Category Archives: Focus

How To Learn Anything

Stop Being A Ping Pong Ball

I saw this interesting “magic” trick online the other day.

It showed four cards, and you had to choose one.

And then think about it and click the button.

The trick was the card you were focused on would be gone on the next screen.

And it was!

But the trick was that ALL FOUR cards were different.

Because they were all face cards, and a mix of suits, the only way you would not be fooled would be if you memorized ALL the cards.

But since the instructions said to pick ONE, most people don’t even notice the other cards.

So when four new face cards are shown, all mixed, and all different, it looks magical, because the others “look” the same.

Scientists tell us our brains run off largely cache-like memory. Meaning in order to save brain processing time and energy, we only “guess” what’s “out there” and come up with a memory based on what we “think” is there.

Clearly, this can be a HUGE disadvantage.

Especially when talking about the many deep nuances of communication.

You think you are being clear, but the other person completely misunderstands you. Later on, you “assume” they “knew” what you meant, but they “assume” you meant something else.


On the other hand, magic tricks, movies, optical illusions, even silly jokes wouldn’t work if our brains were super accurate like a Vulcan.

But it’s also so easy why we tend to believe stuff that CAN’T be true.

So many “ideas” out there are contradictory, most of them HAVE to be wrong!

The good news is that because “meaning” itself is so slippery, you can CHOOSE what you want things to mean.

This is a lot easier if you have a solid PLAN for your life.

You already have tons of preprogrammed desires. Sex, money, safety, shelter, companionship, a certain amount of social status and recognition.

But unless you take the time to SPEFICIFY what these mean to you, and HOW you are going to achieve them, it’s easier to get knocked around like a ping-pong ball in a typhoon.

Just doing this (choosing specific goals and how you’re going to achieve them) is a feat unto itself. It’s not easy, and it requires a lot of introspection.

Which is why most people don’t really take the time to do this.

Sure, everybody has WISHES. These are usually dependent on the wish-fairy showing up and giving you a magic bag of stuff.

You’ll be surprised that once you get going on the process of creating and manifesting your goals.

Because the process itself is what LIFE is all about.

Not to be a ping pong ball, but to be a person of PURPOSE.

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The Power of Focus

​There’re lots of hobbies you can have.

And a lot of reasons for having them.

Some people have hobbies to help them relieve stress.

Other people have hobbies to have fun.

Some hobbies are exciting, in the moment, and don’t require any kind of goal, other than a short term one. Something like cycling, or playing competitive sports. Other than physical fitness, most hobbyists of this sort don’t have a specific long range goal.

On the other hand, some hobbies are much less “in the moment,” and have a very specific long range goal. Putting together jigsaw puzzles, knitting, painting, model building. One particularly interesting hobby is building those ships inside of bottles.

You’ve got to spend quite a bit of time on very controlled, very precise movements. At the same time, you have a VERY specific outcome in mind. One that you focus on for months at a time.

There’s a story of this town in ancient China that was about to come under attack. So they hired this martial arts trainer, and he was supposed to get them ready.

He said he needed to find somebody to become the town “fighter,” who’d take his place after he left.

He chose the guy who served him tea in the local restaurant. When asked why, he said that guy had the most focus. When he poured the tea, he could tell there was NOTHING ELSE on the guy’s mind.

This, he said, it’s what’s required to be a martial artist capable of defending the town.

That’s kind of the same focus those ship-in-a-bottle builders have.

And it’s the kind of focus you need to develop if you are going to create something magnificent in your life.

Almost everybody dreams of greatness. Few take the day to day actions required to get there.

But consider this:

Experts say that if you practiced something for a certain amount of time, you’ll be the best in the world.

How much time? Well that really depends on what you’re doing, where you’re starting, and how “great” you’d like to become.

Take something simple like playing the piano, or the keyboard. How good would you be if you only spent 30 minutes a day for the next three or four years?

How about the next ten years?

The idea is to take something you enjoy doing, that can also make you some money, in some capacity.

And the better you get at it, the more opportunities you’ll start seeing.

So, what would you like to master in your life?

What skill? What talent? What ability?

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