The Importance of Attention:
Any way you look at it, the ability to attend, or to focus, is extremely important. It is not only people with ADHD who can benefit from improving their attention. The better you focus, the better you will be able to do whatever it is you are going to do. This applies to work, school, sports, relationships, and everything else. There is a perfect, positive correlation between how well you perform and your ability to focus. A friend and colleague, Lawrence Edwards, Ph.D., has written: “Attention is an extremely valuable commodity. Without attention nothing flourishes. None of your relationships, your goals for a career, your hopes and dreams, nothing comes into being or is sustained or grows without attention” (Awakening Kundalini: The Path to Radical Freedom (2013) pp. 242).
Improving Your Attention
It follows that if we are interested in doing our best, in becoming the best that we can be, improving our capacity to attend and to concentrate should be a priority. We would want to improve the quality or intensity of our focus and our ability to maintain a good quality of focus across time. There are many ways to do this. Perhaps the most time-tested is meditation, in all its many forms. One can also simply practice trying to pay better attention. You can look up tips for improving your attention on the internet. You can engage in games and activities that obviously require attention from pick-up sticks, to chess, to building something, to Lumosity-type games. You can also consider seeing an EEG-biofeedback or neurofeedback practitioner who will be able to assess your attention, evaluate your brainwaves to determine how well your brain is functioning with regard to generating good concentration, and develop EEG-biofeedback protocols aimed at improving your ability to concentrate, no matter what your current level of concentration is. Just as you can always get stronger, you can also always improve your ability to concentrate. It just depends on what you wish to accomplish.
Being able to concentrate well is critical for success in whatever we are pursuing in life. Choosing what you will focus on is another important aspect of attention, which impacts our overall well-being. Developing the ability to focus well is one thing. Deciding what you will focus on is another. Emmett Fox wrote in his book The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life (copyright 1934), “Attention is the key. Your free will lies in directing your attention. Whatever you steadfastly direct your attention to, will come into your life and dominate it.” It is suggested that you become the observer of your mind, and see if you are prone to think about that which you truly want to think about. Are you able to control your mind? Are you able to control your focus? One can argue that controlling one’s mind may be the ultimate, if not the only, true expression of free will. This again is something that can be explored and pursued through meditation, through various spiritual pursuits, and/or EEG-biofeedback.