We Are Hardwired to Focus on One Thing at a Time


Tom Corley boats - crop

Since 2004, I’ve been studying the wealthy. I’ve found two core ways self-made millionaires rose from poverty or the middle-class:

  1. Live Below Your Means and Wisely Invest Your Savings or
  2. Pursue Something You are Passionate About

In all of my years of studying the wealthy, I learned a lot about number two – passion. One of the most important things I’ve learned about the wealthy who pursue some dream or passion, is that they focus single-mindedly on one thing for many, many years. They devote those years to learning, growing and practicing until they become expert in whatever it is they are pursuing. They avoid any distractions that prevent them from their single-minded pursuit. Eventually, they become expert in what they do. Only after they become an expert, do they then begin to realize financial success. And this, I found, takes a long time.

Based on my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to become an expert when you are pursuing more than one thing at a time. Our brains do not operate that way. We are neurologically hardwired for single-minded focus. When we embrace this neurological template, success becomes inevitable.

When you pursue something you are passionate about, your brain enters something called flow. Flow is a mental state that marshals all of the resources of the brain. In a state of flow, the left hemisphere, right hemisphere, limbic system, brain stem and cerebellum all work in unison, like a well-trained orchestra. When your brain is in a state of flow, you are able to see solutions to the problems and obstacles that get in your way. Flow can only be achieved through singular focus.

Most don’t understand this and that is why so many fail. They mistakenly believe they can pursue more than one thing at a time. When you pursue more than one initiative, one passion or one dream at a time, at best you will gain mediocrity. At worst, you will fail. Most voluntarily fail before they lose everything, which is known as quitting. Others involuntarily fail by losing everything. 

Single-minded focus leads to flow. Flow leads to success. Success leads to wealth.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit

Speak Your Mind