It’s a good thing my son and I are on great terms. His biceps look like chiseled baseballs – and his back resembles an increasingly perfect “V” – and he’s only fourteen years of age. Earlier this year he beat me in arm wrestling for the first time – with an ear-to-ear grin on his face. (Don’t worry, I’m planning my glorious comeback). Two things have bitten him: working out and hunting. He is focused, passionate and living on purpose. And, just like my younger son, he has injected me with massive amounts of motivation. Have you mistaken mere movement with moving forward?

He recently approached me, an uncomfortable look on his face. “Dad,” he began, “my back hurts.”

Knowing he does push-ups every other day, and seeing the pain on his face, I probed, “How many pushups are you up to now?

“Two hundred,” he answered.

Two hundred?” Are you kidding me? I’m positive I’ve never done two hundred pushups in an entire month. “You might want to cut that down in half, to give your body a rest, so it can catch up with you.”

As we move forward, we sometimes move backward. Have you mistaken motion for progress?



I then made the mistake of asking him about his newly started pull-up regimen. “How about your pull-ups? How many of those are you doing?”

“I’m shooting for 60, but I’m not there yet.” He’s inching toward his goal. I’m confident he’ll get there – and probably surpass it.

My son’s focus, passion and purpose are contagious – and they remind me that these things are not merely good; they are great. There will come a day when his focus, like his workouts, will peak – and then he may struggle to find what came so naturally in youth. He may mistake busyness for progress, activity for success, and volume for value. Don’t we often do so?



As we move forward, we sometimes move backward. How fast are you moving – and have you mistaken motion for progress? Has the focus you once had diminished? Are you missing the kind of focus, passion and purpose you need, to not only get you moving, but moving toward what matters most?

Focus and passion in one area of life can move us forward in every area. They create a sense of purpose. To get yourself moving, take a look at your focus. Make sure your interests are not divided.

THINK. PRAY. LIVE: LORD GOD, please help me to focus on the things that really matter, and to let the things that don’t matter fade from my attention span. Don’t let me waste energy, time, or money on things that will take away my focus and diminish my passion and impact. Most of all, help me to be focused on, and passionate for, You.

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Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comA Call For Courage, Michael Anthony I'm a husband, father, inspirational speaker, podcaster, blogger, and Lead Pastor of Genesis Church, in York, Pennsylvania, where I live among farm animals and snack foods. I'm the author of A Call for Courage: Living With Power, Truth and Love In An Age of Intolerance and Fear (Thomas Nelson Publishers), and the soon to be released Courageous Life™ Motivational Planner. Both are available wherever books are sold. Send speaking, interview, and guest appearance inquiries to , or click here and do your thing. For keynote speaking, interview and guest appearance inquiries, contact
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