Concentration plays a vital role in a person’s growth in every area of life. It’s one thing to be motivated, and it’s another thing to be concentrated. Being concentrated is equally important if not more in the quest of learning. Singular focus is of paramount importance for effective learning and moreover, it helps with time management. You save a time and finish the tasks at hand quickly and effectively. Research has shown that individuals who can sustain their attention for longer periods of time perform better in all sorts of cognitive challenges than those who cannot.
We are often told to concentrate on various things but most us are never taught to concentrate. It’s strange how we are expected to practice something that we are never taught. School going children suffer from this the most because generally, they are the ones living with elders in the house and are constantly being told to concentrate on their studies and what not.
As an artist, I suffered a lot from a lack of focus for a very long time. I was never able to finish my work. I had these stacks of incomplete paintings and drawings. My mind kept on jumping on one thing to another and I started telling myself that I liked those drawings just the way they were. Little did I know that this was only because I did not know how to focus because like most of us I wasn’t taught to focus.
One day I heard a person called Dandapani, he is a Hindu priest and a former monk. I had heard people talk about exercises for improving concentration before like concentrating on a dot on the wall in front of you and all of that but that never worked for me. Furthermore, it required sitting in a fixed place for the sole purpose of concentrating on the damned dot. So, when I started listening I was not very interested in it but what he said, really resonated with me and it was simple stuff which did not require me to sit and stare at a stupid object.
The only exercise that you’ll ever need to learn to concentrate
In order to learn to focus you need to understand how the mind works. There are two things that work side by side one is mind and the other is awareness. Let’s think of awareness as a glowing ball of light and your mind as a vast space and there are different areas in mind for let’s say food, happiness, pain, art, family, etc. and this ball called awareness call travel within the mind and can go to any area of the mind it wants to. Whenever it goes to any area of the mind it lights up that area and you become conscious of it.
So, it’s not your mind who wanders it’s the awareness. Now to concentrate we must make that ball of light stay in a specific area of our brain for a prolonged time. Whenever it drifts away we bring it back. It drifts again we bring it back again and this how we must practice concentration.
Yes, it’s that simple. We can practice it through the day in whatever it is that we are doing. We usually have people at home or our friends who we need to talk to and while we are taking to them our awareness drifts away several times. So, whenever it drifts away just bring it back and keep on doing so again and again. As a result, we can have better relationships because now we are actually listening to the person we are with and they have our undivided attention. Same goes for work or studies and anything else that we do.