Your Attention Please: Concentration is a Learnable Skill

Lee Devin, Swarthmore College

With the possible exception of the fakir walking barefoot on a bed of nails, no one can focus attention on a single object for more than about fifteen seconds. There's a practice, though, that anyone can learn to accommodate this fact and go on to solve vexing problems quickly and creatively. Lee Devin borrows from the skills that actors develop to direct their attention so their mind and body behave as if the imaginary world they've created is real. Similarly, when you watch a good movie or read a great novel, you direct your attention with single-minded intensity. Using theatre exercises, Lee introduces you to the techniques of warm-up and the skills of concentration. Although simple, they're by no means easy. Learn and practice these mind-bending exercises and take away a powerful tool that can increase your concentration both at work and in your personal life.

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