What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do. – Arnold Palmer
Just a few of us gathered in the room. It was Saturday afternoon and we were in Independence, Kansas. In those days, it was “cutting edge” that I would even be allowed to be in the room. The guy in charge told me where to sit.
We endured weeks of preparation for that moment; I was there as Rita’s coach.
Lamaze training prepared us for the labor leading up to the birth of our firstborn daughter on March 10, 1978. Yes, I said “us”; my role was to help Rita concentrate (using a visual focal point) and remind her to breathe.
Thirty-four years later, we remind each other to breathe.
When are you due?
While very few people reading this are with child, I believe you have a calling, a purpose to fulfill, a dream, and a life-contribution to make. The truth is giving birth, literally or figuratively, is not easy.
I found Judith Lothian’s and Charloette De Vries’ thoughts recorded on Lamaze International’s website quite interesting …
Finding the time, energy, and peace to face your fears—or do anything that requires mental focus—is a challenge in our culture.
Connecting with yourself is an important task during your pregnancy. It’s a big job to pay attention to all the physical, emotional, and spiritual changes you’re experiencing. It takes concentration to envision a future that includes a new role and a new person. Finding a place of stillness for a few moments each day can help you do this crucial work.
In The People Project I call the “place of stillness” — “Created Space” and finding it Creating Space. The truth is, there is a conspiracy of time that wars against finding and experiencing such a place.
The Necessity of Inattention
When it comes to the “crucial work” you are engaged in or want to pursue concentration is vital … and today, more difficult than ever before.
Lothian and De Vries share the following story in their book:
One pregnant woman shared that after years of working at her office, she’d tuned out the sounds of phones ringing and computers clicking. She didn’t even notice how noisy her office was until an older coworker looked at her across the bank of desks and said, “You’re bringing this child into a world of sounds my babies never heard.”
It’s true: In just a decade or two, technology has changed the world dramatically. From cell phones to ATMs, from microwave ovens to Facebook friends, from high-definition DVDs to iPods, technology fills our days with vivid images and messages. It’s a noisy, busy world that can crowd out the peace we need to connect with ourselves.
Concentration is hard work these days. At the end of the day, have you ever wondered, “What did I accomplish?” Life can become a blur even when we do create space for reflection.
Concentration in our world means a decision is made to not pay attention to a lot of “stuff”. When you pursue your dream — whether your work, a start-up, a healthy body, a strong marriage, life harmony or fulfilling your calling — concentration is key.
The Power of Concentration
Concentration is required when you attempt something great because resistance, fear, and distractions are gathered outside your door.
Concentration is required when the excitement around a new idea is confronted by the hard work of execution and the temptation to jump on another idea.
Concentration is requried when the illusive hope of big news via e-mail interrupts your focus on what truly moves the needle if the action is taken.
Concentration is required when interpersonal conflict drives you to retreat or destroy instead of see the person and communicate.
Concentration is the ability to focus your attention and take action directing your thoughts and efforts to a single objective.
Concentration is combat duty in a world filled with “Opposition Force”.
“Ninety percent of my game is mental. It’s my concentration that has gotten me this far.” Chris Evert
What is the crucial work demanding your concentration?
THE PEOPLE PROJECT:
Your Guide to Changing Behavior and Growing Your Influence as a Leader