A Coaching Power Tool Created by Mohamed Hamad Al Barasi
(Leadership Coach, SWITZERLAND)
One of the wisest people has astutely realized that there are only two mistakes on the road to personal success: “Not to start or not to go all the way”.
What does my favorite quotation have to do with concentration or distraction? It is no longer a secret that behind the great opportunities offered by our modern world there are automatically great dangers. Never before has it been easier to gain knowledge, to discover the world, and finally to realize oneself. Nevertheless, we do not seem to be able to define our wishes clearly, to pursue them permanently, and to realize them at some point. Expectations are getting higher and higher, but the strategies we follow don’t seem to bear fruit in the long run.
This phenomenon can indeed be seen in all areas of life. In the personal area, one often has big goals and visions, but on the way there, the direction is usually changed several times or even the path is completely broken off. No matter whether it is about nutrition, personality development, or hobbies, none of it survives the distractions of everyday life.
Even professional life is not spared from the modern disease of distraction, although clear structures and boundaries prevail in the world of work. At work, too, many people find it difficult to concentrate on tasks, to be constantly awake, or to develop intrinsic motivation.
Not to forget the social sphere. Gradually, distraction in the social sphere has become so established that it seems to us to be taken for granted and normal. Having a profound conversation with friends, listening to your partner in a non-judgemental way, or giving the necessary attention to a needy family member is quite rare. It is as if something on the outside, but also the inside, is taking our attention away from the essential.
In summary, I dare say that our success in personal, social, and professional life depends very much on our ability to concentrate.
The consequences of distraction or abstraction are:
- in personal life: lack of balance and inner peace.
- In professional life: lack of contentment and fulfillment.
- In social life: …lack of depth, closeness, and touch.
In this context the following questions arise, which are essential for a fulfilled life:
- What are the causes of our distraction or extreme distraction?
- how can we overcome the modern challenges?
- what do we gain in all areas of life through the power of focus?
To understand where the causes of the scattering come from, we should briefly look at the meaning of both terms:
Concentration is the collection, centering. When doing a demanding task, the concentration of the mind is especially important. In everyday life, too, it is important to cultivate the ability to concentrate to be able to understand and implement things better and faster. To do this, you have to concentrate your powers, abilities, and actions. If you try to do everything, you will not do anything right. By concentrating on one thing you can master it and lead it to success.
Abstractedness is a mental state of wandering attention. Abstractedness means that you cannot concentrate. Abstractedness means that you are thinking about something other than what you are doing. Abstractedness can be another name for distraction. But absent-mindedness can also mean that you forget a lot, that you cannot remember what you promised, that you miss appointments. You can smile absent-mindedly, nod absent-mindedly – and appear rather absent-minded.
Causes for the state of absent-mindedness are, of course, individual for each person, but you can recognize clear indicators for absent-mindedness. There are two types of distraction, internal and external:
External information overload: Our attention is bombarded daily with information that our brain has to process. It starts in the morning when we are confronted with our mobile phone. Unconscious processes are accelerated early on: Did I get a message? Have I missed something? What happened while I was away? This process continues throughout the day and only stops just before sleep. Also, other technologies such as television, computers, etc. are added.
Inner restlessness: Of course, one cannot claim that our absent-mindedness is due solely to modern technology. Another cause of our absent-mindedness comes from within. When you feel an inner restlessness, it is impossible to concentrate your mind, let alone focus on a path in the long run. We all know this phenomenon from our everyday life as well. The ability to ground ourselves regularly to act out of our midst again does not always seem to come easily to us.
Concentration can be strengthened in many different ways. Which methods and strategies you choose to maintain focus is very individual. But what needs to be differentiated is the approach. Do you choose a strategy to eliminate external distractions or do you choose methods to strengthen your inner focus? Again, there is no right and wrong. The mixture of the two ways is the golden way. Here are some examples of internal and external methods:
Isolation: We often associate isolation with loneliness and boredom, which of course prevents us from focusing on one thing. No matter what we do, we usually need TV, music, or some kind of noise in the background. But for a complete dedication to a thing to happen, you need tunnel vision. It needs the feeling of: “There is only me and this one thing”. Of course, this does not happen from one day to the next. You can start with a few minutes and grow more and more into it.
Support: Every person needs support, especially in phases where the motivation or mental power is not at its peak. Exactly then external forces are needed to pull someone along. It can be a friend, a group of people, or a coach to accompany us in the process.
Training: Our concentration works like a muscle. If a muscle is not trained, it is automatically not powerful. It is worthwhile to train the muscle “concentration” regularly for all areas of life. There are various methods of strengthening concentration: For example through mental training, meditation, reading, sports, fine motor work, etc.
You can even consider everyday tasks such as cleaning, vacuuming, or talking to other people as concentration training. By making oneself aware of being fully in the moment. Later you can evaluate how much you have concentrated. In this way, concentration training is even fun, and supposedly insignificant activities in everyday life gain a deep meaning.
Attitude: Most people fail in this topic already because of their attitude towards concentration. We combine concentration/focus on effort and hard work. This leads to a negative attitude. Through concentration, one can enjoy any moment and let oneself fall. Also, one does not want to miss anything and wants to do different things at the same time. Also here it is important to question your attitude. Would you rather enjoy one thing completely or would you rather experience different things superficially?
When adjusting your attitude, it is also important not to be tense and focused. It is completely healthy to be dreamy and absent-minded. The balance between tension and relaxation is the right one. The same principle applies to concentration vs. distraction. It always takes phases of absolute distraction or letting go. The art lies in changing to a state of concentration at the right moment.
Profit through concentration:
The ability to concentrate yields an extreme surplus-value in all areas of life:
- personal area: No matter what your goal is, be it losing weight, reading more books, or pursuing some hobby, the ability to concentrate makes a big contribution to success.
- social area: Also in the social area, the ability to concentrate gives you valuable qualities. One is a better listener, a better speaker, and gains a charismatic charisma. In general, one gains deep and nurturing relationships.
- professional field: Especially in the professional field, productivity is difficult to achieve without concentration. The ability to concentrate leads to more productivity, more constancy, and therefore automatically to lasting success.
Of course, the list could go on indefinitely. The influence on other abilities, which are also essential, can hardly be measured. One thing is clear: It is worthwhile in any case to train your concentration regularly…
- How long can I concentrate on one task in everyday life?
- How much content can I absorb in one conversation? Can I see and hear non-verbal signals?
- How easily do I allow myself to be distracted when I am taking care of my duties
The following questions serve the client to eliminate external distractions. Also, they should help the client to concentrate better:
- what prevents you from constantly pursuing your goal? How could you eliminate the mentioned distractions for a certain time?
- what are your three biggest time wasters in everyday life? What could you do so that the mentioned time eaters do not appear during your work?
- is there certain music or a certain framework that helps you to concentrate better? How could you integrate these conditions in your work?
- which activities require the most concentration? Do you want to do these activities at the beginning of the day or the end?
- how could you train the ability to concentrate? How could you integrate the training into your routine?
- where do you manage to concentrate very well? In which area do you want to improve your concentration?
- when do you want to let go consciously and not concentrate at all? What influence does letting go have on your ability to concentrate?
The key to the brain – use your potential – Robert G. Koch
Tony Robbins Blog