‘Focus!’ shouted the teacher. Twenty pairs of eyes squinted even as their foreheads frowned, struggling to pay attention to a dull piece of historical information. Five minutes later, needless to say, some children were stifling their yawns, some doodling furtively on the chapter pages and some were having a hard time in keeping their eyes open. And the teacher droned on, with occasional shouts of “Focus!”
Believe me, the moment we hear the word – focus – we get an image of someone creasing their forehead in grim concentration, without even a shade of a smile. Well, Focus or concentration is not about contorting your facial expressions to look like a grave detective trying to crack a tough case. It’s actually the other way round.
How do we focus? – is the question asked by worried parents whose children can’t sit still; by serious teachers whose students are nowhere near completing a chapter, let alone read a whole book!
Well, the thing is that you don’t really have to crease your forehead or strain your eyes to bring upon the element of focus. In fact, you do not need anything (not even the costly, glamorous supplements the ads brag about). The irony is that: “To really focus, you don’t have to focus.”
You simply have to have this quality: Involvement. Yes, joyful involvement. We need to enjoy the process and be totally involved in the activity. This joyful involvement is what ‘focus’ is all about. A child might not read even one page of history book. The same child may devour the entire seven books of Harry Potter with relish! How? A book is a book after all. The difference is just the degree and kind of involvement. The child enjoys reading stories instead of facts. He/She is ‘focused’, that is ‘joyfully involved’, in reading stories.
The art of being joyfully involved is actually a brilliant tool in knowing our true strengths and purpose, especially for children. Your child might not be good in academics. Instead of pushing and coaxing the child to focus on what he is not actually interested, it would be much better to figure out those activities your child would be involved joyfully. But Beware! This does not mean you would allow them to watch TV or play PUBG Games continuously! One should know the difference between “destructive Indulgence” and “creative Involvement” and wisely balance them.
The above holds true for adults, too.
Be Joyfully Involved to stay Focused!