Focus or flexibility?

It seems that our brain is rigid when focused and can’t focus when being flexible. When we are focused, we don’t notice what’s going on around us. We concentrate on one task only. This is highly efficient and helps us to get in a flow. A great example for this is the selective attention test from Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. While counting the number of passes, we don’t see the obvious image. Try it yourself:

The other side is true as well, I’ve learned in a documentary last week. When our brain is in the flexible mood, we are distracted by everything and can’t focus on anything. That’s what happens when we allow ourselves to get distracted by every single tweet, post on FB, sms, etc.

Research shows that young people are finding it more and more difficult to focus on something. If you want to become successful, you have to be able to focus on becoming a good musician. For that, you have to focus on learning to play your instrument, without being distracted.

“People, I think, mix up popularity with success. To be successful you have to be a good musician. To be popular you just have to be fashionable.” (Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple)

As in many fields of life, the right balance is the key. To know when to focus and to know when to absorb the inputs around you.

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