We all know that in this day and age the world is as fast-paced as it has ever been. Industries shift and evolve from one year to the next, technology upgrades, and we need to keep moving with the times.
Staying up to date with the newest developments in your field can be incredibly challenging, and integrating the swift changes into your own knowledge basis is difficult. Even improving upon your line of work can be challenging, once you reach a certain level which is considered satisfactory.
The ability to focus is crucial, and you can train yourself to do this better. It is not a matter of simply having a short attention span, it is a matter of putting your mind to the task of training it to function better.
This is where meditation and techniques such as Ultralearning come into play. Our brains are overworked and overstimulated. Even when we’re taking a break, they continue to function at an excessive pace, which takes up your capacity for calm deliberation and focus. With too many things to focus on, our brains struggle to hone in on one thing with full attention.
Meditation clears, calms, and slows the mind. Free of the clutter which builds up throughout the day, your mind is able to bring its focus fully to one thing. This is where the training begins and repetition is at the heart of it. Set up a rigid, ritualistic daily practice. Put your brain to one chosen mechanism and stick to it. Focus on phasing out the distractions. The more you do it, the easier it will become, like any habit. Only this time you are training your brain to be sharper and more efficient.
Pick a subject and set aside a certain period of time every day when you can focus your undivided attention on it. To understand the field or topic, research it, and create a map. Even if this is a topic you have been working on for a long time, take a step back, and draw up the basic principles of it. This is why I employ Ultralearning techniques, where the initial research is important to create a guideline even if you’re already proficient in the topic. If you’re already familiar with a field, you’ll already know your weaknesses and will be able to tackle them from there. If it’s a brand new topic, analyze your weaknesses and start focusing on those areas in depth.
Your ritualistic practice to train your mind will allow you to both get instant feedback and figure out corrective techniques. You want to seek out your weaknesses and discomforts as much as possible – and this is exactly what meditation or physical activity will put your mind in a position for. We’re all capable of mastering anything – the key is to prime your mind for it.
Kev Scheepers is a movement and mindfulness coach that has been working with martial arts for over 20 years. He is an Author of 'Meeting a Muay Boran Master' and international expert on Ultralearning.