Pay Attention! Watch Your Progress

Blah Blah Blah Bang

“Blah, blah, blah… Bang.”

– Unattributed

What do the words ‘focus’ and ‘domestic hearth’ have in common? And what do they have to do with this quotation?

Typically this quote means that things go unheeded until too late. You put a pan of water on the hearth and play a game on your phone as you wait; you are so distracted by the game you don’t notice the water boil over.

The ‘bang’ happens because you lose attention. You lose focus.

Am I trying too hard to link ‘focus’ with a ‘domestic hearth’? Not really. In Latin the word ‘focus’ literally means ‘a domestic hearth’.

For millennia, the hearth was the central point of domestic homes. An honoured place was to sit near the hearth. The hearth was the focal point.

With the invention of telescopes in the 17th Century, the word ‘focus’ was adopted because the lens needed to be centred on the object for it to be well defined.

If we want to avoid a ‘bang’ in our project, task or desired outcome, then we need to continually pay attention to our current progress. We need to domestic hearth… I mean, focus. We need to focus.

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