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Focus - Attention - Self Discipline - Self Control - Will Power

Being able to stay focused on something is an extremely valuable skill. Focusing helps us become more proficient at sports, games, musical instruments and better at controlling addictions and behaviors. Being able to focus also helps us become more proficient when listening, reading, learning and working. Understanding the Skills and the Components of Concentration are extremely important. There are many benefits that come from the ability to focus our attention.

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Women FocusedAttention is Focusing on one thing or one person without being distracted with other thoughts or other actions. There are several variations of focusing. You can have broad concentration or narrow concentration, Internal Focus or External Focus. You can adjust the Intensity to be relaxed or strong. You can adjust the duration to be short or long. Controlling the wandering mind takes practice. Choose the right location and learn how to tune out distractions. Focus and Self-control is also about thinking clearly and not being distracted from your Morality.

Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. Filtering in order to complete a Goal. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form of one out of what seem several simultaneous objects or trains of thought. Focalization, concentration of consciousness are of its essence. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of limited processing resources. Single-Tasking instead of Multitasking.

Attention Skills: Know when to focus on small details and when to focus on the bigger picture. Filter out unimportant sights, sounds or information. Pay attention without getting distracted. Hold a train of thought when interrupted. Follow through on a task without needing to hear directions several times. Concentrate on one activity at a time. Follow spoken directions. Process information quickly. Keep up in conversation. Listening.

Interested (self directed learning) - Willpower - Vigilance - Commitment

Mental Toughness comes from learning and acquiring the most valuable knowledge and information that the world has to offer.

Inattentive kids show worse grades later in life. This is why teaching children how to focus and how to sustain focus is extremely important to learning. Inattentive is showing a lack of attention or care.

Attention Management refers to models and tools for supporting the management of attention at the individual or at the collective level (cf. attention economy), and at the short-term (quasi real time) or at a longer term (over periods of weeks or months). Distractions diminish people's ability to remember. Divided attention does impair memory, but people can still selectively focus on what is most important, even while they're multitasking.

Time Management (prioritizing)

Attention Span is the amount of concentrated time one can spend on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators such as psychologists agree that the ability to focus attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one's goals. Memory Span.

The average human attention span is around 4 minutes, and advertisers and governments know this.

Change Blindness is a perceptual phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus is introduced and the observer does not notice it.

Inattentional Blindness s a psychological lack of attention that is not associated with any vision defects or deficits. It may be further defined as the event in which an individual fails to perceive an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight. When it simply becomes impossible for one to attend to all the stimuli in a given situation, a temporary blindness effect can take place as a result; that is, individuals fail to see objects or stimuli that are unexpected and quite often salient.

Cocktail Party Effect is the phenomenon of being able to focus one's auditory attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room. This effect is what allows most people to "tune into" a single voice and "tune out" all others. It may also describe a similar phenomenon that occurs when one may immediately detect words of importance originating from unattended stimuli, for instance hearing one's name in another conversation.

Change Blindness Test (youtube)
Selective Attention Test (youtube)
Gorillas In The Midst (youtube)

Spacing Out or Highway Hypnosis is a mental state in which a person can drive a truck or other automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected, safe and correct manner with no recollection of having consciously done so. In this state, the driver's conscious mind is apparently fully focused elsewhere, while seemingly still processing the information needed to drive safely. Highway hypnosis is a manifestation of the common process of automaticity, where the conscious and subconscious minds are able to concentrate on different things. Multitasking

One Thought Leads to Another (retrace your thoughts, go back over again, reassemble mentally).

Distracted is being unable to concentrate because one's mind is preoccupied. Having the attention diverted by known reasons or unknown reasons. Complex Span Test involves remembering the location of an item despite Distractions.

Interruption Science is the interdisciplinary scientific study concerned with how interruptions affect human performance, and the development interventions to lessen the disruption caused by interruptions. Interruption science is branch of human factors psychology and emerged from human–computer interaction and cognitive psychology.

When your attention shifts from one place to another, your brain blinks. The blinks are momentary unconscious gaps in visual perception. Attention is beneficial because it increases our ability to detect visual signals even when we are looking in a different direction.

