Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Mindfulness”

The Power of Focus (how many times?) and AA Principles…


The Last Drop by Zsuzsanna Kilián

The Last Drop by Zsuzsanna Kilián

I apologise profusely for being a broken record on this. As a colleague today said in the kitchen at Madgex ‘Well of course, focus is the key to life’.

You can get a sense of the level of the conversation when I’d been suggested that we pull together a group of (we thought) similarly self-aware individuals who were all struggling with the same problem: the consistent management of their attention. I suggested we use the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous in terms of peer/group support and create our own steps for ‘recovery’.

The whole theory of it being a ‘recovery’ however really brought it home to me what a holy grail/ key to life it is. For me it fits as follows. In a pre-dawn moment at the weekend I brainstormed the following under the heading: ‘Observations, realities and reminders’

• MY CONTROL OF MY ATTENTION WILL be my lifetime USP/ core competence
• Deliberate practice is the only way that life gets easier
• Mindfulness and self awareness are the cornerstones to my future success
• Deliberate, clear and constantly referred to goals are at the heart of the engine room of effort
• Focus and consistent, persistent hard work takes a crazy amount of effort
• I only achieve through hard work and constant endeavour
• Deliberate focus on efficiency, volumes and throughput is the only way to get better faster
• A driver of hard work and persistence should be time for the creation of creative/ pleasure/ research

I decided just to put these out there in this post without any further explanation as my stake in the ground/ hat in the ring of what I intend to achieve in the short-term of my life

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Mindfulness: Learning in the Task

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Asif Akbar

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Asif Akbar

I had a riding lesson today. My family is mad-keen and has been having lessons for many months now. I wanted to go as I look for activities where I can completely lock my focus onto something. Enforced mindfulness I suppose. My colleague Jane and I have had a couple of discussions on the need for a switch off by completely switching onto something else. She gets this switch off relaxation from snowboarding. To paraphrase terribly, I think she said something like ‘you tend to concentrate if you’re hurtling down a hill and likely to kill yourself if you don’t’

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Thrashing and Power of Focus: the simple truth

Power by dfu

Power by dfu

Nothing has struck me more since I began my pursuit of self-development a few years ago, than the apparent power of focus.

Struck about ten years ago with a real curiosity about the qualities and benefits of mindfulness within Buddhism, it feels like part of the end game for a lot of self-development challenges includes the ability to master the power of focus to the best of your abilities.

With my ‘simple mind’ investigations that I am now undertaking, I am now struck by the double-challenge of that mastery:

1. To be able to focus is a challenge in itself. I always remember a quote where someone said that the secret of their success was their ability to concentrate single-mindedly on one matter with absolute focus (for something crazily short like 15 minutes (would love to get this correctly sourced…..)

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