Tee-Ball Focused boys playing

How 5-Year-olds teach us that being focused is more important than being smart

In Mindset, Productivity by C.J. CatoLeave a Comment

So I’m watching my 5-year-old and all his teammates at tee-ball practice the other day and one thing becomes really apparent. I notice that physical ability has absolutely nothing to do with success on a tee-ball field. There are kids who are literally half the size and speed of the others, yet performing at ten times the level. There are kids who haven’t really developed the motor skills necessary to throw a ball 10 feet who are getting the job done better than kids who can throw it 40 feet. Who are these kids and what is their superpower?


Blayne Owens

It’s simply that the kids that are focused, will walk all over any kids that aren’t. When the coach says something to get a kid to listen and focus for a moment, suddenly that kid is the best player on the team. They run toward the ball, pick it up, and throw it to first. Perfect! But five minutes later it could be that the same kid is no longer focused and when the ball is hit to him, instead of throwing it to first, he might be making dirt angels somewhere between 2nd and 3rd (true story). I guess at this point you’re wondering if I have a point, or if I just like making fun of small children. I actually have a point!


Boy playing tee-ball

Michael Cato

Here’s the thing. We all know at least someone who had great potential but never focused it on anything; we also know of that person who maybe didn’t seem to have as much potential, or wasn’t in the best circumstances starting out, but because they remained focused on their goal, they went on to be successful.

I honestly believe that your focus is more important than your potential. If I’m betting money on the success of either a guy with an average IQ who is passionate and focused on his goals, vs. someone much smarter whom lacks focus… I’m picking the “average” guy every single time. I’ve seen this apply to practically every aspect of life. People who focus on saving for retirement and put together a plan save considerably more. People who focus on where they want to be five years from now in their career do better five years later. 

Are you focused?

sketch successful businessman concept with solution diagramThe next time you think that maybe you aren’t smart enough, or don’t have what it takes to reach a life goal. I would like for you to ask yourself instead, are you focused enough. Questioning some finite potential you think you have is a dead end; you can’t do anything about it, and it wouldn’t be a very good indicator of future success anyway. Questioning your focus, questioning your drive and your passion, these are not only indicators of your future success, but they are firmly in your control. 

Further Reading:

If you would like to read more about how to get focused on your goals, you may enjoy our article, LONG-TERM THINKING: THE MILLIONAIRE MINDSET.

You may also enjoy the classic book The Magic of Thinking Big which is this wonderfully written book from the 50’s that breaks down all the silly ways we limit ourselves in life, and how to start thinking differently about them. I think I am going to dig this out and read it again,,, it was that good.