Last week, I introduced the concept of vital focus as a way of enhancing your life. I thought it would be good to go over some practical examples to better understand the concept and implement it in your own lives. I’ve also noticed that many of my previous concepts tie in together with vital focus. This will be a good chance for a review of my previous thoughts.
I’ve already written an article on the topic of antiphysical culture, so I won’t go into further details here. Now, antiphysical isn’t necessarily a bad thing that should be avoided completely. For example, learning through reading is an antiphysical activity that benefits your life. But watching TV or mindlessly browsing the internet all day to numb yourself is an antiphysical activity that also lacks vital focus. This combination of antiphysical with the absence of vital focus is especially a problem today with the plethora of technological “advances” that surround us. And not only that, they usually appear in different combination to vie for our attention. A smartphone will alert its user of a message while he is watching a movie; a man working on his computer might open a browser tab to entertain himself through social media; a fan of a sport team will watch game after game as he neglects his own life, and even be distracted in thoughts of “his” team when he has other important things that require his attention. We live in a world that infects us with multitasking.
The solution is to disengage from antiphysical activities and technology that take your focus away, which are plenty in our modern society. This will difficult to do for men who lack drive and direction in their life; they are numbing themselves for a reason. A sense of purpose must be a prerequisite for vital focus.
News and Events
In a past article, I’ve called the news media “entertainment.” In fact, more and more of today’s news are becoming dedicated towards sports, entertainment, and celebrity gossips. Even world events and politics are becoming more of an entertainment, drama, and gossip than something that adds value to our lives. What’s even more sickening is how journalists today are more concerned with their personal crusades to advance their political agendas than they are with reporting basic facts. They want your valuable attention in exchange for their propaganda. Your gain is close to nil when you engage in both mainstream and social media.
Here’s another example: Would you pay money to get terrorized and disgusted? Probably not, but that’s exactly what millions people have done by watching countless horror films. You are doing exactly the same thing when you watch the news to get outraged and saddened by the injustices of the world. And you continue to do it—without knowing—because you want to stir your passions to feel that your opinion matters, to feel validated, and to feel alive. Far too many people today read and watch the same news over and over again in different variations that just confirms their established world-view. But what is the point of getting angry unless you are willing to drop out of your current life and dedicate yourself to making the change you want to see? If you can’t control, you must let go. Have a global perspective, but live locally.
Should’ve-Could’ve-Would’ve are the most worthless and damaging words that only express regret. They are something I try hard to excise from my vocabulary and thinking. You lose vital focus when you get caught by the trap of regret. I should’ve done that instead… I could’ve done better if… I would’ve been able to… These thoughts may exist to teach us life lessons, but anything beyond that will detract you from living life in this moment where it matters.
Dreams and Wishes
Similar to regrets, although our dreams and wishes can spur us with motivation, it’s also very easy to get trapped by them and lose your focus. Many people fantasize about going back to their past self to do things differently from what actually transpired, and even form more elaborate fantasies of being able to send messages to their past self, imagine how life would be different now if they had only made difference choices, re-live the joys and pleasures of youth, and so on. I fall into these time-travelling traps too, but I am on my way to shake them off. The now is too important for me to think about what could have been—there’s just is no use for me to think about past that’s gone.
The same applies for fantasies about the future. The difference between planning and fantasizing is not clear at all, only you can tell the difference with conscious awareness. I’ve had many dreams that died out after years of fantasizing. I took no action to actualize them and just hoped for them to happen someday. I neglected the present moment in the process, which only wasted my life away. I still get images of the future regarding things that would make me happy, but I know they are all illusions unless my present course of action is headed towards it. You can’t just dream.
Wishing pain and suffering upon others is another weakness of mine. I’ve had many individuals who’ve hurt me in the past. I still hold on to many grudges. I know many others have the same problem when I see them wishing pain and suffering to those they hate, and relishing in their demise. But what’s the point of obsessing over whether someone else will be happy or not? None of it matters if you’re not taking care of your own life. Learn to forgive others for your own sake.
This might be little harder to understand, but our society today is full of empty pleasures that only give the facade of enjoyment and life. When you are engaged in obtaining only empty shells of all the goods in life, then you are not living with a vital focus. You are living a life of superficial reality.
When you obsess over objects and consumer products, are you not neglecting life? When you eat food for pleasure rather for health, are you not neglecting your body? When you have sex with worthless women without any intention of developing intimacy and progeny, are you not neglecting your biological longing? You may enjoy the pleasures offered by our artificial world, but they will not fulfill you. You will not be happy on empty pleasures alone. Pleasures exist to let us know when we are obtaining the goods that enhance our lives, but that is not often the case in today’s society where our sense of pleasure is being distorted for profit.
Vital focus isn’t just about where you put your attention to, but how you do it and for what purpose. Whatever you undertake must have the right motive, the right drive, the right thoughts, and the right action. They must all align into a single point of focus for vital focus to happen.
Start training yourself early and train hard. Your life is far too brief to be living without focus or purpose.