All is energy. And your life is the story of where and how you direct your energy with the brief time you have. If you want a more productive, joyful, and fulfilling life, you must train yourself to focus your energy more effectively on activities that enhance your being while avoid getting distracted by matters that are worthless or damaging to your being.
First, know the three components of living, which are time, energy, and attention. You pass through time whether you like it or not, you expend energy and rest when necessary, and your mind directs your perception and thoughts through attention to guide your life. And when the three are aligned towards an action that affirms life, that is the state of vital focus.
The conditions of modern society, however, has disrupted our capacity for vital focus. Time is strained and squandered, energy both exhausted and dormant, and attention fragmented and manipulated. The three components of life hardly work together anymore and people wonder why they are so stressed, anxious, depressed, and distracted. How can you live a healthy life when you deviate from the natural way of being?
The modern society is far too grand and far more complex than what we were designed for. Competing forces are constantly vying for our attention where they hope we’ll drain our time and energy towards (along with our cash). We are bombarded with unnecessary information that add no value to our lives and do nothing more than to pique our curiosity or provoke mental reaction. Besides the artificial current of facts and fiction, we are also plagued with the addiction to thoughts. This is not the healthy sort of thinking that drives vital focus; this is the mulling of thoughts that have little to do with our living and being. These are antiphysical thoughts of the internal world that take away vitality from our external and real world. Excessive thoughts are linked to insomnia and depression, and I would also attribute reduced focus (and therefore reduced living) to it as well. Reclaiming our vital focus is paramount to our existence.
To reclaim vital focus, you must concentrate your life energy towards what you can control and act upon it.
Know what you can change in this world and accept what you can’t. The difference isn’t so obvious and it takes trial and experience to attain the wisdom necessary for it. When you do have a clear control over something, you must act with all your will and might. When you seemingly lack control, you must figure out what you can do and be willing to accept the situation bravely if there is no path. A grave mistake would be to give up without looking for an alternative and without trying, to simply be complacent and accepting of your circumstances. The other mistake would be to needlessly waste time, energy, and attention on something you can’t take action on, and be a slave to your mind or external circumstances. In the end, you are what you focus on.
You must be present-minded. Understand that you can’t change the past other than your perception of it, and you can’t predict the future that you are not certain of. To expend energy on either the past or the future is essentially distracting yourself from the present moment that you do have control over—the only moment in time that matters. Whatever painful past you may have had, you must accept and grow from it, rather than be chained by it. Whatever destiny lies ahead of you in the future, you must march on with courage and make the necessary preparation—dreaming idle dreams and succumbing to worries will not help you. What you do now is all that matters.
To know what you can control is to control your information flow. In our antiphysical culture, our attention is the greatest target for companies that sell us information or advertisements that compel us to buy products. The media litters your mind with useless information that provokes emotional reaction that fires your dopamine just for absorbing images and words with your eyes. Much of what you glean from the news and social media are also meaningless to you. Most of what you read and see are things you can’t and won’t take action on. If it’s important and relevant enough, you’ll usually know about it through other means. There’s no reason for you to expose yourself to what’s happening around the world only to be worried, angered, or disgusted. Unless you are willing to take action, there’s no point entertaining yourself with every and all events around the world—you are wasting your life. Stop your mind from becoming a dumping ground.
And what are the purposes of spectator entertainment like sports? Yes, you amuse yourself, but you’re wasting your time on something that brings no value to your life. How many pathetic sports fans suffer in anguish when “their” team loses? All they’re doing is cheering and jeering over something they have no control over and allowing themselves to be emotionally manipulated and financially exploited. They value their lives so little that they would rather devote their precious time watching other men play games of made-up glory. A man who truly values his life would not squander his vital focus in such manner.
Mastery of mind is critical for your focus. You must train yourself to be resilient against the external and internal forces that try to sway you. Without discipline, you’ll be a slave to your emotions and waver from all the worldly distractions. You must be aware at all times until awareness becomes one with your being.
Once you have cleared your mind of distractions, your vital focus must turn to action. What you do is all that matters in this world—not your thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, but your action. If there’s a problem, either do something about it or stop complaining. Take action to free yourself. You become liberated when you accept your limitations, you become productive as you work with what you can control, and life itself becomes more enjoyable when you’re focused and creating the changes you want to see. You live a life of totality when you take action that is meaningful for yourself.
To truly inspire vital focus, you must awaken a calm sense of urgency within you. You must realize how little you have to live. Feel the brevity of life, feel the inspiration to do and make. You can’t waste time and be distracted when you are earnest in your living.
Be aware of yourself and your place in time. Know what you can do, then do them.