Untrained, Attention ROOKIES Suffer Attention Deficits. Been that way, well, forever.
This blog post is for people who want to get seriously focused because...you're not seriously focused, but suspect that you could be, should be, and desire to be. This is for people who have a deep sense that more focus would carry you over every obstacle, even prevent obstacles from springing up because of your inattentive actions.
The whole world now suffers Attention Deficits thanks to digital technology. Thousands of articles over the past couple years are a testament to the rising tide of 'Distraction Experts' proclaiming that digitally-induced Attention Doom is upon us. Like the scientists who warned us of the dangers of nuclear war AFTER they invented and ramped up the supply of world-killing weaponry,
Anti-Digital Distraction Gurus are slithering out of the woodwork to warn you of the dangers of what they've helped unleash. It's like the iceberg that sunk the Titanic offering navigational advice to the boat crew after the collision.
So, if you have a hard time focusing, don't start panicking about having ADD or ADHD or some other malady. You may be the victim of just living with modern digital technology. Look it up.
ADHD is No Excuse. You STILL Need ATTENTION SKILLS, Even While Popping Pills.
Popping Ritalin (or whatever other drug they'd have you putting into your bloodstream) will never fix the fact that you don't know how to operate your Attention. Having ADHD does not prevent you from using your Attention - it merely makes it more of a challenge. Attention Control Skills alleviate both the Attention and Hyperactivity aspects of that bothersome condition.
You want to play in the big leagues of whatever goal you have in mind? Then change that fact that you are UNTRAINED in the Mental Martial Arts of Attention (you don't know the moves, the routines, the 'Katas')- and work your way up from Attention Rookie to Attention Pro.
Then, if you've been diagnosed with ADHD, your diagnosis will inevitably change. After all, if you know how to control your Attention whenever you want, for as long as you want, and you know how to use Attention to make yourself immediately calm, chill, and ready for business...well, what's the shrink gonna shake you down for? Being too self-reliant?
I'm in no way discounting the prevelance of ADHD*, or any other health condition, but even if you have a touch of something affecting you medically, the fact remains that you have never learned how to operate your Attention on purpose - to control it, to own it, so that it does what it's supposed to.
*I'm not Anti-ADHD (as a sufferer, myself), I just grow weary of the fact that the billions going into the pockets of Big Pharma don't go to training victims HOW TO CONTROL THEIR ATTENTION, AT WILL, THROUGH DAILY PRACTICE. That would ruin their profits, now, wouldn't it? It's simply that I'd rather it be labled...
ADHD: ATTENTION DRILLS HEAL DISTRACTION!
Mainly, you want your Attention to easily move from one chosen target to the next, without having to wrestle it about from task to task, and you want to enjoy doing whatever it is you must, for as long as it takes, and feel wonderful at the end of an effortlessly productive, successful day.
That's not something the majority of people enjoy after years of exposure to digital technology and social media, Science has spoken - now money's being thrown around to cover up the problem with branding and hypocritical marketing campaigns showing concern.
So, we have the cause of trend, and the results: weaker Attention, and a global, epidemic rise in Attention Deficit symptoms and consequences throughout the world's populace.
More mental wandering, more daydreaming, more impulsivity, more impatience, more boredom, more distracted behavior, scattered focus, weaker emotional control, deepening negativity, spreading neurosis, the list goes on. The science showing the negative psychological affects of these trends is easily accessible.
Mental Wandering, Daydreaming - Getting Lost in Thought NOT Good.
Here's some Attention Science by Harvard University on the topic of Mind Wandering for the heathen unbelievers bent on pretending that multitasking and daydreaming are good for people, There's the science so I can move on to what's actually important.
You've got Plenty of Attention, but Starving for Focus.
ADHD is NOT the biggest cause or contributor to Attention Deficits. Sure, millions of people qualify for what Psychology calls 'ADHD,' and suffer Attention problems, supposedly, because of something that has been a fact of human existence for thousands of years. Only, nowadays, it's an industry. It's quite a feat the pharmeceutical giants, their lawyers, and well-compensated mental health community.
