The perspectives we have in life shape our experiences from the most fundamental level of our existence. Perspective can be regarded as a combination of the physical, mental, and emotional focus you have of different experiences. In regarding every experience as a perspective which is balanced among these three aspects, you can begin to break down the most fundamental dynamics of how you interact with, and perceive, the world. Understanding how and why you interpret event as you do can help you become more self-aware of your own weaknesses, understand how to utilize your strengths, and ultimately help to build recognize how important your ability to focus is.
Consider your awareness of the world as being a combination of the three primary perspectives—the mental, physical, and emotional. Now consider that you have a fixed amount of focus that you can distribute among the three, and that more focus on one means less focus available for the others. If you are focused heavily on your mental perspective, you will have less focus to give to your physical and emotional perspectives. Think of your focus as the water in a large pitcher, and your perspectives as smaller cups to be filled. No matter how much water you put in any single cup, all three will only ever amount to the amount of water found originally in your pitcher. The amount of water you have in the large container represents the total amount of focus you are capable of. Each of the three smaller cups represents one of your three main sensory perspectives. While you may split the ‘water’ of your focus among your many perspectives in many ways, the net total of your focus will always remain the same unless you understand how to increase your ability to focus.
The only way to increase your output in a zero-sum game is to increase your input
The only way to increase your output in a zero-sum game is to increase your input. In this argument, the input of your perspective is considered to be focus—assuming the more your are able to focus, the more your are able to achieve. Through focus you will be more effective in your tasks, more concise in your planning, and more deep in your personal connections. The only way to deepen such focus is to cultivate a deeper understanding of your Self, and how you view the world around you. While the means of doing such are different and unique to each individual, having a framework to anchor yourself to can be of great benefit. The ‘framework’ used for discussion here is the framework of Three Perspectives—your mental perspective, your physical perspective, and your emotional perspective. Deeply considering these three factors of your overall experiences in life can help to quicken your ability to understand how and why you respond to your individual circumstances.
Splitting Your Perspective
If your perspective is comprised of the fixed amount of focus you can split among your mental, physical, and emotional perspectives—then for every bit of focus your dedicate to one perspective, you will take away from another. An example of this would be focusing on your cellphone while walking. While deeply-focused on the task of messaging and emailing, you might lack the physical awareness to notice you’ve just stepped onto a patch of ice, resulting in a dangerous fall. The concepts of perspective dynamics are very simple, and you likely have a very natural sense of how they interact. After all, its no feat of genius to realize if you aren’t paying attention to where you are walking you’ll likely bump into something. So consider your perspectives as being able to be divided depending on your choice. If you choose to focus on your mental perspective, you’ll have less ability to focus on your physical and emotional perspectives. The deepened awareness of how these shifts in perception happen naturally can help you better understand how to willfully control the balance of your perspective, shifting it towards your advantage when needed.
for every bit of focus your dedicate to one perspective, you will take away from another
Another dynamic of splitting you perspectives is when you split single perspectives into smaller points of focus. This is better described as multi-tasking, but the same type of focus-management can be seen. Trying to split mental focus between to tasks will decrease the amount of focus you can devote to either one, just as if you were splitting that focus with your physical perspective. Multi-tasking is regarded as one of the hallmarks of higher brain function, and is most-easily illustrated within the mental perspective. Examples of split focus in fields are harder to find within the physical and emotional perspectives. For example, consider the experience of rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. There exists a split between your mental focus on the task initially, when you conceive of your approach. Followed shortly after—perhaps after several attempts—you may find the ‘rhythm’ of the movement. The sense of controlling a different movement with each arm is much different than that of focusing on two separate mental tasks; yet they are both illustrations of splitting focus within a single perspective. Emotionally, this type of division can be seen when you have a deep fondness or love for someone who also makes you angry or sad sometimes.
Emotions aren’t thoughts, and arm-movements aren’t feelings—yet they both represent illustrations of the same fundamental ‘split’ of focus than can happen naturally in so many situations. In practice, these types of splits in focus happen many times over, across multiple perspectives simultaneously, in near perpetuity. A single conversation with a friend can make you think of tomorrow’s plans, what you’re eating for dinner, fondness for that person, contempt for a past interaction, and sore in your feet all at the same time. Being cognizant of how your perspectives are interacting, how they are influenced, and how they affect your direction in life can be used to your great advantage, such as realizing that focus spent on certain perspectives isn’t effective in moving your towards your goals. For example, time spent thinking about a business meeting tomorrow won’t help you achieve your goal of loving your family tonight, but loving your family during your meeting likely won’t help you negotiate a more lucrative deal. Consciously committing yourself to focusing more heavily on the perspectives more effective in helping you achieve your goals will galvanize your ability to pursue them.
