The most important skill we can develop is the ability to focus on a task and maintain that focus for as long as it takes to reach our objective. There are so many distractions available to us, and demanding our attention that sometimes the struggle to focus seems insurmountable. One of the best methods to develop focus is a simple meditation exercise I learned from the Dharma Punx folks. In this clip from a TED Talks presentation, Dandapani takes the audience through an abbreviated form of the exercise.
Exercises similar to this that help us understand how to direct our awareness are invaluable to our journey to realizing our potential. Sitting in an airport or standing in a line need not be down time. As Henry Rollins said, there is only time. Practice feeling the ground under your feet, your breathing, the air moving around you, the parts of your body that are in contact with the chair you’re sitting on, and any thoughts going through your head. Observe it all, and train yourself to move your focus from point to point. This all provides us with valuable data. We’re gathering information about ourselves and our thoughts that help us to know ourselves better. This all contributes to developing our ability to focus, it’s a skill that we build just like any other. I would suggest we prioritize this skill as it directly impacts our ability to build our other skill sets. I work on this skill constantly. As often as possible I work on my ability to focus, tune out distractions and be present. Try it for yourself, take five minutes a day and do these simple exercises. Check it out and give it a shot, you might be surprised at how well you can direct your awareness while improving your ability to intense FOCUS to the task at hand.