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Focus

The process of meditation involves paying attention to our breath as we inhale and exhale. And every time we lose that focus and our mind wanders to other thoughts, all we need to do is recognise that the mind has wandered and bring it's attention back to our breath. 

Though I haven't found meditation itself to be of great help (personally), I have found the underlying concept of being mindful quite often.

Most recently, it happened while I was reading a book.

As I continued to read the words, my mind would occasionally wander off to thoughts other than what the words in the book are describing, and I would realise that and bring my attention back to what I was reading.

Incidentally, what I was reading was Cal Newport's views on deep work and being effective at what we do. He takes the example of how some students who study for lesser time than others end up scoring higher on tests. And he proposes that the effectiveness of learning is correlated not just with the time spent studying, but also with the intensity of focus during that time spent. 

So, someone who studies for a little time with a lot of focus can have a better outcome than someone who studies for a lot of time with little focus. 

Time spent is easier of the two for us to control. After all, if we haven't completed something, we just spend more time till we do. 

But the way to control intensity of focus is through the principle of meditation. On an ongoing basis, just recognising that we are losing focus and bringing it back. 

And only with this practice will we be able to focus better for longer stretches.

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