The Art of Concentration

Hillcourt later in life
William Hillcourt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Art of Concentration.

Does your mind jump from one thing to another like a flea? Or does it stick to the job at hand? You have to keep your mind constantly alert if you expect to keep it from drifting. Are you able to do it?

Some fellows seem to accomplish as much in one hour as others do in two. They can finish their studies more quickly. They have ample time for all sorts of other interests – hobbies, athletics, reading. Often this is not so much because of superior ability. It’s because they have learned to keep their minds on what they are doing. They know how to concentrate.

Concentration is made up of will power and self-control.

During an exciting baseball game you often become so absorbed in the play that you are unaware of anything around you except the ball and players. No difficulty about concentration here. Bring that same intense quality to your work and see how much more you can get done.

Give yourself a definite lengthy of time to accomplish a certain amount of work – say, tomorrow’s algebra or the next day’s English composition. Force yourself to keep your attention on the job you are doing. Then finish on time.

Don’t put off a job that has to be done until you feel like doing it. Do it and get it over with!

Do things often enough in this determined way for it to become a habit. After that you’ll be sitting pretty while someone who hasn’t learned to concentrate struggles along, never quite making the grade.

– William Hillcourt, Boy Scout Handbook 9th edition.

 

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