As a kid growing up in India I read the story about Arjuna, the famous warrior prince of the epic Mahabharata. He was a renowned archer. As a student he was told to practice his skill by aiming at the clay pigeon’s eye from a distance. Such was his focus that when aiming for his shot he could only see the clay pigeon’s eye, rest of the scenery used to fade away from his vision.
Now move to modern times to my humble life as a guy living in Princeton area of New Jersey and working in downtown Manhattan. My commute uses multiple modes of transport, wifey baby drops me at the bus station in the car which is 3 minutes ride, bus takes me to the train station, the express train drops me to the next train station, the second train takes me to the World Trade Center terminal and from there I walk 12 minutes to my office in the Wall Street area. Phew, friends this is my everyday morning commute which takes around 1 hour 45 minutes. I am an early riser who wakes up every day at a crazy hour of 4AM to do some reading and yoga on alternate days and to be out of the door at 6.35AM. To know how this schedule has sharpened my focus…to ridiculous limits, read on.
One fine morning my alarm clock woke me at 4AM and I thought what the heck, I can use some extra sleep. I reset the alarm clock to 5.45 which would have given me barely enough time to be out of the door at 6.35. Sure enough, at 5.45 I woke up and completed the 3 Ss(S**t, Shave and Showered for the uninitiated) and drank a cup of juice. I woke up my poor wife and dragged her half asleep to my bus station. Now my bus comes at 6.40 and I wait in the car on cold mornings till it comes. On this fateful morning I kept on looking at clock .41, .42, .43, .44, .45 and the bus is still nowhere. Now I called up my buddy on his cellphone who takes the same bus from the previous bus stop. My buddy answered the phone and in a sleepy voice asked me that why the hell I am calling him at 3.45AM!!!
Here is the explanation, what happened was that previous night my six year old had fiddled with the digital alarm clock in my bed room and set it at 3 hours ahead. All this time after waking up I was staring at only the minute digits of the clocks…the one in my family room, the one in the car…remember me looking at the time in the car “.41, .42, .43, .44 and when till .45”, all that while I did not even look at the hours side of the digits. Now friends, that is called the supreme focus similar to what Arjuna used to have while taking an aim. So you must agree with me now that the mechanical life of modern times sure sharpens our focus.
Oh, back to my story, we did come back home from the bus station, now what we did with extra 3 hours at hand and with kids sound asleep is classified :-)