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Focus: What I Learned About Life From Mopping a Floor


Your Face to the Clean

When our kids were small, they had to learn how to sweep and mop a floor. You begin at one end of the room (the farthest corner away) and then work your way backward. You always face the part that is clean. Then you can see if you missed something. You focus on the clean and work away at the dirty.

Your Back to the Dirty

Then, with your face to what is already clean, keep your back to the dirty.

My slogan was, “Keep your face to the clean and your back to the dirty.”

This works when you’re helping your kids move along in an orderly way so they don’t backtrack over what has already been cleaned. If you always face the clean, you will be efficient. Dirt won’t be swept or mopped over more than once. Nothing frustrates me more during cleaning than when a child leaves a section unmopped and has to walk back over the clean floor to mop the section that was missed. This requires the entire previously clean section to be mopped again.

Your Attitude Focus

That’s how life is. If our focus (and therefore our face) is toward what is clean, we will not be focusing on what is dirty (or not clean). Far too often, we get sidetracked¬†and lose our focus.

We end up facing the dirt instead of turning away from evil.

What we turn our attention to is what becomes our focus.

That’s why we need to keep our face to the clean and our back to the dirty!

Keep your face to the clean and your back to the dirty

When sweeping and mopping floors, it works. If you’re trying to break a habit, this works. Attitude struggles? Try this slogan. Relationship conflicts? Put this to practice. Tempted to gossip? Remember this slogan!

When you don’t know where to start or what to do next, start sweeping away at the dirt. Keep your face to the clean and your back to the dirty. You’ll see.

It will especially help you find – and keep – focus in life.


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