I have always been internally defiant
Anyone of my friends will tell you that I am resilient and rebellious.
Early on in my life I went with the pre-packaged narrative.
The narrative of go to school, get an office job, marry and have kids.
Brewing in my mind was a plan to go my own path. I HATE going with the flow.
I go with the flow, therefore, staying under the radar until I can make my crafty escape.
Does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe.
Do I give a fuck what people think? Fuck no.
When you go with the flow you don’t draw attention to yourself so stay under the radar. You move like everyone else until it is your time to shine.
People can’t tear down your ambitions if they don’t know exactly what they are. Where I’m from, this is an absolute necessity.
There is a certain degree of crabs in the barrel mentality that’s hard to avoid in The Bronx.
Telling people what you have planned is akin to self-sabotage.
You plot, plan and strategize your escape.
“Think as you like but behave like others.”Robert Greene, The 48 Laws Of Power.
This is fundamentally one of the most powerful rules you can follow in this day and age or ever. Being an outcast means death.
A person of this mind set will look for ways to succeed where others aren’t. This person will also do things that others will not.
They will pay attention to the white space during their particular time and therefore exploit it when the time comes.
This person may not be the most talented but he is aware. He is resourceful, cunning, strategic, patient and tactical when he needs to be.
Jeff Bezos is a prime example(no pun intended) with the way he exploited the undervalued ATTENTION Google AdWords brought.
He was able to build a trillion dollar company just from starting where no one else was looking at the time.
Gary Vaynerchuk is exploiting the white space of social media to expand his personal brand while maintaining a practitioner of serial entrepreneurship.
Now it’s time for people like you and I to exploit the number one, undervalued thing we have in our possession: our ability of CONCENTRATION.
The big social media marketers are hugely successful because they have been whoring out your attention at scale.
You just give it away.
I would say that this mass whoring of your attention is the most insidious thing that I have ever witnessed.
This is not an attack on social media.
This is a direct observation of people like you and I who gave up our ambitions by way of giving away our attention.
It didn’t just stop there.
Giving away our attention serves to destroy our ability to concentrate.
Your ability to concentrate is VITAL to your success.
Your ability to concentrate yields untold amounts of creative, innovate ideas ready to come to the surface.
You just have to sit down and concentrate on what you want.
The more you concentrate on it, the more it grows.
Think of yourself like a Super Saiyan from the anime “Dragon Ball Z” who is charging up.
That’s you concentrating.
Like I’ve said before. I am not the most talented but I have mastered the art of concentration for extended periods of time.
This is how I am able to bring you this illustrious content complete with arabesque gems laced with inlaid GOLD.
To sit down and concentrate is the MOST undervalued ability in this era we live in.
People have lost their ability to concentrate.
Speak to someone, as friend, on a busy street or even a quiet street. You will notice that they cannot, for the life of them, keep their attention on the conversation.
It’s not that you are boring. Or maybe you are. Who knows.
The point is that their eyes are farting all over the fucking place.
THIS is the WHITE SPACE as an artist.
This is the white space as an ambitious human being.
Develop your concentration again.
Concentration & Attention
Your source of concentration is nothing without your attention.
Attention is always on, never off. Your WILL has to steer it to a specific task.
Your attention and concentration go hand in hand. One is useless without the other.
Attention is no good without concentration. Concentration is no good without attention.
Attention and concentration go together. Attention is the raw material, concentration is the conduit.
Sort of like water flow and a pipe. When the pipe breaks the water erratically sprays everywhere.
Distractions serves as erosion on the pipes of concentration.
It eats away at the pipe until there is nothing left. We are now prone to anxiety and all sorts of mental illness due to attention going everywhere and concentration being degraded.
Combine all the above with the lack of sense of purpose this brings and we are truly fucked.
What are you without a purpose?
How to re-build your concentration
There are a few ways you can rebuild your concentration
First off, anyone telling you meditation is useless is either a fucking idiot or someone who wants to keep monetizing you’re attention.
They want you to stay in a zombified daze while they continue to profit off of you attention.
Your attention is so valuable. Why not monetize your attention for yourself and keep all the proud? Meditation surely helps with this.
You can meditate many different ways: walking, sitting, standing, fucking(seriously), etc.
The main concept is “single pointedness.” You must CONCENTRATE on a single point and keep it there for as long as you can.
