Re: Recipe for Concentration

Anders Sandberg (
22 May 1998 16:14:19 +0200

Leonardo Gonzalez <> writes:
(a very nice overview!)
> intention
> It's easy to stray off the path. You can prepare yourself by having
> directions that will take you from wherever you back to where you need to
> be.

This is a good idea. I like to make "to do/maybe" lists - list of
things to do (often branched, with subtasks marked) and things I maybe
should do. It is very good feedback to see what I have done (already
checked) and what is possible to do.

> awareness
> Concentration requires being in a certain state of consciousness
> continuously for the desired amount of time.

It is also useful to learn to recognize when one is wandering or have
slipped out of the right kind of state; this can be surprisingly hard
to notice sometimes.

> alertness
> Drugs are cool. I am, therefore I think. Caffeine will skyrocket you into
> frenzied chaos, but will leave you too scattered to keep your wits. In
> proper amounts, however, it is beneficial.

Caffeine seems to promote rapid, well-trained actions but makes you
less efficient at tasks requiring uncertain decisions, creativity or
fluid thinking. But the personal variations are great, and seems to
depend on the baseline level of arousal.

> determination
> Tell yourself you will never give up, and you will take yourself more
> seriously. I once struggled trying to learn a piano piece for 3 hours
> straight. It was frustrating at first, but it got easier once my brain
> realized I meant serious business and was not going to leave the piano for
> a few hours. The temptation of scrapping it all and doing something else
> is severe, especially if the task at hand is challenging. Having infinite
> patience is difficult, yet simple if one keeps one's priorities straight.
> One of my favorite original quotes: "The more patience you have, the less
> patience you'll need."

Of course, the hardest thing is to train oneself to achieve better
determination. Any ideas on that?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y