As the pace of life in our society has increased through the advent of modern technology, many people have taken to setting increasingly ambitious goals for themselves. While this type of goal-setting can be beneficial, it can also be important to couple this attitude with a powerful trait that can be critical in achieving those goals — the ability to focus. To explore the many benefits of this trait, we turned to the career of Juan Monteverde, a successful securities attorney. Read on for an overview of how he’s used his ability to focus to advance his professional life.
The importance of focus
Almost by definition, one of the key characteristics of focus is that it can only be directed at one thing at a time. Clearly setting one’s attention on a task at hand, or a goal to be accomplished, is really the only way to use one’s focus to the greatest extent possible. Even those who are adept at multitasking abide by this tenet, as such an activity consists of rapidly shifting one’s focus from one task to another.
However, the ability to focus on one task at a time is becoming something of a rare commodity in society at present. Often, people find themselves unfocused and frazzled as they seek to go about their daily activities. Some experts have claimed that this is a natural reaction to the overstimulation that comes from having constant access to the internet and its practically unending stream of information.
Whatever the cause, this unfocused mindset can be severely detrimental to one’s effectiveness. When we’re not giving our full attention to a task or idea, we tend to engage with it rather poorly. This can result in low quality of work, unfinished efforts, and ideas that aren’t as well-developed as they could be.
Focus in action
The professional life of Juan Monteverde, by contrast, provides a picture of what can be accomplished when a person utilizes their focus to a high level. One area this can be seen is through his experiences navigating law school. Though the pursuit is notoriously difficult, and habitually causes many people to drop out, the securities attorney was able to not only complete his education, but also graduate near the top of his class.
His focus on his legal education during this time is evident through the activities in which he engaged outside of his classwork. Rather than turn his attention to unrelated pursuits in his free time, he was often seen continuing his focus on law in various ways. To this end, he served as a staff editor for the law review and was also President of his school’s official newspaper — Plead the Fifth.
The attorney also took on work at a local law firm as a summer associate and stayed as a law clerk during his school year to deepen his experience in the law. That work, which was conducted at Diaz Reus, centered on areas of commercial disputes and government investigations. He worked with both U.S.-based and international clients and was exposed to a range of sophisticated litigation and arbitration topics. This plethora of experience would have been difficult to obtain if the attorney had not been so focused on improving the quality of his education. As we’ll see, that focus paid off down the line.
Navigating multiple areas of focus
One thing that’s important to note relating to focus is that it’s perfectly fine for the predominate object of one’s attention to shift over time. That is to say that one shouldn’t feel compelled to concentrate one’s efforts in a specific area just to stay committed to a single space. In fact, one of the powerful benefits of focusing on an undertaking is that a person can then truly evaluate whether or not it’s something they want in their life.
We can again see this idea manifest in the life of the attorney, this time through his efforts as an undergraduate. When he first began his education, Juan Monteverde was focused on building a career for himself in finance. He found the field interesting and was fascinated by the inner workings of financial markets and how they affected the broader economy.
That changed, however, after taking on a part-time job at a law firm in college. Through his work at the firm, he participated in a two-week trial and he came to a greater appreciation of the positive effect an attorney can have on the life of their clients. He eventually made the decision to shift his focus to a career in law. This helps illustrate how, when we truly focus on the efforts at hand, we’re better equipped to make important decisions that affect our life.
In some ways, the true power of focus is best seen in the long-term. This idea can be seen in the attorney’s life through his current role running his own law firm. Such a role is not one that typically manifests overnight, instead, it is often the result of a lengthy career gaining expertise in one’s field.
Accruing that expertise has been an exercise in long-term focus for the attorney. He’s worked at several firms in his life and has gained experience at each in different ways. Early experiences exposed him to the ins and outs of life as an attorney and also refined his idea of what type of law he wanted to practice. As he became more practiced in his field, he took on greater responsibility and began leading larger teams to collaborate on a single project. The ability to focus on his overarching goals throughout this process helped him build his career in an intentional fashion.
As we’ve seen above, the power of focus is multifaceted. It can help a person accomplish goals in both the short-term and the long-term. It can also improve the quality of one’s work by directing more of a person’s mental energy towards a task at hand. The power of this idea can be seen repeatedly throughout the life of Juan Monteverde, both during his formal education and his career to follow. If you’re looking for ways to achieve a similarly high level of success, consider undertaking efforts to improve your own ability to focus. It just may be the extra boost you need to reach and surpass your professional and personal goals.
More about Juan Monteverde at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmonteverde