Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Improving One's Focus

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Hi,

It's become apparent to me relatively recently that I have very poor focus, and I'd like to figure out how to greatly improve it.

My problem is that as I go about my day, I am constantly thinking about myself. I am constantly lost in my thoughts, usually about different ways I can better myself and better my life. Whereas many people have a problem introspecting, my problem is that I introspect all the time; the main crux of what I think about is myself, who I am and how I can become a better person. That's obviously very important to think about, but not all day, every day!

I want to break this habit and train myself to be more "out there", more engaged with the world outside of my mind. The concept of "focus" really captures all of this. How can I improve my focus and learn not to engage in ever-present introspection?

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can introspect with ease, then you can 'extrospect' (lol) with ease, since a prerequisite of competent introspection is competent extrospection.

I am constantly lost in my thoughts, usually about different ways I can better myself and better my life.
Me too, isn't it fun?

Why do you think introspection isn't good all day everyday? To introspect is to simply take the focus that you have and apply it inwardly. (If you're introspecting, you don't lack focus). I'm assuming that you participate in some activity, whether it be school, job, etc. and then introspect after you are done with those activities. (Although you haven't given me much information, so this is a surmisation.)

I want to break this habit and train myself to be more "out there", more engaged with the world outside of my mind.

So I guess I am confused. Why would you want to be more "out there" than "in there"? If you are not "in there," how do you expect to be "out there?" (Have you met people that do not introspect? What do you think of them? Have you met others who you think introspect too much? What do you think of them?)

Introspection is a phenomenal human tool, that, once refined and practiced, leads to happiness (assuming you have taken the requisite action once you've discovered something via introspection). Without introspection, you won't be able to control yourself very well.

Anyhoo, just my 2cents :) peace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How can I improve my focus and learn not to engage in ever-present introspection?
Borat, Can you provide a relatively simple example of a specific situation you face frequently and how you act/react versus how you would like to act/react assuming that you were "in focus".

Example: "When I am taking orders in my restaurant, I find I am not listening to what the customer is saying, but instead thinking about whether I am ..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for your replies.

I agree that introspection is a virtue, as is being so dedicated to improving my character and my life.

Where it becomes an issue is when I seize on the latest thing I want to change/improve -- it's always something; in this case, ironically, it's focus -- and think constantly about how to practice it and improve it, and how it affects me.

Don't get me wrong, I do very well in my career. But I could do so much BETTER if -- for example -- when I'm sitting in on a meeting at work, I could be 110% focused on what's being said, on what's going on, etc...... rather than drifting intermittently to thoughts of myself, my level of focus, my values, and so on.

The point is that I like being able to introspect so well, but WHILE I'm engaging in any activity -- when I'm in meetings at work, interacting with friends, or in martial arts class -- I'd like to be able to have my mind FULLY focused "out", on the task/activity at hand, and not diverted with thoughts of itself.

I guess that now that I've identified my focus as an issue, I can work to improve it every day in every situation. I was just wondering if anybody was familiar with this sort of problem, or had any advice or guidance.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where it becomes an issue is when I seize on the latest thing I want to change/improve -- it's always something; in this case, ironically, it's focus -- and think constantly about how to practice it and improve it, and how it affects me.

... when I'm in meetings at work, interacting with friends, or in martial arts class -- I'd like to be able to have my mind FULLY focused "out", on the task/activity at hand, and not diverted with thoughts of itself.

I think it is good that you are trying hard to improve yourself.

What you are describing is called "absent-mindedness" and it is common among geniuses. You are focusing -- on what you care about -- rather than the small stuff of life.

If you really need to change your focus and cannot, then that is really the issue -- not focusing, but changing focus when necessary. I would suggest writing down all your new thought on the subject and key words pointing to things to explore next. Do this in a journal with sections: one section for each important topic in your life. Then go to the section on the next activity in which you are to engage and read that to shift your focus.

Also cut back on stimulants like caffeine which make it hard to change focus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where it becomes an issue is when I seize on the latest thing I want to change/improve -- it's always something; in this case, ironically, it's focus -- and think constantly about how to practice it and improve it, and how it affects me.

[...] But I could do so much BETTER if -- for example -- when I'm sitting in on a meeting at work, I could be 110% focused on what's being said, on what's going on, etc...... rather than drifting intermittently to thoughts of myself, my level of focus, my values, and so on.

[bold added for emphasis.]

I am confused. Are you constantly thinking about some self-improvement project -- or intermittently doing so?

Further, exactly what do you mean by "focus"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You must first introspect to know what to improve. But once you have discovered it you must focus on actually improving -- actually accomplishing that particular item. Unless you are sitting alone staring into space introspecting, it will be difficult to avoid improving those things in the daily course of your life.

I don't really understand where the problem is. Are you sitting around all day, staring into space? Or are you having a hard time figuring out how to implement the improvements you have decided on?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I find myself being "absent minded" lately. Lack of sleep and too much caffeine are the likely culprits. Parts of my job are pretty repetitive and I find my mind drifting off into other things during these tasks. Between that and being interrupted by phone calls during these tasks I've made a few mistakes doing them of late. Its very irritating. If its something I want to do I seem to have no trouble focusing. Go figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...