Everyone knows that the key to achievement is focus or concentration. Yet most of us have difficulty concentrating. The problem is so acute and universal that Samuel Johnson’s oft-quoted remark “Nothing more wonderfully concentrates a man's mind than the sure knowledge he is to be hanged in the morning,” still rings true.
As the quote highlights we are capable of concentrating only when there is a gun against our foreheads. We find ourselves wonderfully focused with a deadline staring at us in our face and let our minds wander when there is ample time.
How do we arrest this dissolution of our time and life? How can we stop this slow seeping away of our attention and rescue our minds from the morass of laziness?
Before we learn how to concentrate let us first look at the benefits of concentrating.
- You will be more conscious of the choices being made in life, more self-determined rather than one's life being determined by other forces
- You will be able to determine all aspects and implications of a situation, to resolve problems more easily and create valuable ideas
- You will have the decisiveness and willpower to initiate and then see projects through to a successful conclusion
- You can focus your attention to be able to complete tasks more quickly and effectively, and to do better in studying and exams - and get promotion at work!
- Be well prepared for further mind development practices such as speed-reading and study, memorization and reasoning skills.
Now that we truly understand, the benefits of concentration here are some simple tips to focus your attention. For the record, these are adapted from an article written way back in 1930.
It may seem paradoxical that the first aid to better concentration refers to relaxation. Failure to let go between efforts keeps us tense, nervous, " keyed-up " all the time, even when there is no need for it, thereby wasting nervous energy. So clear your mind and let go and relax; you will find yourself rejuvenated and fresh to concentrate better.
Nothing is of greater aid to concentration than a mind that is free and uncluttered. In fact, unless you are able to do this, concentration is impossible. When. harassed by the three devils, hurry, worry, and fear, the mind never has a fair chance to centre on anything.
THE PROPER ENVIRONMENT
Concentration is difficult enough, even under the best conditions. Therefore, pinpoint a place free from all interruptions, where you can be alone, with the atmosphere just right for you.
A DEFINITE SCHEDULE
The fourth aid to concentration is a very practical one: make a daily schedule. However, if you wonder what has a daily schedule to do with concentration consider this – research has proved that we lose more time in making a transition from one task to another. So having a schedule helps to focus the mind, holds it steadily to one thing at a time and in the right order.
Having now learnt the benefits and the methods to concentrate, there is one more thing you will have to do that is try, try concentrating.
Image from Vimrod1.