Do you feel you lack it? What are the Six Factors?
And how does it affect your ability to experience your day?
This could be one of THE most important things you learn to experience the world more as it is!! So let’s get to it!!
Focus. A funny thing that. The elusive buzzword that people often say you need more of, or you’d like to have more of, or perhaps you convince yourself you already have… perhaps you do? However, “focus” is essentially an infinite. You can’t and will never be “fully” focused. You can ALWAYS be better focused. This is not a metric that has an upper limit. Being human, achieving “absolute” focus is quite simply impossible.
Let me show you why. Here’s what the mind of most people has to deal with every day. (Obviously not all, I hope the tone of my site etc is such that it will be a given I understand some may not).
SIX FACTORS OF FOCUS:
- Seeing – This alone takes up a HUGE amount of mental capacity.
- Hearing – Again, consider just the two together, how much information is that to process?
- Physical Feelings – Walking, sitting, holding a pen, typing on your keyboard & any
- Internal Seeing – The “Mind’s eye” – when you imagine things in your mind.
- Internal Dialogue/Sound – Yes, we all have that internal voice, plus songs that may be going around our mind etc.
- Emotions – Emotions, happy, sad, frustrated, joyous, excited, proud – the list goes on, and it can change extremely quickly. Emotions are fluid, and many will come and go without us even realising often.
So. Let me invite you to try right now, to put your attention on ALL those things together at once. What you are seeing, hearing, physically feeling, seeing in your mind, hearing in your mind, and “feeling” emotionally.
You can’t. And that may seem an obvious statement to make. But how many realise how this affects your perception day to day? To such a degree that it paints how you see the world entirely? And thus, prevents you from seeing the world as it IS… in fact, many advertisers/media establishments very much RELY on this to continue selling their goods to you! They spend a lot of money and time making sure you see the world THEIR way.
“Energy goes where attention flows”
Quite an esoteric statement? Metaphysical? Maybe, maybe not. Irrespective of if it has a metaphysical side, it has one in LOGIC and reason and reality. Your reality. Every single day. And whether you choose to pay attention to it or not, it makes no odds, it is happening to you anyway and will continue relentlessly to do so. This is one of the ways life happens TO you.
Your mind can only pay attention to so much at once. The “Reticular activating system” also sees to this, being largely attention driven to choosing what you actually “see” (in a literal sense). So what chance do you have of experiencing the world as it ACTUALLY is? Very little. You only ever see a small proportion of it. Yet so many people, a vast majority I would say, especially in western culture, are driven by the ego (which is formed of precisely those senses mentioned above….are you seeing how this works yet?) to be firm in their being RIGHT. Humans have a natural ego instinct to want to be right… the ego doesn’t like being “wrong” – in fact, it can trigger the same parts of the brain that physical pain does when people are exposed to facts that contradict their “beliefs”. It’s quite extraordinary when you think about it, from a position of non-judgment of course 😉
So the long and short is; you don’t experience the world as it is. Does that concern you? I think it should. Because that’s PRECISELY why our world is in such a mess.
Mindfulness is a practice driven toward reducing the ego influence, and beginning to see the world exactly as it is. No judgment. As soon as you judge, it’s ego. Of course once you’ve seen it how it IS (or certainly as close as possible), then you can begin to consider ways things can work better for everyone, have more deep meaningful discourse with people around you, develop more understanding and a calmer, more patient approach – and usually not one steeped in greed (ego), or the need to be RIGHT (ego).
Your relationship with yourself will improve, as well as with the world around you, and other people.
But the first step is realising you don’t see the world as it is. And I’m afraid if you can’t accept that, then you too are ruled by the ego mind & a robotic construct of experienced perceptions. However, if you can consider it at least, then you’re taking the first steps to freeing yourself from the trap of living in thought.
This is one of the first lessons in mindfulness and one of the hardest to accept and work upon because it’s in direct conflict with the ego mind. It can provoke strong emotions and reactions. But the first step to enjoying a more peaceful, happier, more joyous life is first understanding and accepting this premise. And it just takes asking yourself one very simple question to know if you’re ready…
Is it more important to be right? Or to be happy?
It’s a strong question I know, and quite a provocative blog post, but it really is that profound & important.
To your happiness!