Focus happens to be a resource that we simply cannot live without. Yet, many aren’t focused on the tasks they undertake. As with money and time, there is a limit to your focus, as well.
Now, it is up to you to decide whether it is to be used on meaningless things or used to achieve goals that are in line with your priorities and values.
Focus involves directing every ounce of attention towards things and objectives that are important to you.
It’s like a body muscle – You must keep using it to retain its abilities. Once you endow your mind with the right amount of training, you can enjoy enhanced focus abilities and improve your performance in every field you set out to conquer.
The Diagnosis of Focus
In today’s world, there are innumerable distractions that hold us back. Hobbies, games, diversions, entertainment, and amusements are available at the click of the button.
Parents scroll through their phones while their children run around; students scroll through pictures and texts in class.
This decline in focus can have adverse effects for us all since diversions cause us to miss out on a ton of stuff. We may see more – but we experience less. Our days are spent scrolling and swiping through meaningless images and videos.
The Anatomy of Focus
Apart from tech-related distractions, emotional turmoil also happens to be an immense source of wasteful distraction as it can disrupt not just your well-being but also your potential for meeting deadlines and completing tasks.
If you’ve ever attempted to concentrate when you were undergoing severe distress of grief, you know it’s an impossible task. Stress and anxiety can unleash the floodgates of adrenaline and cortisol in your brain, causing severe exhaustion. To do something in such a condition is useless.
However, when you’re in a state of sharp focus, your prefrontal lobe’s neurons work in perfect sync, working together to derive useful results. Having such attention can help you learn new skills and concepts at a faster rate.
When our brain gets used to a particular subject or a task, our brain forms several connections that help us concentrate better on tasks of that nature.
You can also engage in brain training strategies to teach it the difference between important and unimportant activities.
You can prepare yourself to participate at a higher level in tasks that interest you and focus more on them. Slowly, your brain will be able to prioritize tasks that require your immediate attention.
Fundamental Rules for Maintaining Inner Focus
Rules of Inner Focus
To start strengthening your inner focus abilities, you must train your mind to improve your concentration.
The First Rule For Enhancing Inner Focus Lies In Your Body.
First, you must start to revive your connection with your physical body and its relationship with the world.
Use its movements to your advantage. Improving your concentration abilities is not that hard – You have to use all your five senses to the fullest.
Recognize various cues that your body gives you. Feel and listen to them. Start asking yourself: Am I feeling tired? Am I feeling cold? Am I feeling hungry?
Once you’ve asked these questions and listened to all your responses, you will be capable of picking up on various clues that your body sends out regarding other intangible concerns.
Am I feeling angry? Am I feeling uncomfortable? Am I feeling sad? Paying attention to all such messages from your body will help enhance your self-awareness and guide you on the right path.
The Second Rule To Inner Focus Is Empathy.
During a study, patients were required to hear and evaluate the audio recordings of 10 surgeons without providing them with any additional information.
50% of these surgeons had malpractice suits pending against them, which wasn’t revealed to the patients.
However, patients were able to identify the ones who were accused of malpractice to a remarkable degree of accuracy.
They discovered uncaring or threatening tones in their voices, whereas others displayed no such traits. This study concluded that patients were able to see something in them, which these surgeons were unaware of.
If you’re able to view yourself from a different perspective and see how others perceive you, you will discover your blind spots in no time!
The Third Rule Deals With Self-Control
An experiment involving 4-year-old kids required them to be seated in a room that had no other distractions or people, save for one marshmallow, which was placed before them. These kids were informed that they wouldn’t get any additional marshmallows if they consumed it right away.
However, if they chose to wait fifteen minutes, the kids were informed that they could have extra marshmallows. It was discovered that the kids who waited achieved higher scores on tests, which measures focus, implying that willpower and attention were linked to each other.
To stave off temptation, self-regulation has to be employed to a greater extent, which is something that requires concentration. You can achieve a higher level of self-discipline by practicing this virtue. You can enhance your abilities to a whole new level.
