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It’s All A Matter of the Attention

Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration of consciousness is of its essence. It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition, which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state, which in French is called distraction, and Zerstreutheit in German.

James, W. (1890). The Principles of Psychology. New York: Henry Holt, Vol. 1, pp. 403-404.



Anyone who has spent hours working on one singular subject, whether it be a piece of art, a literary masterpiece, a game of golf, or even ice skating (to name a few) has come in touch with the cognitive process called “focus.”  Our decision to sustain focusing our attention by selectively concentrating on one aspect of our world while ignoring other things quite often helps us find “the zone.” While in the zone, we “sustain” our attention by continually pursuing our craft often until the wee hours of the morning.  This so-called, “freedom from distractibility” is what helps us complete our task.  I suppose many have their own explanation for “the zone” but for me it is a place where my attention is so fixed that I am no longer feeding my mind and my mind, therefore, is no longer in control – a painter’s poetry in motion.  This state of high consciousness opens me up to a magical experience – the work become infused with the free flowing energy of the universe.

Attention remains a major area of investigation within education, psychology and neuroscience. Areas of active investigation involve determining the source of the signals that generate attention, the effects of these signals on the tuning properties of sensory neurons, and the relationship between attention and other cognitive processes like working memory and vigilance.The Principles of Psychology (1890), with introduction by George A. Miller, Harvard University Press, 1983 paperback, ISBN 0-674-70625-0 (combined edition, 1328 pages) The Principles of Psychology, (1890), Dover Publications, 1950 paperback, vol. one, 696 p. ISBN 0-486-20381-6, vol. two, 708 p. ISBN 0-486-20382-4

There are some who believe that the ability to focus one’s attention with greater accuracy takes discipline or moral strength.  I have found that my mind has to be wooed into submission, but my soul dances easily into step by love.  To achieve this heightened state of focus, I must love what I am doing.

What motivates you into a state of focus? Are you motivated by your goals?  Do they compliment your spiritual aspirations? Are you distracted by so many avenues of life that focus is short lived and love has only small spaces to grow in?

If then we must love to be attentive, how then can we grow love?  Since love is the essence of our soul, it stands to reason that it will grow naturally when it is connected to that which is good, that which is Godly.  When we are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, we come in contact with that goodness. We are no longer swimming upstream, fighting against the odds.

Love can be developed in many ways, but the easiest way for me is to connect with God.  I am my happiest and most peaceful during that connection.  When I am in “the zone” and recognize that place as a gift, I am at that moment outside of the ego and of doer-ship.  The more I develop receptivity to this place of grace, the more I want to return there again and again.  For me it is a matter of establishing priorities and allowing life to become full of achievement, full of peace, full of love, and full of grace.

In the warm, sunny days of summer, I wish you all the soft breezes of love and grace, AND FOCUS J.  God Bless, OM

Here are many links on the subject of focus, stress management, time management.  I hope you will find them enjoyable.


Dave Cheong’s Most Popular Discussions


Mind Tools Stress Management Links – Many, many more links to stress management sites on the web


Depression Learning Pathh – Free online depression education program.


StressLesss – StressLess is a multi-disciplinary stress management company retailing high quality, stress reduction products and programs.


Centre for Stress Management – Information about our stress management, stress prevention and cognitive therapy training programmes.


Stress Managementt – Stress management web sites registered and linked for the World-Wide Web Virtual Library


Stress Management – Links to stress management information on the web


Stress Management Resources for Stressed and Overworked People – Weekly stress management tips and lots of practical resources for stressed people

Gift From Within – PTSD Resources for Survivors & Trauma Workers.

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