No, I don't think you've missed the boat at all regarding using focus. Your example is a perfect example of how focus can be used. You might want to do some more reading about hypnosis, "peak states", and enlightenment as well. They are all intertwined closely with conscious use of focussed attention. John Horgan's book "Rational Mysticism" is an excellent survey of the topic of mysticism and enlightenment. And you might also enjoy Adam Crabtree's book "Trance Zero" as well, if you can find a copy.