Never Underestimate the Power of Focus

“Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” said the Minister of Transportation. “You stole our time travel machine because you were mad at your brother.”

Malcolm nodded rapidly. “Yes, that's right.”

“And you did this even though you knew that the machine could only take you back in time a maximum of thirty seconds?”


The Minister frowned. “But 30 seconds would not be enough to change anything your brother had done.”

Malcolm shrugged. “I wasn’t trying to change his actions.” 

“Then why did you steal the machine?”

“Because I was mad that Malcolm always went back in time, and I never did.”

The Minister pushed her chair back from the table. “Your brother has gone back in time, too?”

“Sure,” said Malcolm. “All the time.”

The Minister held up both of her hands to get him to stop, then pointed a finger at Malcolm. “Young man, you are telling me that your brother has also – repeatedly – stolen the time machine?”

Malcolm shook his head. “No. That’s not what I meant. He’s never taken the machine. He doesn’t need it.”

The Minister stood up, then started pacing. She weighed her words carefully. More than once, she was about to say something, then reconsidered.

Malcolm grew tired of waiting. “My brother doesn’t need a machine to travel through time. He can do it on his own.”

“On… his own?”

“Yep, he just thinks about where and when he wants to be.”

The Minister snorted. “That’s preposterous.”

Malcolm smiled. “20 years ago, that’s what everyone said about the idea of a time travel machine.”

That caught the Minister’s attention. Before she could respond, Malcolm continued.

“Adam is what my Dad calls physically unresolved. Dad says he’s always on the verge of slipping into another state. When he’s here, he’s not really here. When he’s there, he’s not really there.”

“You’re talking in riddles,” sneered the Minister.

“Spend a weekend with Adam, you’ll see what I mean,” muttered Malcolm.

"I am not someone to be trifled with," warned the Minister.

"Dad says that half the human population is unresolved, but for almost all of them, the term applies to their mental state. They can't decide if they want to eat more or lose weight. They don't know if it's better to work harder or take more vacation. 

UNRESOLVED: (of a person) uncertain of what to think or do. Synonyms - undecided, unsettled, undetermined, uncertain, in doubt, up in the air

The Minister found herself nodding; she knew this to be true.

"But Adam's physical form is unresolved, and his mental state is just the opposite. He can focus much harder than others, so he can shift his body in and out of our time."

"You're telling me that human focus can bend time?" challenged the Minister.

"Human focus can do a lot more than people realize," responded Malcolm.

"That's nonsense," said the Minister.

"Dad told me you'd say that," said Malcolm.

"He did, did he?" snapped the Minister, her anger rising.

Malcolm nodded and focused his thoughts, just like his brother taught him. Then he turned to the Minister and said, "No more questions, please. I need to get home and watch the ballgame."

The Minister paused; an odd look crossed her face, and she seemed to be fighting to control her own body. Finally, she croaked, "Sure... okay..." and opened the door for Malcolm.

As Malcolm left, he had a big smile on his face. "Like I told you, focus can do a lot more than people realize."


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(This blog has been re-posted with prior permission from Bruce Kasanoff. It originally appeared on LinkedIn).

Categories: Management

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Bruce Kasanoff

Bruce Kasanoff helps companies empower and inspire their employees. He brings relentlessly positive messages of personal empowerment, flexibility and clarity. ...

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