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Soft Focus

Soft Focus

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What do you understand when I say ‘soft focus’?

Before I started with coaching as a profession, I believed the adage to success was – ‘focus sharp and focus hard – if you want to achieve anything’. Please stop and think – how do you feel when I say ‘focus sharp and focus hard’?  Do you feel energized?  And yet maybe a tad bit stressed? Excited? Restricted?

During the course of our training to be a coach, in one of the practice sessions, I heard my coach speak about having a ‘soft focus’.  It involves keeping a soft relaxed focus on your goal, on your intention and functioning ‘from’ there. I cannot confidently say that I understood what he meant.  I had a vague idea, maybe, but did not understand the essence of his words.

Recently, I was at a shooting range. Seeing national level shooters practice. I looked at them – seemingly focusing sharp and focusing hard.  It made sense.  You are aiming for the bullseye…you have to focus…Macchli ki aankh!  I got lucky because they allowed me to try my hand at it, too.

I picked up a rifle for the first time.  It looked lighter in their hands. The target was 10 meters away. I tried to stand like the shooters, waited for a couple of seconds, focused hard, focused sharp and fired. The pellet did not even touch the target! The team’s coach walked up to me and asked me not to fire.

And he echoed the words spoken by my NLP coach.

“Stand firm.  Prepare.  Take stance.  Get still. Breathe. And then look at the target through the eyepiece, and keep the target in SOFT FOCUS” he said. And I fired 5 more shots after that – one after the other. You can see the result!

I finally experienced the way to succeed.

I sensed the same, recently in a coaching session. When the coachee was focusing very intently on her problem, she was going round and round in circles.  And upon an invitation to slow down and look at it with softer eyes, a softer focus, she was able to see what she had been missing earlier.

Not just the coachee, I, as a coach have realized that a soft focus gives me an opportunity to take in a lot more information, and yet be relaxed and receptive. As a coach, the senses have to be sharp, yet the focus has t be more diffused – in order to not get fixated on any one aspect.

I could see the correlation of this concept in other areas as well.  How the focus needs to be adjusted in different phases of any journey.  While preparing and practicing – keeping a focus laser sharp.  While performing, knowing that your practice, your actions, and intention – will allow the target to be reached – keep softer focus!

I wonder how Arjun ACTUALLY did it! I have a hunch that he sure knew about soft focus!




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