Singularly Focused

You are not in charge of the universe; you are in charge of yourself.   E. Arnold Bennett

Joshua Chamberlain played a key role in American history. He was a professor who spoke seven languages, president of Bowdoin College and governor of Maine.  Chamberlain was born into humble means and learned to work hard from a young age. The History Channel tells the story of a young Chamberlain helping his father plow a field where they came upon a large rock. Instead of solving the problem for the lad, his father simply told his son to “move it – do it.” The boy did and the attitude of being singularly focused on the problem at hand remained a theme throughout his life.

Joshua Chamberlain is most remembered for his quick thinking as a Union officer on Little Round Top at the battle of Gettysburg. Noticing a gap in their line of defense, he quickly assembled his men to meet the Confederate onslaught. His troops repelled the repeated advances and saved the Union flank. Had not Chamberlain and his men acted quickly, with singular focus, the Confederates may have been able to drive the Union army from the battlefield and possibly win the battle of Gettysburg. Conceivably, such turn of fortune could have changed the course of our nation.

All of us have many responsibilities we are juggling. Being singularly focused on the task at hand is critical to success. Sometimes we just need to “move it – do it.