You can concentrate on many different things:
- Your breath
- Your steps(walking meditation)
- The sensation of your buttocks on seat(sitting meditation)
- A mantra
Box breathing is a great way to concentrate on your breath.
This type of breathing has a cadence of 4 second inhalation, 4 second hold, 4 second exhalation, 4 second hold then repeat.
It follows the below rhythm
Breathing is a great way to stay single pointed. Like all other points to focus on, you will become distracted by your thoughts from time to time.
All you need to do is relax and refocus your attention on your breath.
Let the thoughts pass. Don’t fight them. Just refocus.
Walking meditation is the same single pointed concept. You focus on the “pitter-patter” of the bottom of your feet. That is it. You walk. You focus on your feet. That’s it.
Pick a clear, family walk path. Take a walk.
When thoughts, sounds, etc try to distract you, return your focus to your steps. When your concentration is broken, refocus.
Buttocks on seat
During sitting meditation you have so many sensations afforded to you but you’re going to focus on the sensation of your buttocks on the seat, bench, etc.
When sounds and other distractions try to break your concentration. Refocus to your buttocks.
Stay single pointed. If it is broken, fix it.
If you don’t want to put your focus there, put it in your hands in a “mudra” like below
Or you can sit with your hands like any of these renditions:
The point is to do what is comfortable for you.
A mantra is a phrase or utterance that is repeated over and over and over and over and over and over again until the target time has elapsed during meditation.
This serves as a great way for one to concentrate because it is what I called the “closest thing to ‘you’,” the “voice.”
We have a voice that never stops. It seems to keep going. We can use this voice to elicit a mantra.
This mantra helps us to become single pointed rather than scatter minded.
When you are distracted from this mantra with other thoughts, refocus and continue the mantra.
You can use sounds such as a singing bowl, meditation music or white noise. The concept still applies here. You keep your mind on listening to the sound intently.
When your concentration is broken. You bring it back to the sound.
This one is not my favorite because I have a tendency to fall asleep when using this method.
You can stare into the flame of a candlewhile doing sitting meditation to develop concentration.
I personally haven’t tried this method before but it is consistent with the concept laid throughout.
You focus the mind on one single point which is the flame. Simple.
Feel free to combine these mantras, mix and match them and see which one you are drawn to the most.
Do what works for you.
These methods serve to train the concentration like a muscle. Each time you lose concentration and have to refocus, conscious awareness grows.
This conscious awareness is your “alert system” and allows for you to usurp your WILL to concentrate.
I didn’t cover the Will in this article because I have some reservations about whether it truly exists or not BUT the sentiment still stands.
Conscious awareness built through refocusing attention on single point breeds a stronger concentration muscle.
I don’t know much about yoga so do your googles but this is a physical way to build concentration.
It is done through a series of poses and stretching called “asanas.”
Thoroughly research yoga before trying it. I don’t want you to snap your shit up.
This has personally been my method to gain enlightenment.
Focused attention in the body is crucial for freeing the mind of its mental prison.
When you are lifting weights there is nothing but you and the iron. Either you can lift it or can’t.
Proper concentration is required to keep you from dropping the bar on your face.
Consistent effort in this regard over a long period of time can be a staple in building not only your muscles but your concentration.
Many people still do read. I’m not sure how many readers are doing it via screen or physical but for the sole purpose of development of concentration you should read from a real book…
…made from real paper.
Because fuck the screens that’s why!
Nah I’m just playing. But seriously. When you read from a screen you run the risk of getting distracted by notifications.
Reading from a book will allow for sustain concentration. Sustain concentration leads to more concentrated effort on comprehending what you’re reading for a SUSTAINED period of time and by the time you know it you’re lost in the book.
Concentration begets concentration when reading a physical copy of a book. You are able to absorb the high levels of consciousness the author poured into his work.
I have many books on my phone but I have a whole library of books in my closet for the above purpose.
Reclaim your concentration
Concentration is a lost art in this day and age.
To build quality concentration means having a competitive edge over everyone who is absorbed in social media.
Many people are looking for quality art but aren’t able to find any due to the fact that everyone abandoned their talents to live in silly land social media.
That’s another thing that grinds my gears.
People who have this talent and waste it on distractions.
I am envious of raw talent that needs little practice to produce great work.
This means we are in the age of people who will win with hard work and concentration when the talented won’t concentrate.
So CONCENTRATE. Stop whoring your attention out. Build your own crafts through concentration, effort and throw in a littler conscientiousness
You WILL win.