But, BILLIONS of people - a majority of the entire human population, now suffers from some form of Attention Deficit, and wishes they had more...if they're fortunate enough to realize their loss...because billions won't, and never will, and there's an age-old reason why.
You're not missing anything. There's nothing wrong with your Attention. It is Attention.
You may misuse it, and you may allow bad habits to operate without breaking up their regular, sabotaging bother, but you are employing Attention - ALL THE ATTENTION YOU NEED to do what you're doing at that moment - even if what you're doing is suffering distracting mental states.
Your Attention is ALWAYS being used, even when you are not Conscious enough to do it on purpose, intentionally, for a sustained period.
Nope, you don't need to fix your Attention. You need to fix the fact that YOU ARE NOT USING IT. All the time, each and every day.
Something else is operating your Attention - thus operating your body, FOR YOU, on your behalf, just-a doin' its biologically-programmed job of running the show while you take a mental snooze. Who knows where - daydreams, having arguments with yourself about some past, present, or future disturbance, WANTING something, fantasizing about the future or how you want something to go, thinking about this, that - or just ZONE OUT with a screen in front of your eyeballs or earbuds shoved into your head holes.
One way or another, if you are not in a mental state where you know that you know that you know that you are here, in the room, in the world with yourself - then you are PLUGGED IN, and default mode is rolling out whooping it up with your meat suit.
- So you don't feel like you can focus.
- So you don't feel like you want to do it, now.
- So maybe you're frustrated that you even have to do it - why you, why now, right?
- So, maybe you're even worried, afraid, and feeling anxious.
Whatever it is, it ain't, "WOO HOO, LET'S ROLL! LET'S DO THIS RIGHT NOW, BABY!"
There's even a chance that the very act of wishing you could feel great about the task is the painful source of hidden interference - a wierd thing that.
We want to be awesome, to feel awesome about a thing, but when the time comes, we don't, and we know we don't, because we feel something else, and because that something else is not, "WOO HOO, LET'S ROLL! LET'S DO THIS RIGHT NOW, BABY," then the mind REBELS against doing it.
The pleasing proposition provided by your imagination didn't come to fruition, and suspects that there's not going to be a party while you get those dishes done, and so balks at the idea.
It could be any reason, but the reason will be IMAGINATION-CRAFTED, WRITTEN, DIRECTED, AND STARRING YOUR IMAGINATION'S OWN CAST, usually with you as the center of the action (and doing your own stunts, no less).
Something is ALWAYS INTERFERING when
you don't feel ready to do your chosen duty!
No Attention? No Concentration? No FOCUS when you need it right here and now?
Oh it's there, alright. Matter of fact, YOU'RE USING IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE, IN THE MIDST OF WISHING, SEARCHING, AND PROTESTING WITH YOURSELF OVER NOT HAVING IT.
In such moments, you're using the treasure you seek to bury the treasure you seek.
When Stuck in 'The Matrix' of Imagination...
That's not something you pull off willingly, on your own. You're coaxed into it - lured with a biochemically-laced imaginary stage show that lulls your Awareness to sleep, and sweeps your Attention away into the clutches of imagination, which basically, momentarily, possesses you. Whatever the nature of the mental content that has you locked in place, it's not real, but in those instants, you don't know it, because you're not there.
It is there. You're sawing logs while the meat suit rolls around town like Weekend at Bernie's, doing all kinds of interesting things to your day, some of which are the very reason you're reading this right now, because you're sick and tired of it, and you want to break free to move under your own power, without being imprisoned in your own mind for extended parts of every day.
Oh, sure, some of you won't believe what you're reading. That's to be expected.