Ovsiankina Effect is the tendency to pick up an interrupted action again when it has still not been achieved an interrupted task, even without incentive, values as a "quasi-need". It creates intrusive thoughts, aimed at taking up the task again. Remembering of the unfinished action over a vacant one.

Attention Restoration Theory asserts that people can concentrate better after spending time in nature, or even looking at scenes of nature. Natural environments abound with "soft fascinations" which a person can reflect upon in "effortless attention", such as clouds moving across the sky, leaves rustling in a breeze or water bubbling over rocks in a stream.

Joint Attention is the shared focus of two individuals on an object. It is achieved when one individual alerts another to an object by means of eye-gazing, pointing or other verbal or non-verbal indications. An individual gazes at another individual, points to an object and then returns their gaze to the individual.

Fixation (visual) is the maintaining of the visual gaze on a single location.

Focus is the concentration of attention or energy on something. Direct one's attention on something. Bring into focus or alignment; to converge or cause to converge; of ideas or emotions. Maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea. Special emphasis attached to something. Cause to converge on or toward a central point. A point of convergence of light (or other radiation) or a point from which it diverges. A fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section. Maximum clarity or distinctness of an image rendered by an optical system. Put (an image) into focus.

Hyperfocus is an intense form of mental concentration or visualization that focuses consciousness on a subject, topic, or task. In some individuals, various subjects or topics may also include daydreams, concepts, fiction, the imagination, and other objects of the mind. Hyperfocus on a certain subject can cause side-tracking away from assigned or important tasks. Hyperfocus may bear a relationship to the concept of flow. In some circumstances both flow and hyperfocus can be an aid to achievement, but in other circumstance or situations, the same focus and behavior could be a liability, distracting from the task at hand. However, unlike hyperfocus, "flow" is often described in more glowing terms, suggesting they are not two sides of the same condition under contrasting circumstance or intellect.

Concentrate is to focus one's attention or mental effort on a particular object or activity. To direct one's attention on something. Make central. Make more concise. Concentrate also means to make something more denser, more compressed, stronger, or more purer or free from impurities or unwanted materials.

Self-Directed Learning

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

Learning Methods

Mushin is a mental state into which very highly trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities.

Discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with restraint and control.

Self Discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation. Discipline is when one uses reason to determine the best course of action regardless of one's desires, which may be the opposite of excited. Virtuous behavior can be described as when one's values are aligned with one's aims: to do what one knows is best and to do it gladly.

Will Power is that faculty of the mind which selects, at the moment of decision, the strongest desire from among the various desires present. Will does not refer to any particular desire, but rather to the capacity to act decisively on one's desires. Within philosophy the will is important as one of the distinct parts of the mind, along with reason and understanding. It is considered important in ethics because of its central role in enabling a person to act deliberately. Will Power is the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior, determination or purpose.

Free Will (choices) - Motivation - Addictions - Agency

Determinism is the philosophical theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. The theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of its future is also possible. Some philosophers suggest variants around this basic definition. Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes overlapping motives and considerations. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Determinism is often contrasted with free will. Indeterminism is the idea that events (certain events, or events of certain types) are not caused, or not caused deterministically.

Vigilance is the process of paying close and continuous attention. Watchfulness and attentiveness. Observe.

Alertness is a state of readiness to respond. Caregiving

Wakefulness is a periodic state during which you are conscious and aware of the world.

Commitment Device is a means with which to lock yourself into a course of action that you might not otherwise choose but that produces a desired result". In other words, a commitment device is a "way to change one's own incentives to make an otherwise empty promise credible".

Dedicated is devoted to a cause or ideal or purpose. Solemnly dedicated to or set apart for a high purpose. Give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause.

Devoted is zealous enthusiasm or affection. Set aside or apart for a specific purpose or use.

Committed is bound or obligated, as under a pledge to a particular cause, action, or attitude. Responsibility

Pledge is a Promise solemnly and formally. Oath

Promise is a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do or not to do something in the future.

Control is having the power to direct or determine. Having great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity. The ability to determine the behavior or supervise the running of. Have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of.

Locus of Control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control and sometimes blames outside forces for everything.