Learn How to Read Others
Once you start to exercise more self-control, reconnect with your mind and body, view yourself objectively, and practice your inner focus, you can then begin working on improving your ‘other focus’ – which deals with being sensitive to various body language signals displayed by others.
While some people are naturally capable of doing this and reading the body language displayed by others, others may not be able to exercise such a level of focus. When you start reading nonverbal cues and emotional messages presented by others, you can move to the next level – exercise more empathy.
When you achieve the capacity to read body language, you’ll be able to have the same experiences that others have. However, this requires a particular type of concentration, which is only possible by rigorous practice for most people.
Babies display this behavior at a very young age. They mimic sounds and facial expressions for connecting with the people they see. Similarly, once you start focusing on the experience that others are going through, you can read their emotions and develop a mutual focus.
The attention neurons in your brain get their dose of exercise when you act with empathy.
The mutual focus enables your brain to open up new, roads of learning, which will help you achieve improved performance and creativity.
Train Your Brain’s Outer Focus
Outer focus requires concentration – You have to learn how to think about, take in, and process data from outside sources for understanding the workings of larger systems. Outer focus can help you navigate through tough times and provide you with a sense of determination.
When you start practicing outer focus, you are allowing your curiosity to guide your way through different patterns that are inherent to our world and utilizing this information for creating cohesive plans that let you take action.
As issues like global warming, disease, water, and poverty threaten to disrupt our daily life, people with the right kind of focus and determination must step in to stop the chaos that threatens our lives.
To meet these crippling problems head-on, we need to practice and engage in outer focus, which can help us heal our diseased world systems.
Practice To Enhance Your Focus
There is no skill that does not require practice in today’s world. When you practice a new skill, language, or a sport, you enhance your brain’s neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to develop new neural connections and enforce existing ones.
When you start practicing to improve your focus, your brain’s circuit system gets rewired.
To retain optimal focus, you must take several restorative breaks, which will help your mind rewire several critical neural pathways. Rest plays a vital role in enhancing your concentration levels.
Be mindful of your focus muscles and your abilities when you try to strengthen them.
Whenever you zone out, bring your attention back in a gentle manner and resume focusing on the subject at hand.
When you practice this more, you will find it easier to get back to any subject or task that you had been procrastinating. You will eventually start learning to practice this more without much effort.
Focus your mind on the task, again and again. Repetition is critical – always remember that!
People of Status Are Well-Focused
What is meant by ‘a person of status’? Such people are leaders who are capable of focusing on their well-being, shape various global systems, which influence our lives, and help others fulfill their needs.
They are capable of balancing their outer, and inner focus for directing their attention and focus to places where it’s needed the most. In organizations, communities, and businesses, these leaders are responsible for acting decisively and thoughtfully.
Not just that, they are incredibly skilled at directing, maintaining, and capturing the attention and focus of any group in such a way that all common goals get accomplished without a hitch.
Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft, is an excellent example of such a leader. He mastered the art of focus and was a genius at discarding unnecessary and irrelevant features and products.
He ensured that the company was going to be involved only in a single product, unlike other tech giants who were dabbling in multiple sectors simultaneously.
Microsoft focused all its efforts on a single product, which has helped it reap huge dividends. As leaders are decision-makers, it is their focus that gives rise to a group’s vision and insight.
They are crucial for inspiring others to enhance their focus and help bring people together to accomplish common goals that create positive changes for all their communities and companies.
By harnessing your creativity and attention, you can enjoy meaningful relationships, improve your focus, and give rise to an attentive, engaging culture.
As it is our subject of focus that defines our reality, it’s recommended that you start learning to practice outer and inner focus for performing better in your area of interest.
Be mindful of the fact that your power to focus on something is just like a body muscle. When you allow your mind to zone out and wander away, from one distraction to another, it will become progressively difficult for you to retain your focus at something.
If you direct your focus and mind to a particular subject over and over again, your brain will strengthen its focus and concentration abilities and sustain them longer.