Learning from Mistakes and using Focus to your Advantage

I talked last month about learning from our mistakes, which leads nicely on Learning Learning always Learning 1to talking about something I’d like to learn about currently. Learning never ends, learning is life, even when we’ve finished school and done the last exam, it never really stops. Take a look at Julia Smiths last month diary piece here How to develop success from failures)

So what traits help us to learn? I’ve been reflecting on this and mistakes I’ve made personally, and things I’d like to improve in myself. I’m a big believer in changing yourself, not trying to change situations or people, so I’m always looking inward. Recently I noticed that concentration is not one of my strongest attributes! I noticed that I am very rarely doing one thing at a time, and my mind is prone to wandering off, meandering, at the slightest provocation.

So this is an area for me that I’ll be working on. How am I doing it?  Well, I’ve bought a book on mindful attention which is an area I’ve looked into for some time, but feel now I need to deepen my attention to it.  I’ve also booked to attend some meditation workshops, the aim being to increase my discipline or focus from the mind.

What is mindful attention anyway and why does it matter to me, in life or the business. I’ll tell you a story.

My son, Toby, who was 7 at the time of this happening, was having weekly times tables tests at school.  They had 5 minutes to complete 33 sums, focusing on one or two numbers each week. Toby was learning his 8 times table, and he told me that he’d got 13 right, out of 33.  He was disappointed and we were practising each night to help him. The next week he scored 14 out of 33.  When we practised the 8 times table together at home, he knew all of it very easily, without any real hesitation, so I knew that it was not his knowledge that was the issue. I asked him if he looked at the clock a lot, and he said yes, he worried about running out of time, and he checked back often to see how much time he had left.  I asked him what his goal would be for the coming week’s test, and he said it was to get 15 out of 33. I suggested a different goal.  How about simply focusing on the numbers and questions. No looking at the clock, and no concern about the result at the end.  Just focus on the numbers and the questions. Whatever happens will happen, timewise and results.  Toby agreed and set this focus as his goal. The result that week? 33 out of 33.

Learning Learning always Learning 2This is mindful attention and can be used to improve our results and outcomes in almost any situation. It is definitely a practice, and one I need to work on.  We can learn continuously in life, by looking inward and seeing ourselves clearly, then reaching out to people, courses, books. The world is so small these days and there is so much to help  us. What would you like to learn?

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