Self-Control is an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to control one's emotions and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses. As an executive function, self-control is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one's behavior in order to achieve goals. A related concept in psychology is emotional self-regulation. Self-control is like a muscle. In the short term, overuse of self-control will lead to depletion. However, in the long term, the use of self-control can strengthen and improve over time.

Self-Regulation is the ability to calm yourself down when you're upset and cheer yourself up when you're down. If, like most of us, you can stand to improve self-regulation skill, a good place to start is an understanding of the biology and function of emotions in general and specifically feelings.

Temperance is the trait of avoiding excesses. Abstaining from excess. Simplicity

Restrain is to keep under control; keep in check. Place limits on (extent or access).

Rigour refers to a process of adhering absolutely to certain constraints, or the practice of maintaining strict consistency with certain predefined parameters. Hold back. Restrict.

Delayed Gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later. A growing body of literature has linked the ability to delay gratification to a host of other positive outcomes, including academic success, physical health, psychological health, and social competence.

Delayed Exchange Test is to see if  a person is willing to wait for a bigger reward by being able to control an impulse to take a quick reward that is less in value or size. Object Permanence.

Impulse Control (habits)

Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on negative annoyance/anger; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can have before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast. Antonyms include hastiness and impetuousness. Tolerance

self-discipline word cloud Related Subjects
Meditation - Hypnosis
Silence is Golden
Executive Functions
Emotions Effect on Focus
Behavior - Know Thyself
Brain - Memory

Quiet Eye (youtube, PBS)

Intent is an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.

Enkrateia is having power over oneself, self control.

Defence Mechanisms is an unconscious psychological mechanism that reduces anxiety arising from unacceptable or potentially harmful stimuli.

"If you don't learn to control yourself then someone or something will end up controlling you, and not always in your best interest." 

There are many benefits of having the ability to focus and pay attention. In order to maintain your abilities and keep your mind strong, you have to practice and exercise the control that you have over the mind. The Brain loves to learn.

Dynamics of neural recruitment surrounding the spontaneous arising of thoughts in experienced mindfulness practitioners.

Self-Directed Learning

Sophrosyne is an ideal of excellence of character and soundness of mind, which when combined in one well-balanced individual leads to other qualities, such as temperance, moderation, prudence, purity, and self-control.

Task-Positive Network is a network of areas in the human brain that typically responds with activation increases to attention-demanding tasks in functional imaging studies. The task-positive network encompasses regions of the dorsal attention system, but in addition includes dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal regions, the insular cortex, and the SMA/pre-SMA. Notably, the nodes of this network are also correlated during rest (i.e., in the absence of any task). The task-positive network is anti-correlated with the default mode network.

Task-Negative main function is to reorient attention towards salient stimuli. TN is considered to be involved mostly, if not entirely, in involuntary actions. The neural network is right hemisphere lateralized and includes the right temporal-parietal junction and the right ventral frontal cortex. This system shows activity increases upon detection of salient targets, especially when they appear in unexpected locations. Activity increases also are observed in the ventral system after abrupt changes in sensory stimuli, at the onset and offset of task blocks, and at the end of a completed trial.

Keep your Eye on the Ball Brain Areas (image of attention network)

Concentration Exercises
Activities to improve Focus
Juggling - Focus Games - Games

You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it, but of course that's easier said then done. Staying focused takes more then will and desire, it also takes Practice, good skills and good techniques that will help you stay on track. Skills like time management skills, good foresight and good planning techniques, good management techniques, good problem solving techniques, good Awareness, having good emotional control, it's commitment and dedication, it's having good learning techniques, good study skills, it's knowing how to avoid distractions and being good at handling stress and pressure. It's having good health, good stamina, good work ethics and knowing when to take breaks. It's understanding your purpose, your abilities and your weaknesses. It's understanding your priorities and your responsibilities. And don't be overwhelmed or feel inadequate, just start, you can still learn a lot from the experience as long as you are aware of those learning moments and understand them.

"To have a Goal is to have a purpose."

Stanford Marshmallow Experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e., a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures.

