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Power Of Attention


Attention is the critical skill, which allows you to concentrate on one aspect of the environment while excluding all irrelevant information. This is the skill allows you to focus on your regular daily activities and perform them in an efficient manner, while ignoring other events around you.

For example, when you drive a car you should pay complete attention to what's happening on the road, but be able to ignore events occurring on the sidewalk. Or, you should be able to listen carefully to what someone is saying while ignoring other conversations in a room.

Unfortunately, as we get older, our attention capabilities are likely to decrease, but recent studies have indicated that attention skills can be improved in older adults and, as a matter of fact, these improvements may be retained for as much as five years after training. Trained adults displayed higher performance levels when performing their daily activities such as finances, housework and driving etc.


The Importance of the Power of Attention

We all know that attention is a very desirable skill, but how many possess it? I don't need to tell you why it is important, and what are its uses and benefits. It is a must for every person who desires to succeed, whether on a minor or a major scale, whether in the material or spiritual world. In order to gain success you need to be able to focus your mind, and to calm down its restlessness and tendency to constantly shift from one subject to another.

Every act needs attention for its successful performance. Workings, talking, conversing, studying and playing require attention. Even washing, cleaning the house or cooking require it, in order to be handled efficiently.

"The Attention does not readily fasten itself to uninteresting objects, and, unless interest can be created, it requires a considerable degree of Voluntary Attention in order that the mind may be fastened upon such an object. And, more than this, even if the ordinary attention is attracted it will soon waver, unless there is some interesting change in the aspect of the object, that will give the attention a fresh hold of interest, or unless some new quality, characteristic or property manifests itself in the object. "

"This fact occurs because the mind mechanism has not been trained to bear prolonged Voluntary Attention, and, in fact, the physical brain is not accustomed to the task, although it may be so trained by patient practice.”

Developing the Power of Attention

People are not born with the power of attention. It has to be developed. Its development and training starts from a very early age. We try to grab the attention of a baby by making strange noises. Later we focus the attention of the child by reading him/her stories. As the children grow up they are required to concentrate on whatever they study or read. All of these activities help to some extent to develop and focus the power of attention, but they are not enough.

There are times when the attention becomes very strong, 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 in 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 under your control, and you should be able to exercise it whenever you need it.

Every day you are presented with plenty of opportunities to strengthen the power of your attention. Actually, every action can be turned into an exercise. Hold your mind on whatever you do, and try to concentrate without deviating to something else. It is true that special concentration exercises are necessary, but if you cannot find the time and place to perform them, you can turn the whole day into an enjoyable exercise. Focus on whatever you do, and in time your ability would increase.

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.

Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about the Seven Faces of Intention, which are:

1) The face of creativity

2) The face of kindness

3) The face of love.

4) The face of beauty.

5) The face of expansion

6) The face of unlimited abundance

7) The face of receptivity.

Attention subcategories

Attention is divided into the following cognitive skills:

Selective Attention Your selective attention enables you to focus on one task intensively (such as playing a sport). Improving your selective attention enhances your ability to remain focused in dynamic visual environments. Selective attention training games improve your ability to concentrate on one single item while ignoring all irrelevant information.

Divided Attention: Popularly known as "multi-tasking", divided attention enables you to manage and process multiple tasks or multiple task demands simultaneously, this is what enables you to absorb relevant information at work, while driving a car, watching TV or reading the newspaper. Divided Attention training games enhance your ability to easily manage and process various data simultaneously.

Sustained Attention:  is the need to maintain attention over a period of time or while performing a continuous and repetitive activity. A simple example would be the ability to focus on reading a newspaper article long enough to complete the task, even when a distraction arises. This skill is necessary for people who are required to continuously monitor a situation in which unpredictable and infrequent events may occur, such as focusing on a radar screen in order to immediately detect any sudden blip that might signal an approaching ship or aircraft.

Orienting Attention: Also known as "focused attention", orienting attention is the ability to respond to a certain visual, auditory or tactile stimuli, when presented with two or more stimulus inputs at the same time. This is different from "divided attention" whereby a person is also presented with two or more stimulus inputs, but required to attend and respond to all stimulus inputs simultaneously. Studies on orientation attention indicate how effectively we select certain inputs rather than others.

Train your Attention skills now

Here a few suggestions for developing and strengthening the power of attention:

Ø      When reading a book, focus your eyes and mind on the words, and do not to think of anything not connected with what you are reading. Ignore outside noises and any irrelevant thoughts.

Ø      Dress up, and at the same time put your whole attention on your movements.

Ø      While having a shower, pay attention to every part of the body that you are soaping and washing.

Ø      When you clean the house, mow the grass or cook, concentrate on each act and movement, without daydreaming or thinking about something else.

Ø      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.

Ø      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 attention on what you are doing.

Ø      While conversing, listen attentively to what people are saying.

Ø      While eating, focus your mind or your food and on enjoying it.

Ø      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.


Note: We do recommend other Inner Power articles on YoubulkSmarts, which contribute to the development of a positive mind as well.



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