Net Gains in a Zero Sum Game
The simplest way to be more effective in any pursuit is to make better use of existing resources. In terms of your perspective—that means learning to take advantage of your existing ability to focus on each one. Learning to identify which perspective will to the advantage of your goals, and focusing intensely on it alone, can help you become more efficient in how you apply yourself. For example, if you are stranded in the middle of the woods left to fend for yourself against Mother Nature, you’d do best to abandon your emotional focus and concentrate on applying yourself mentally and physically. However, if you’re spending Sunday afternoon on the couch with your family, you’ll likely want to focus as much attention on your emotional perspective as possible. Just like a carpenter, you will be more effective in all you build when you learn how to best use the tools you already have. Ultimately, your ability to be effective in the pursuit of your goals is intimately tied to your ability to focus. The amount of focus you are able to exert—as a net total—will always be the factor that helps turn the talented into the genius. This level of focus can be seen as the sum total of focus you are capable of splitting among your three perspectives in any given situation. The Zero-Sum nature of this balance illustrates that the only way to truly become more effective in the dynamics of perspective—is to cultivate a deeper amount of focus to apply to those perspectives.
The simplest way to be more effective in any pursuit is to make better use of existing resources
Traversing through different perspectives is a very distinct shift in consciousness, and represents a level of focus that few are naturally capable of without practice. Through the deepened intent of focusing on different aspects of your collective perspective, you can understand more fully how dependent your entire consciousness is on your focus. The more focus your are able to exert, the more effective you are able to be in achieving your goals. Much like hopping up and down makes can make you realize a hidden force (gravity) is connecting you to the Earth, mindfully traversing between perspectives helps illustrate how your perspective is connected by focus. In regarding perspective as the avenue by which focus expresses itself, assume an increase in your ability to focus would mean an increase in your overall perspective. In deepening your focus, you deepen your ability to perceive the world around you, through your separate perspectives. This can be regarded in general terms as simply expanding your awareness of the world around you. The path towards expanding consciousness is different for everyone, although mindful meditation practices are regarded as one of the most effective means to connect with the deeper levels of your Self. Through mindfully focusing on the dynamics how how your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are formed, you can gain a deeper understanding of how your focus is allocated among your perspectives—and begin to evaluate how effective that balance is in helping you achieve your goals in life.
Cultivating Focus & Meditation
One of the most popular forms of meditation is called Transcendental Meditation, and became popular in Western cultures in the period between the 1950’s and 1960’s when a man from Indian went on a world tour to share the practice with others. Transcendental meditation is simply a specific type of meditation in which one uses a repeated routine to deepen inner awareness. David Lynch, an American artist known for many film productions such as the Twin Peaks series, has talked a lot about the power of transcendental meditation in his career, and has afforded one of the most eloquently-worded descriptions of expanding consciousness ever recorded. Lynch describes the benefits of meditation on increasing one’s net ability to focus as follows:
If you have a golf-ball size consciousness, when you read a book you’ll have a golf ball size understanding. When you look out; a golf ball sized awareness—and when you wake up in the morning; a golf ball sized wakefulness.
But if you could expand that consciousness, then you read the book; more understanding. You look out; more awareness—and when you wake up; more wakefulness. It’s consciousness, and there’s an ocean of vibrant consciousness inside each one of us. And it’s right at the source and base of mind—right at the source of thought.
David Lynch discusses the idea that through cultivating a deeper ability to perceive, one can ultimately perceive more. This is the same concept of cultivating a deeper ability to focus, so that you are able to be more effective on the perspectives which you choose to focus. While these two concepts may differ in their subtlety, they are both connected by the concept of building inner awareness—Self awareness—as a means to better perceive the world around you. Through a deepened perception of the world you will be able to more fully understand anything; certainly including the most-effective path by which to reach your goals. The only way to increase the output of a Zero-Sum game is to increase the input. If you have a limited amount of focus you’re able to devote to any given pursuit, the best way to become more effective in such is to increase the total amount of focus you are able to expend. Here’s a brief snippet of the talk in which Lynch discusses some of these ideas:
The cultivation of deeper self awareness can help to better approach nearly every aspect of your life. Before you can deal with anything, you must first identify and acknowledge it. Increasing your ability to perceive deeper aspects of yourself will almost certainly increase your capacity to begin dealing with them. Our minds, body, and soul are all connected as an divided experience in our human experience. Focusing attention on how these unique perspectives help shape your perception of the world can help you better understand how to rid your self of negative influences and mindsets. Meditation and deep introspection is a scary endeavor, and may be alarming for some. If you experience an odd sensation when everything is quiet, or feel lost when you run out of work to occupy yourself—that’s a likely sign that you’ve been neglecting your own personal development. To sit in peace with the silence of your mind should be an empowering experience. If it causes you duress or anxiety, take that as an excellent signal—at least now you know what to focus on! Health is so much more than the food you eat, or the medicine you take. Health is about recognizing and maintaining a balance in your life that helps you thrive in the pursuit of your own goals. Mindful meditation and the cultivation of deeper self awareness can help you become more balanced.