On Attention and Focus
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“How can I improve the quality of my experiences?”
“The quality of your experience is the quality of your Attention. This makes attention management one of the most important life-skills.”
“What is the difference between Attention and Focus?”
“Focus is a functional-model for Attention. It is useful because it reveals some important properties of Attention.
Each property has a corresponding skill. In isolating them, you can focus on and train them individually.
Deep-Focus is the capacity to maintain Attention on one thing (One-pointed Attention). This is what you’re essentially training with Meditation.
Selective-Focus is the capacity to choose the optimal direction for Attention in any given moment.
We have a tendency to collapse Attention to a point. Wide-Focus is the capacity to expand Attention to the entire field of experience.”
“What is the optimal direction for Attention?”
“I’ve identified five dimensions (so far):
Focus on what you can control (not on what you can’t).
Focus on what you have (not on what you don’t).
Focus on the process (not the outcome).
Focus on the solution (not the problem).
Focus on the positive (not the negative).
You can think of them as a moment-to-moment checklist.
What are you focusing on now?
Control / Not control
Have / Not have
Process / Outcome
Solution / Problem
Positive / Negative”
“Why are you emphasizing the opposite in each case?”
“This makes it easier to invert [<link; medium length] them.”