Marshmallow Test reproduced by Dr David Walsh (youtube)

The ability to turn down immediate pleasures or instant gratification in favor of gaining the long-term satisfaction and fulfillment from achieving higher and more meaningful Goals.
Keep your Eye on the Ball
Spatial Awareness

Visual Attention Lab (Harvard) 

Attention Deficit characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling Behavior which is not appropriate for a person's age.

Attention Deficit Disorder is characterized by problems paying attention, excessive activity, or difficulty controlling Behavior, which is not appropriate for a person's age. ADD symptoms appear before a person is twelve years old, are present for more than six months, and cause problems in at least two settings (such as school, home, or recreational activities). In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance. Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many children with ADHD have a good attention span for tasks they find interesting.

Default Mode Network shown to be active when a person is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest, such as during daydreaming and mind-wandering. But it is also active when the individual is thinking about others, thinking about themselves, remembering the past, and planning for the future. DMN is a network of interacting brain regions known to have activity highly correlated with each other and distinct from other networks in the brain.

The frontoparietal network is activated when attention is focused on external cues, the salience network is engaged when attention is directed to relevant events, and the default mode network is recruited when attention is focused internally.

Akrasia is lack of self-control or the state of acting against one's better judgment.

Sometimes focusing on one thing can lead to other ideas or questions. So you might get off track from the original goal. So it's best to quickly write down these new questions or ideas and then return to the original plan. Sometimes you start off doing one thing but then end up doing something else, which is not always a bad thing. But you need to discipline yourself to stay on track if you want to reach your goal in the necessary timeframe. But don't ignore what you learn along the way because it might be important. 

"There will always be things that will catch you off guard."

You have to exercise self-control everyday in order to keep this ability strong, just like you would a muscle. Always take a moment in your day to stop a Habit and show yourself that you are in control. Eventually you will become more aware and more in control. So Training, Persistence and Practicing Willpower is a must. Finding your Zone or Flow.

What Not to Do List

Video Games is a way of exercising your focus. But you should exercise your focus on things that benefit you.

S.L.L.S. - Stop - Look - Listen - Smell

Take a timeout and refocus. Set a recurring alarm on your phone for every two hours. Start and End the Day with Control.

Iceman Wim Hof is able to influence his autonomic nervous system and immune system at will. Wim Hof Method. The method appears to allow him to generate heat that dissipates to lung tissue and warms circulating blood in the pulmonary capillaries. Anterior insula is where the brain's higher thermoregulatory centers are located. Periaqueductal gray matter area is associated with brain mechanisms for the control of sensory pain and is thought to implement this control through the release of opioids and cannabinoids. Generating a stress-induced analgesic response in periaqueductal gray matter.

Breathing Exercises

Body Temperature Regulation - Heat

Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in organisms. It occurs in all warm-blooded animals, and also in a few species of thermogenic plants.

Anna Bågenholm (born 1970) is a Swedish radiologist from Vänersborg, who survived after a skiing accident in 1999 left her trapped under a layer of ice for 80 minutes in freezing water. During this time she became a victim of extreme hypothermia and her body temperature decreased to 13.7 °C (56.7 °F), one of the lowest survived body temperatures ever recorded in a human with accidental hypothermia. Bågenholm was able to find an air pocket under the ice, but suffered circulatory arrest after 40 minutes in the water. After rescue, Bågenholm was transported by helicopter to the Tromsø University Hospital, where a team of more than a hundred doctors and nurses worked in shifts for nine hours to save her life. Bågenholm woke up ten days after the accident, paralyzed from the neck down and subsequently spent two months recovering in an intensive care unit. Although she has made an almost full recovery from the incident, late in 2009 she was still suffering from minor symptoms in hands and feet related to nerve injury. Bågenholm's case has been discussed in the leading British medical journal The Lancet, and in medical textbooks.

The conscious ability to cause goosebumps or voluntarily generated piloerection

Women Meditating Reading, Listening, Watching, Meditation, Sports and Juggling are some of the things that require long periods of focus, so use them to measure and strengthen your focus.

Addictions - Memory
Prioritizing - Routines - Traits
Intelligence - Self Smart

Self Control over Behaviors, Impulses, Habits, urges, cravings, emotions and desires.

Disposition is an artificial habit, a preparation, a state of readiness, or a tendency to act in a specified way that may be learned.

