Power of concentration

MATTERS OF THE MIND: The level of concentration is proportionate to your interest in the job.

MATTERS OF THE MIND: The level of concentration is proportionate to your interest in the job.  

While studying, you notice a lizard on the wall that is about to catch an insect. As it moves forward, the insect flies to land at a distance. The chase continues for some time and suddenly you realise that you had stopped reading for half-an-hour while watching them.

Concentration is the capacity to hold your five sensory organs from other interesting and tempting activities. A child does not pay attention to his mother’s dinner call when he is engaged in a computer game. A housewife realises the burnt smell of food kept on the gas stove in the kitchen only after the TV serial is over.

Thus level of concentration is proportionate to your interest on the job.

Attention is of two types as already discussed in this column -- focussed and divided.

The former is ability to converse with a friend amidst disturbing sounds around. On the other hand, talking with a friend over a cup of tea, while getting the legs massaged and watching the telly simultaneously is called divided attention. Brain has two responsibilities – attention and retention. When a mother advises her child to run away from a mad dog, it is retained in the neurons of the brain for life.

Even after a decade, when he/she sees it, the body releases adrenaline to give required strength (attention) for fight or flight.

The retention capacity of the brain neurons according to scientists is around five hundred thousand concepts, from your name to Newton’s laws of motion. The more you inject redundant material that occupies more brain space, the less its capacity to hold your subject matter.

Then how to stop pulp material dwelling into brain space?

Enjoy life’s pleasure such as picnics, movies, computer games but stop discussing them. When you argue about your favourite actor or about films, those recurring discussions and heated debates require recapitulation to strengthen your arguments. Frequent recapitulations push the pulp neurons to the Thalamus part of the brain to become permanent. This is the reason why a student remembers the last movie of Aarti Agarwal as ‘Andala Ramudu’ and forgets the Archimedes principle.

Lord Krishna preaches Arjuna about Abhyasa in the eighth chapter of Bhagavad Gita, ‘Akshara para brahma yoga.’ ‘Kshara’ means destroyable. ‘Akshara’ means wisdom that is not destroyable.

It is for you to decide between both, before complaining lack of attention and memory.


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