When your mind is quiet, deep focus can come effortlessly. For me, it’s a challenge to quiet my mind and focus my awareness. Sometimes I spin around for a good fifteen minutes before I write or perform a task or activity.
“Just as focused light through a magnifying glass becomes more concentrated and powerful, the light of our own consciousness also becomes more powerful when our attention is focused.” – Deepak Chopra
Focus is the act of concentrating on an interest or activity, often central to getting something done. When a task or activity is unpleasant, or makes me feel uncomfortable, I’d rather not do it.
Throughout grade school and into high school, math was not my favorite subject. So when I had to focus on solving problems it was very difficult and I almost failed ninth grade math. Reading and writing, on the other hand, was interesting, fun, and both came easily to me. I found, that whether or not I liked doing something, if I focused my attention on the activity, it made all the difference between success and failure.
Here are three examples of when focused attention succeeded for me:
1) Studying for my ninth grade Regents math exam so I could pass math and avoid sumer school. I got a B on the Regents exam and wound up with a C at year-end.
2) Writing about the conundrums of becoming a vegetarian in my article “Searching for Vegetopia,” overcoming my fear that it might not be good enough and pitching it “cold” to Rochester Magazine editor Mark Liu. And then working with the editor to revise it for publication. My story made its debut in the January 2007 issue of Rochester Magazine.
3) Searching for a part-time marketing job after five years of staying at home with my son James (and writing about all my experiences). I was offered a position as Marketing Specialist at Rochester Rehabilitation in January 2008.
Here are three examples of when I didn’t focus my attention and failed:
1) Taking my driver’s test for the first time, I was so nervous I talked myself out of passing so, of course, I failed.
2) Submitting a short work of fiction to a magazine, getting feedback from the editor even though they passed on publishing it, and failing to give it the right attention to clean it up and submit it elsewhere.
3) Talking on my flip phone knee-deep in snow while watching James and his friend sled down a hill, walking the dog and trying not to slip. Distracted, I thought I had put the phone into my pocket, but when I looked for it later, it had disappeared – probably into a frozen abyss.
When have you succeeded with focused attention? When have you failed?
This post is part of the #YourTurnChallenge #day3. And it’s my best work today.