, a Muslim facing Mecca for his prayers, someone yearning to be like his idol or an ardent politician standing by his convictions whatever his aspirations are; each of them would find incomprehensible differences in their worship. While the varying nature of their deity, spirit, convictions or focus may be quite obvious, they all indicate a need to be in touch with a superior force or to look up to some one who has achieved greater things in life: following his/her path would reflect the same need.

An individual's personal conviction may be based on multitude of systems of beliefs, past and present; one believes in God, different faiths or an object or a person influencing that faith. The shroud in Turin is such an example. There are many who believe that the shroud is Christ's burial cloth. The shroud seems to arouse so much love and hate. It has the power to entrance even the practical minded and intelligent people. In April 1998, scientists claimed to have identified the blood group of Jesus as AB, after the tests done on the shroud. They feel that it is more important to believe in it rather than look for proof; they want to believe in it instead of doubting its credibility. This again reflects how human beings like to have a focus in life for their survival or to attain greater things in life, spiritual or otherwise or perhaps even refrain from things that are hazardous to their health.

To have a faith and to have faith in ones beliefs should form an important part in any ones life. It makes one more organized in life aiming high to achieve that goal; having a focus in life will help fulfilling that dream. Children try to please their parents and students their teachers, who help them to be better achievers and excel in their chosen profession. One feels obliged to fulfil the ideas and ideals of the person one looks up to.

The object of 'focus' may be quite different in value and authenticity, but it will be of great importance to the person concerned. It may help to put an emphasis on devotion and adhere to a well-defined moral code. One feels a deep-rooted desire to follow ones idol or the object of passion, without deviating from the right path, almost driven by the desire to please God, the object or person one looks up to. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that ones object of devotion stands for everything that is good. A force that reflects a need to be in touch with a superior force can drive the path of achievement; with appropriate human responses this can influence the lives of many of its believers.

© E Menon

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