You're in the Matrix. You can't perceive your chains, nor the illusions full of imagery and feeling and emotions - all glamours and tricks of imagination that seem like you doing the work. It seems like you're the on in control in such moments because, while imagination is in control of your body, it produces thoughts and emotions that justify the takeover - the entire, amazing mental epic - in which your body is dragged along, seems like you. The cocktail imagination injects into your brain are designed to lower your Conscious resistance, and hide from your resting (and thus, restless) Awareness, the fact that you're suffering, because you're not doing your job, and are shirking your duty as a human being, which is to LIVE FREE.
On your own.
Not being bossed around by your imagination calling itself you, coming complete with an inner voice and all the 'agreement juice' the brain needs to keep you plugged into the neuro-simulations.
Basically, when you're not in PRECISE CONTROL of your Attention, your Central Nervous System calls in the B-team, the scrubs, the backups - the bums. Default mode.
Doesn't end there though. Imagination is greedy, and habit-forming, so that it uses you to continually, and increasingly call upon itself until it is uing so much of your mental capacity that the ONLY activity going on in your body is IMAGINATION AT WORK, with your body as its puppet. It is addictive, it is endlessly creative, and it can produce entire personalities that seem like you INSTANTLY, and make you wear them like clothes, and you don't even know you've changed mental gear or stepped into an imaginary role like an actor.
You Don't Need to 'FEEL LIKE IT' or 'FEEL LIKE DOING IT.'
Stinking thinking (doubt, negativity, etc.) is always a default mode characteristic -YOUR LOWEST PRODUCTIVE BRAINWAVE SETTINGS, just there to keep you breathing, eating, avoiding pain (that it creates), and chasing endlessly after pleasure (to distract from the pain that it creates).
There is never a void in the mind. Either Attention rules there in the moment with quiet, calm authority unbothered by any feeling of limitation - IMMUNE from Imagination, in its rightful place as imagination's BOSS...
...Or your Imagination rules there in the moment, with noisy, chaotic, tension-filled assumptions, continually feeding itself to remain in control (Psychology calls it: Default Mode (or, in other words, being NORMAL). Your imagination is your personal version of 'THE MATRIX.'
Attention Control is NOT NORMAL. It is UNIQUE and RARE. Attention Control is the RED PILL that globe-expanding corporations with armies of lawyers, scientists, and politicians on their side don't want you to take, because if you take back the territory of your Attention, you will naturally begin to unplug and begin working their system to your advantage, free as a bird.
Attention Control Training is NO JOKE.
How rare is it Conscious, daily, all-day Attention Control as a martial mental discipline?
Tens of millions of people meditate.
99% of them have no idea what Attention Control is nor what to do with what meditation is trying to teach them. They just follow a ritual religiously and remain stuck in a self-congralutatory, imagination-fed circle of feeling unique, when in fact they are still just normal, because they apply almost nothing, and thus miss out on higher levels of Attention Control.
Serious Attention Control Training Students Don't Fake the Funk.
Usually, you'll find them off by themselves, doing the real, sweaty inner work that would send most meditators screaming for the hills for fear of losing the picture of themselves as having it all figured out.
For the serious practitioner, the class is wherever they are, with whomever they find themselves, and in whatever situation, no matter what.
Everything is a mental training exercise - a chance to own your Attention, to be THERE...RIGHT THERE, with yourself, no pretending, not defending, no putting on a show or trying to impress, not wrestling with undisciplined internal reactions - but CRAWLING BACK OUT OF IMAGINATION, BACK INTO THE REAL WORLD, REALITY, quiet and still.
Alone. Without your lying thoughts passing themselves off as you, when they are only imagination.
That's the big, ancient, 'enlightening' secret of the ages. Jesus, Buddha, on and on - they worked to teach the secret, and beyond.
That's the Key of Kings. The scribbles upon the worn, tattered map found in the deep, dark wildnerness - the escape route from a barred prison you didn't even know existed. Bars composed of THOUGHT.
Breathe. On purpose. Remember that.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT YOURSELF.
Use your body as your ally as you begin to take back your LIFE from an unruly imagination.
Learn what's been in control of you all this time as you exercise your natural right to surmount the throne of Attention to enjoy all its lifelong rewards.