The Importance of the Power of Attention
By Remez Sasson
We all know that attention is a very desirable skill, but how many people you know possess this skill?
I don't need to tell you why it is an important skill and what are its uses and benefits. This is quite obvious.
This skill is a must for every person, in all areas of life.
In order to gain success in any area, you need to be able to focus your mind. You need to learn to control the tendency of the mind to shift constantly from one subject to another.
Why the Power of Attention Is Important?
- Every action needs attention for its successful performance.
- Working, talking, studying and playing require attention.
- Even washing, cleaning the house or cooking require it.
- If you wish to avoid mistakes and handle efficiently whatever you do, you need attention and focus.
People are not born with the power of attention. To gain this ability you need to devote time and effort to train it, just like any other ability.
We try to focus the attention of a child by reading stories, by teaching small tasks. As children grow up, they are required to focus on their studies and homework. All of these activities, help to some extent, to develop focus the power of attention, but they are not enough, since there are always distractions that take the attention away.
There are times when the attention becomes deep, though involuntarily, and without exercising real control over it. You have certainly experienced a few times a total blankness to the outside world, when you were absorbed watching an interesting thriller, or while reading a captivating book. This usually happens when we engage in activities that we enjoy and love.
For this ability to be useful, it should be under the control of your will. You have to be able to decide where and when to focus your mind. Real and effective power of attention should be available whenever you need it.
Daily Opportunities for Improving the Attention
There is no lack of opportunities to improve the power of attention.
Every day, you are presented with plenty of opportunities to strengthen the power of your attention, be we are oblivious to these opportunities.
Actually, every action can be turned into an exercise for developing this wonderful skill. Just focus your mind on whatever you are doing, on eating, drinking, walking, working, and on anything else. Strive to fix your attention without stress and tension, and avoid following unrelated thoughts.
It is very useful to practice concentration exercises, but if you cannot find the time and place to practice them, you can turn the whole day into an enjoyable exercise. Just focus on whatever you are doing, and in time, your ability to do so would improve.
In this way, you will not only strengthen your attention and concentration, but everything you do will be done better, more efficiently, and even faster. In time, as your attention gets stronger, thoughts will lose their power to distract you, and you will find that you can absorb yourself in whatever you do. This will increase your efficiency, and make you enjoy whatever you do.
9 Tips for Strengthening the Power of Attention
- When reading a book, focus your eyes and mind on the words, and do not think of anything not connected with what you are reading. Try to ignore outside noises and any irrelevant thoughts.
- While dressing up, put your whole attention on the act of dressing.
- While having a shower, pay attention to every part of the body that you are soaping and washing.
- When you clean the house, mow the grass or cook, concentrate on each act and movement, without daydreaming or thinking about something else.
- While working, focus your mind on what you are doing, as if it is the only important thing in the world, even if you do not like your job.
- While working up, walking, or engaging in any kind of physical activity, don't daydream or think on whatever enters your mind. Instead, focus your whole attention on what you are doing.
- In conversation, listen attentively to what people are saying.
- While eating, focus your mind or your food and on enjoying it.
- Always do one thing at a time.
You don't have to do all the above, all the time. Even a few minutes, now and then, will do wonders for you, and develop your powers of attention. Persevere, and you will gain a very useful ability, which will help you on many occasions in your life.