Stay Focused

Always keep the main thing, the main thing.

posted on December 19, 2023
Sheriff Jim Wilson

A few nights ago, I watched a young man win the bull riding competition at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. What really got my attention was that he was injured while riding his fifth bull, breaking a rib and being knocked unconscious, among other things. Instead of lying in his hospital bed and whining, he came back the next day, riding five more bulls to win become the 2023 World’s Champion bull rider.

What, you might ask, does this have to do with personal defense?  Well, this young man sucked up his problems and focused on the task at hand, winning the world’s championship and lots of money. Focusing on the task at hand is the key take away.

Let’s face it, too often our trips to the range turn out to be more social events than practice sessions. And there is nothing wrong with that, but it may not do much to hone our defensive skills. It is far better to spend a short time to ourselves, working on the basics of marksmanship. It’s not about how many shots we fire; it’s about how many bullets we put right where we intended to. Focus on the task at hand and then get on about having an enjoyable day at the range with our friends.

The same is true with our awareness of what is going on around us. All of life’s duties and concerns often get in our way. I don’t know about you, but I have to continually keep reminding myself to pay attention. “PAY ATTENTION, STUPID”, is my personal mantra … it helps me stay focused on looking for problems.

Finally, the last lesson from our young rodeo cowboy is to not give up just because we are hurt. Being beaten or otherwise injured doesn’t  necessarily mean you are going to lose. Being shot doesn’t mean you are going to die. We fight the evil as long as it is a threat and as long as we are possibly able. We fight to win, to protect ourselves and family.

When I talk about staying focused, I am preaching to myself as much as I am to you. We all have our weak moments and those are what can defeat us. The way to win is to stay focused on the task at hand, whether that is honing our defensive skills, being alert for danger, or winning the fight. And we all need to be reminded of that on a regular basis.


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