Will to Power is the main driving force in humans – achievement, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life. These are all manifestations of the will to power; however, the concept was never systematically defined.

Commitment and Sticking to the plan regardless of the obstacles, discomfort or difficulties that may arise.

Awareness of your motivations and triggers.

Confidence - Temptation - Confusion

Stroop Effect
Name the colors of the following words. Do NOT read the words...rather, say the color of the words.
Stroop Effect Colored Words

Speed of Processing Theory is the interference occurs because words are read faster than colors are named.

Selective Attention Theory is the interference occurs because naming colors requires more attention than reading words.

Binding Problem is a term used at the interface between neuroscience, cognitive science and philosophy of mind that has multiple meanings. Firstly, there is the segregation problem: a practical computational problem of how brains segregate elements in complex patterns of sensory input so that they are allocated to discrete "objects". In other words, when looking at a blue square and a yellow circle, what neural mechanisms ensure that the square is perceived as blue and the circle as yellow, and not vice versa? The segregation problem is sometimes called BP1. Secondly, there is the combination problem: the problem of how objects, background and abstract or emotional features are combined into a single experience. The combination problem is sometimes called BP2. However, the difference between these two problems is not always clear. Moreover, the historical literature is often ambiguous as to whether it is addressing the segregation or the combination problem.

Linear Learning

"What can be Measured can be Improved.”

Quantified Self

Knowledge Management - Math

Knowing when to take breaks and when to exercise.

Time Management

Having Hobbies or a variety of activities that stimulates your imagination, gives inspiration and reenergizes your energy level.

Independent Learning - Healthy Nutrition - Sleep

Focus comes from eliminating distractions, distractions from outside influences and from thoughts inside the mind. Good planning, good methods, and always learning.

Being in control is liberating. It frees you from making the same mistakes over and over again. You'll still be spontaneous and creative, and your mind will still wonder, but this time you'll be a little more aware and a lot less out of control. You may think that discipline is too constraining, but it's not, it's actually less constraining because you have more control over your constraints.

You also become better at decision making because you are now more aware.

Father the Sleeper has Awaken (youtube)

Be Here Now, Live in the Now, not thinking of the past, not thinking of the future, calm your mind and just be in the present moment. Let go of your self-serving self-interested desires. Learning to live in the moment several times a day can help with focus, memory, relaxation and meditation.

Sometimes you have to Stand Back and ask yourself, What am I doing?  How did I get here?

Before you learn the Skills and knowledge that creates Self Discipline, Self Control and Self Awareness, you first have to know the reasons why you are seeking these disciplines. What do you want to achieve, what are your goals and what is your purpose? It’s just not enough to be aware of the benefits that come from having disciplines, but most importantly, you have to know the specific reasons why you need disciplines and what you plan to do with them. These are some of the questions you need to ask if you are going to stay on track and also be able to recognize the things that will take you off track. If you leave one question answered if may be that one question that will unravel everything that you are trying to achieve. You have to know your weaknesses and you have to know your strengths. This goes way beyond having Routines and Rituals. You still need to be aware of whom you are and what you are trying to achieve. So when changes do occur you will be able to recognize these changes and still maintain your Focus. Of course maintaining focus over long periods of time is not recommended because it can be unhealthy and also threaten mental and physical stability. So one of your disciplines will be learning to have Balance and Symmetry in your life. You need a Time and Task Management System that can be modified when situations change. You also need a system that reminds you that you are still a human that needs more then just disciplines in order to thrive. 

The only mind control you should have is your Conscience...

The capacity to rationally weigh Principles of responsibility.

Conscience - Routine

Prioritizing your thoughts is essential. Instead of having uncontrolled Random thoughts you should have control of your thoughts so that you don't waste time with irrelevant or low priority things that want to control your mind and your time. You can only think of one thing at a time, so Choose Well. You brain can only process so much information at once, so it's important that you know which processes should be running. Like the process for total self awareness, or the process for awareness of your surroundings and the process for listening to a person or persons. Trying to be aware of several things at once is not very effective. Daydreaming while driving is a good example. There's a big difference between Multitasking and Focus.

The Thinker Man