The Power of Concentration – Part One
When I was a child, I saw how a magnifying glass could burn a piece of paper, when the rays of the sun were focused through it. The fire could start only when the sun’s rays were concentrated to a small point. When the magnifying glass was moved too far away or too close to the paper, the rays were not focused enough and nothing happened. This experience describes vividly the power of concentration.
This power can be described as focused attention. It is the ability to direct the attention to one single thought or subject, to the exclusion of everything else.
When our mind is focused, our energies are not dissipated on irrelevant activities or thoughts. This is why developing concentration is essential to anyone who aspires to take charge of his or her life. This skill is essential for every kind of success. Without it, our efforts get scattered, but with it, we can accomplish great things.
Concentration has many uses and benefits. It assists in studying and understanding faster, improves the memory, and helps in focusing on any task, job, activity or goal, and achieving it more easily and efficiently. It is also required for developing psychic powers, and is a powerful tool for the efficient use of creative visualization.
When this ability is developed, the mind obeys us more readily and does not engage in futile, negative thoughts or worries. We gain mental mastery and we experience true peace of mind.
This ability also plays an important role in meditation. Without it, the mind just jumps restlessly from one thought to another, not allowing us to meditate properly.
Do you now realize, why it is very important and worthwhile to develop and improve the ability to concentrate?
To develop this power you need to train and exercise it. Forget all your excuses about not having the time or being too busy. Do not say that the circumstances are not appropriate or that you cannot find a quiet place to exercise. With a little planning, desire and motivation you can always find the time to exercise each day, no matter how busy you are.
The Restless Mind
Thoughts claim our attention incessantly, and waste our time and energy on unimportant and useless matters. They actually rule our life. We have become so used to this slavery, that we take it for granted, and have become unconscious of this habit, except on certain occasions.
While breathing, we do not need to pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. We become conscious of the process of breathing, only when we have some difficulty with breathing, such as when our nose is clogged, due to a cold, or when we are in an unventilated room.
It is the same with thinking. We become conscious of the constant onslaught of our thoughts, and of our inability to calm them down, only when we need to concentrate, solve a problem or study. We are also acutely aware of them when we have worries or fears.
Look at the following familiar situation. You need to study something for your job or for an exam. You sit comfortably on the sofa with the book in your hands and start reading. After a while you feel hungry and go to the kitchen to eat something.
You return to read, and then hear you people talking outside. You listen to them for several moments and then bring your attention back to the book.
After a while you feel restless and switch on the radio to listen to some music. You continue to read for a little while, and then remember something that happened yesterday, and you start thinking about it.
When you look at your watch, you are amazed to find out that one complete hour has passed and you have hardly read anything.
This is what happens when one lacks concentration. Imagine what you could have accomplished, if you could control your attention and focus your mind!
Work that requires physical strength, such as carrying heavy loads for example, develops physical strength. Yet, it is not as exercising daily to the gym in a systematic manner. It is the same with concentration. Reading, studying and trying to pay attention to what we do, develop some of this ability, but practicing exercises diligently each day is something else, it is like training in a gym.
Inner resistance to developing concentration
In order to develop this ability we have to train our minds. Most people think that concentration is a strenuous and tiring activity, and that it involves exertion and tension, which are difficult and unpleasant.
This belief starts at an early age. Parents and teachers expect children to study, do their homework and get good grades. This brings up in the children a feeling of being coerced and forced to do something they don’t like doing. When they are too often told that they are not concentrating good enough, they develop a loathing for concentration, and often for studying too. These become associated with coercion, lack of freedom, doing something they do not like to do, and which is against their will. When they grow up, it is no wonder that their powers of concentration are weak, and they have no desire to strain their minds.
Though most people acknowledge the fact that good concentration is a great asset, yet most of them do nothing to strengthen it, because they don’t know how, and because they lack the motivation. It is hoped that this article will provide the necessary information and motivation.
Concentration can be fun, if approached in the right way. It should be practiced with joy, positive attitude, optimism, and understanding of its great possibilities.
The benefits of developing concentration
Sometimes you can find strong powers of concentration in yourself. When you really and earnestly want to excel in your studies, pass an important exam or solve a problem, this power becomes available to you. In such cases, it appears because of some need or desire, but developing it in a systematic way brings it under your control, and grants you the ability to use it intentionally, whenever you need it. To do so, you need to practice special exercises on a daily basis.
Here is what you can gain by developing this power:
-Control of your thoughts.
-The ability to focus your mind.
-Peace of mind.
-Freedom from futile and annoying thoughts.
-The ability to choose your thoughts.
-The ability to study and comprehend more quickly.
-Enhanced capability to develop psychic abilities.
-More powerful and efficient use of creative visualization.
-Enhanced ability to meditate.
-And much more…
Seems too good to be true? Develop the power of concentration and find out for yourself!
So what about starting to develop concentration power today?
In part two of this article you will find advice and exercises for developing and strengthening this ability