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How do you stay in a frantic and productive state of learning?


By Dylan M ParkinPublished about a year ago 4 min read

Ten hours of diligence is no match for one hour of focus.

When you can't focus, the vast majority of diligence and effort is time consuming, ineffective and exhausting.

What diligence can determine is only the lower limit, what really determines the gap between the upper limit of people is whether you can focus on what you are doing for a long time, with full attention.

And this is the trait that those who are excellent really possess.

They can almost ignore the whole world when they are concentrating on their studies and work, and stay fully engaged and highly focused.

What's even more frightening is that, as long as needed, they can often continue to do so for more than ten hours a day, for years and years, never slack.

This is the real trait hidden behind the appearance of hard work, a more native ability: focus.

Ten hours of diligence is no match for one hour of focus.

But what many people don't realize is that focus is more of a talent, a spontaneous behavior, than something like diligence.

The same home environment, the same parents, two children studying together, but also may be a dedicated, one of the two.

The students I mentioned earlier, the top students in Qingbei, have always been more focused than their peers almost since elementary school, more able to resist external temptations, and keep studying efficiently for longer periods of time.

Modern neuroscience research has found that this attention system, which ignores distractions and inhibits impulses, generally begins to develop when children are 3 years old and reaches maturity by age 8.

This means that the majority of people's ability to focus is determined at an early age, and some people (about 10%) are even born with attention deficit disorder.

They are unable to concentrate for even an hour or two.

Concentration is an extremely scarce natural ability in modern society.

And scarcity means that people with this ability are more likely to stand out.

When I was in junior high and high school, I began to realize that focus was probably an innate ability.

Some people just study and read all day long and don't feel tired, much less painful, so they are able to maintain a long-term, consistent, steady effort.

I, on the other hand, feel pain once I study for more than two hours.

I often wandered off in class, liked to do other things during study sessions, and was usually the first person to turn my head when the door was blown open in the classroom.

But in my senior year of high school, I finally broke out with a strong fighting spirit because of my strong desire to change my fate through the college entrance exam.

During the winter break, I locked myself in my room with a dim incandescent lamp, reading and studying from morning to night.

There is no heating in the south, my hands are full of frostbite, cold to really can't stand when the yard to run two laps, tired to sleep on their stomachs, wake up and then learn.

At that time I knew that although I was not born with strong concentration, but through willpower, I could still force myself to stay focused.

Later, I learned from psychology that concentration includes two sets of neural systems, "bottom-up" and "top-down", which correspond to "instinct-driven" and "motivation-driven" respectively

There is also a great, almost religious, goal that must be achieved in this life.

One can only transcend human nature to do things by embracing the mission of accomplishing the goal. This includes getting rid of laziness, lack of focus, defying temptation, avoiding suffering, etc.

Methods are superficial and change for a moment. Long-term goals are essential and change a life.

Long-term, determined and efficient learning or work cannot be separated from the close connection with the goal, and the modern OKR law is dependent on this logic.

Only when you find a sense of home in learning, you can delve deeply into it, which is the "crazy and efficient learning state" mentioned in the title. This sense of belonging comes from the goal you have in mind, because the process of learning can find the answer close to the goal.

I deeply believe that the establishment of such a goal needs to be rooted in a very deep conviction about the meaning of life, the value of exploring one's talents and interests, and the benefits associated with achieving that goal in part. The absence of any one of these connections can make such a large goal unrealistic and lacking in longevity.

A firm commitment to the goal is the key to unlocking the state of learning.

But perhaps finding that goal itself is a minority gift.

Addendum: I never said that you must have such goals to learn and do things, but the question is about maintaining a "crazy" and "efficient" state.

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