|09-27-2011, 02:09 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2010
Improve Concentration and Attention Span through Conscious Failure
If I could be said to be in any 'business', I'd say I was in the learning business. 99% of my waking hours are devoted to learning some new thing. In the past it was all about concrete skills such as learning new languages, new video games, or musical instruments. These days I concern myself with spiritual, transcendent principles and how they interact with each other to produce the experience we call reality.
Picking up and becoming proficient with these principles is loads of fun when you're making progress. But I can only spend so much time on each principle, before I have to relax and let it go, otherwise I get frustrated. Hacking reality this way is very powerful and fulfilling, but you really have to be focused.
Basically the way this process works is, I'll hit upon a field of inspiration. Perhaps I'll decide to start trying to astral project. I'll do a bunch of reading, then make one, focused effort based on how I feel I might break through everything in one big rush.
That one push almost never succeeds. I fail almost every time I do this. It's the experience that keeps me coming back for more. While I fail very very often, I'm so deeply involved in it that I learn so much from the experience, that I'll usually get a flash of inspiration to apply to some other pursuit that I have.
In this way, I can apply great amounts of effort to many things at a time, the end result being I can learn lots of skills seemingly concurrently. Also, the quality of attention I can give to everything I do goes up over time. I find myself deeper and deeper in flow. I learn more about learning with each big push. I only fail because I'm pushing myself harder and harder. I enjoy the feeling of failure.
|09-27-2011, 02:31 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2010
Oh, I forgot to add in this bit:
As I get more proficient at the zen of learning, I'm much more confident that I can put stuff down for longer periods of time without losing significant amounts of ability. I haven't picked up my guitar in perhaps a year, but I'm highly confident that I'll be able to quickly gain the proficiency I lost and surpass my playing when I finally do.
What would be really cool is if, by the time I do get around to picking up my guitar, that I will gain so much proficiency, so fast, that it'll be like I never put it down. That would be a truly magickal way of learning because it means that, in effect, I'm practicing without practice, learning without learning.
But in order to do that, I need to gain all kinds of tangential skills in I/M and visualization. I've heard of martial arts fighters who've gone to prison, and, despite the time spent in jail, unable to properly train, come out better fighters than they went in, almost to the point where they couldn't have improved faster had they not gone to jail.
That's the level of proficiency I aspire to.
|09-28-2011, 12:28 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Barleylands, United Kingdom
A very nice post, Vince!
On a more serious note, martial artists who for some reason can't practice (e.g.major injury) usually practice mentally, which is the reason why they often are in an even better shape than before the pause. They also might practice in a manner which wouldn't be recognised as a martial arts practice by a bystander. Walking in the city is amazing for distance training. So is driving, at least from what I hear, since I don't drive. Martial artists who have a long break in training often don't have any break at all, it's just people don't see that
Also, physical skills are much easier to keep like that because of the body memory. There are some sequences of movements I haven't done for years.My mind wouldn't remember it, but my body would. This is the same for most physical skills that were learned to the point of automation. It's a really interesting feeling when your mind has no clue what is the next move but your body does it by itself. Talk about letting go..
|09-28-2011, 02:31 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Mississauga, On Canada
Woops, since you two brought up martial arts, of course it's just natural that I have to chime in on this!
I can share from my own personal experience - during my long martial arts competition career, I suffered not one, but two separate ACL knee injuries. These are torn ligaments inside the knee that are needed for lateral stability.
In order to get normal stability and function again, there was no choice but to have these ligaments surgically repaired. So I went through two major knee operations. The operations themselves required a waiting period of several months and after each surgery, my leg lost so much strength and flexibility, that I needed another several months of painful rehabilitation.
So both times, I was pretty well out of normal martial arts training for almost a year each knee. However, even though I lost the function of my legs during these times, I chose not to remain dormant as it was just not my nature to do so. I decided to train only with my upper body during the layoffs.
As a result of the extra focus on my upper body techniques, they actually became stronger. By the time I regained enough function from my legs to train my whole body again, I ended up being a better martial arts competitor because of the extra training focus I had with my upper body. I ended up with a few more world titles because of the extra focus I had during my two long layoff periods.
Now looking back, I wouldn't want to go through another round of knee surgeries like that. I wouldn't want anyone to go through the ACL injury experience. Anybody else out there who has had the unfortunate experience of having an ACL injury would certainly relate to what I'm talking about.
So returning to the topic of this thread, yes, I think it is possible to have some sort of improvement from a failure but in my case, only if one wasn't completely dormant.
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