Mindfulness, Feelings, & Focus

How do you focus?

What is your focus?

We can actually stop and become aware of how we are being aware. As we tune into how we focus and how we manage our attention, we learn a great deal about what real intelligence is. It is certainly not just a number; it is the application of knowledge to a challenge that requires focus and attention. If you can’t focus and you can’t attend to a task over a period of time necessary to reach the solution, you dart from thing to thing and task to task.

Focus is not talking on the phone. It is dangerously not texting and driving and thinking you can. and it is definitely not multi-tasking. Focus comes from knowing your strengths and being able to apply them in the unique way that is your own. You really have to know what your strengths are, and very few people do without being scientifically tested to identify them.

We think nothing of tests that tell us what’s wrong with us, but miss taking those measures that tell us who we really are. Everyone, yes everyone, takes his or her strengths for granted. They are often the last things we learn to focus upon, yet they are the very things that will reveal our intelligence and our genius.

And most importantly,  the use of our real strengths, honed with attention and focus, is the core of our level of happiness and satisfaction in life.

The danger is that the only thing that begins to hold our attention is what we observe, what we watch on television or on a smartphone screen.

Our attention span and focus begin to be directed by the message, rather than by our own inner ability to focus and attend to a task.

What is often overlooked is how much FOCUS is dependent upon feeling state. Our feelings are where we live, and we focus from our feeling state or in reaction to it. Regardless of how the brain functions and handles the physiological process, we are FOCUSING from feelings.

FOCUS and FEELINGS could very nearly be the same thing.

Oftentimes we are so much on automatic pilot that we don’t know what we’re feeling. What are you feeling right now? Can you tell me in words that really describe to me where you are in such a way that I could feel it with you?

You are not your feelings until you can decide which ones you want to have and direct your FOCUS to have them.

What your right frontal lobe attaches to and takes in is largely dependent upon two things: your awareness of your feelings and your emotional muscle.

Even when I am intending to focus on something I want to learn or know, the power of that focus rests in what I am feeling, and how that feeling is coloring my experience.

Try an experiment. Look around you and see what you see. Then take a deep breath. Breathe deeply and feel peace. See how deeply and completely you can relax and feel peace. Close your eyes while you do it. Then open your eyes and look around. Now what do you see? Take some time and look. Notice any differences?

FOCUS is a choice if we make it a choice. But always the power of that focus is largely defined by what we are feeling. Before you label yourself ADD, consider what you are feeling. Before you decide that you can’t focus on something, consider what you are feeling.

Mindfulness of FEELING STATES enhances FOCUS.

What takes up your attention?

How have you learned to tune-in and stay tuned-in on a task you have to complete?

Attention and focus are learned, and they affect the application of every strength you have.

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute