Have you ever tried to work on an important task or a task whose deadline is imminent, but before you know it, you were watching a video or checking your email?
In today's information-filled world, many people are suffering from lack of concentration. However, in fact, it is said that this trouble has been common to all humankind since ancient times. The bottom line is that no one has ever found a valid solution. However, anyone can exert "dangerous concentration" by understanding the characteristics of instinct and reason, which are the basic human systems. This book explains how to do this in an easy-to-understand manner using the metaphor "Beast and Trainer."
The author is a science writer who has read through 100,000 scientific papers. The methodology proposed by the author is supported by numerous research results and clinical tests, and is expected to be highly effective.
But one thing to note. In this book, the true nature of "concentration" is fundamentally clarified, the mechanism is revealed, and an effective solution is presented, but it requires repetitive work. In other words, there is no change that can be seen overnight.
However, after reading this book, the abstracter felt that a ray of light would shine into his future. Even if it takes a long time, I think that if you can exert your "dangerous concentration", you will only get "dangerous results". The way to get there is shown in this book. Now it's up to you whether you go this way or not.
Main points of this book
There is no single ability called "concentration". In order to grasp the whole picture, it is necessary to understand the nature of instinct (beast) and reason (trainer), which are the basic systems of the human mind.
It is important to nourish the beast in order to exert "dangerous concentration". By increasing the number of foods that are good for the brain and reducing the number of foods that are bad for the brain, improvement of brain function can be expected.
You can make the beast engrossed in the work with "Premonition of Reward" and create a concentrated mode by repeating "My Ritual".[Must read point!] The true identity of concentration
There is no such thing as "concentration"
How to tackle the task at hand without distraction-Before thinking about this question that humanity has been worried about since ancient times, it is first necessary to know the true nature of concentration.
For example, consider the scene of studying. It's okay to open the text, but I wonder if 30 minutes have passed by checking the email before I knew it. The first barrier is to get to work. To break through that, it is necessary to have "self-efficacy" that "I can accomplish even difficult things" and "motivation management ability" that motivates and raises feelings.
The next challenge awaits is to continue to focus on studying. Here, "sustainability of attention" is required.
The biggest barrier is temptation. It's not just about external temptations such as smartphone notifications and games you just bought. If you find the word "Genghis Khan" in the text, the memory associated with that word is naturally evoked. Here, "self-control ability" is required.
Many recognize the complex abilities of these processes as "concentration." But in reality, there is no single ability called "concentration."
In this book, in order to grasp the whole picture of "concentration", human instinct and reason are figuratively expressed as "beast and trainer", and the relationship with concentration is examined.
A powerful "beast" that hates trouble
First, let's look at the relationship between "beast" and concentration. The inner beast has three characteristics.
First, "I hate difficult things." This is to prevent wasting energy. Human beings will die if they do not leave energy in the event of an emergency, such as when they are starving because they cannot find food, when they are suddenly attacked by a beast, or when they have an infectious disease. In the process of evolution, it began to conserve energy. It's no wonder you can't concentrate on today's sophisticated tasks.
Next is "respond to any stimulus." Beasts are good at parallel processing of information, so every day's stimulus draws the beast's attention. It is estimated that the amount of information received by the human brain exceeds 11 million per second, and among them, those that appeal to the five senses are programmed to switch on consciousness preferentially. ..
Finally, "power is strong". Once hijacked by a beast, there is no way to do it like a puppet. Concentration is easily lost.
A logical but disadvantageous "trainer"
On the other hand, the "trainer" could have three other traits corresponding to the "beast" in the process of evolution.
First, "use logic as a weapon." Confront with rational thinking to stop the violently rampaging beast. For example, if you receive information that "there is a delicious cake in the refrigerator" while you are concentrating on your studies, you will not immediately say "Let's eat!". You can logically think about what happened after you stopped studying and your body shape, and come up with the answer, "If you eat, you will gain weight → you do not want to gain weight → let's put up with it."
Next is "high energy consumption". The work of the beast is low cost and hardly burdens the thinking ability. On the other hand, the work of the trainer puts a great load on the brain system and uses a lot of energy. It's only natural that the decision is made in light of multiple pieces of information.
Finally, "weak power". It is necessary to use a great deal of energy to confront the beast.
No shortcut to improve concentration
The characteristics of the beast and trainer lead to three lessons about concentration.
The first lesson is, "Trainers can't beat the beast." The difference in strength between the beast and the trainer is obvious, so the trick technique doesn't make sense.
The second lesson, "No one is good at concentrating," is derived from the first lesson. There are people who are good at controlling attention, but the conflict between the beast and the trainer can occur in anyone's brain and cannot be avoided.
The third lesson is, "If you guide the beast, you will get enormous power." From another angle, if you can take advantage of the rationality of the trainer and have the beast on your side, you can get enormous power.
There is only one thing we can do. It's about learning how to interact with the right beast and drawing out the power you have. Find a way to use its power effectively instead of fighting the beast.
The right diet to nourish the beast
Easily improve your concentration with caffeine
Meals are the basis of "dangerous concentration". Improve your daily diet and feed your beast properly.
The easiest way to do this is to take caffeine. It has been found that drinking 150-200 mg of caffeine relieves fatigue and prolongs the duration of attention in about 30 minutes.
However, caffeine has a strong effect on the brain, and the effect is halved by one way of ingestion. Do not drink more than 2 cans of coffee (400 mg of caffeine) at a time, add milk or cream to moderate the absorption of caffeine, and do not consume within 90 minutes after waking up, at least. I want to keep it.
A good diet for the brain "MIND"
Although caffeine is used as a booster, the correct diet is essential for improving concentration. In recent years, the "Mediterranean diet" has attracted the attention of researchers. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, seafood, olive oil, etc., and avoid fast foods and ready-to-eat foods. It has been shown to be effective not only in improving physical condition but also in improving brain function.
In addition, this book introduces three rules "MIND" that keep eating good for the brain. It's (1) increasing foods that are good for the brain, (2) reducing foods that are bad for the brain, and (3) not limiting calories. Actively incorporate whole grains, leafy vegetables, and nuts that are good for your brain, and try to reduce snacks, fried foods, and fast food that are bad for your brain as much as possible. In clinical tests, improvement in brain function was observed about 4 to 8 weeks after the practice of "MIND".
A "meal diary" is an effective way to develop a dietary habit that changes your brain. Beasts are not good at abstract instructions and long-term goals, so the more records you make, the clearer your progress and the easier it is to continue.
The mystery of goal setting to control the beast
Dominate the beast with "premonition of reward"
"Game Disorders" has been newly added to the WHO disease classification. It was after an accident in which people who had been playing the game for a long time died suddenly. The cause of death was that the blood that had solidified due to little physical activity clogged the pulmonary arteries from the heart, and that the lower body was congested.
This kind of deadly "dangerous concentration" is common to casinos. Glittering neon attention and flashy music and lighting uplift your mood, and remove windows and clocks to isolate you from reality. Free alcohol can upset the trainer's work and occasionally give big hits to fuel hope. Everything is designed for the beast to run away and immerse itself in it. Modern games incorporate this addiction.
The game has become so attractive because the creators have thoroughly researched "how to present rewards?". The same is true for casinos, and what really matters is not the reward itself. "Near miss production" and "sense of speed". The accumulation of "a little more" will lead to a long stay at the casino. Those who control the "premonition of reward" control the beast.
Utilize "reward sense planning"
The two major factors that keep you focused are "barren tasks" and "difficulty errors". If you don't know what you're doing for or what you'll get from the job, you're inevitably less motivated. There is also a problem with the difficulty level when a last boss-class enemy suddenly appears or when you just deal with slime. The game is interesting because the difficulty level increases little by little.
What is recommended in this book is the worksheet "Reward Sense Planning" designed to optimize the "premonition of reward" by thinking step by step. Prepare a piece of paper and set up frames from top to bottom: "(1) Target", "(2) Importance check", "(3) Concrete imaging", "(4) Reverse planning", and "(5) Daily task setting".
Write important but unfocused tasks in (1) and why you should accomplish those tasks in (2). Next, let's convert the goal into a concrete image and write it in (3). Beasts can't understand abstract goals, so it's important to have a sense of reality.
In (4), sub-goals and deadlines for achieving the goals are set. Instead of making a plan from the present to the future, let's decide by calculating back from the final goal. If the goal is to "increase physical strength by running every day", "run a total of 100km by 3 months" → "run 25km by 1 month" → "run a total of 10km by 14 days".
In (5), select the one with the closest deadline from the sub-goals decided in (4), and think about the tasks to be done every day to achieve it. If "I will run a total of 10km by 14 days", the daily tasks would be "Run 1km on a treadmill" and "Run 2km on the usual course".
This worksheet isn't finished once you write it, but you modify it regularly depending on the progress of the project. Especially if you can't concentrate, you may want to review your daily tasks.
Ritual to put the beast under control
Create an intensive mode with "My Ritual"
There are athletes who repeatedly perform what they have arranged like a ritual. This is the case with Tiger Woods, who always wears a red polo shirt at the final tournament. From the perspective of others, it may seem like a completely meaningless and irrational ritual. However, such rituals have been found to be effective. For example, instructing the subject to "knock lightly on the desk before eating" or "close eyes and count for 3 seconds before carrying chocolate to the mouth" will increase the subject's self-control and eat a healthier meal. It is said that the probability of choosing has increased.
From the primordial era of uncertainty, abstract-hating beasts may have come to prefer "repetition" as a concrete sign. Then, you can control the beast by using the power that repetition exerts on the beast by "My Ritual".
The content of my ritual can be meaningless. However, if you decide that "if you do this, you'll work on something important," it's important to repeat the procedure over and over again.
Recommendation of reading
In this book, the basic setting and practice setting methods of "reward sense planning" are introduced as "task management methods that make the sense of accomplishment addictive", and the method of manipulating the beast (instinct) by making full use of psychological techniques is instructed. Has been done. In addition, a quick-acting simplified version is also introduced for those who work on medium- to long-term goals. By combining these with the "My Ritual" technique, you will gain the concentration of the iron wall that will not distract the beast.
In the first place, if you think that you have to improve your concentration, you may feel depressed. But what about the work to "become the one you want to be"? You should be able to concentrate naturally. It is the "overwriting of self-image" introduced in this book that creates this state. This method is a shortcut for tame the beast, so please pick up this book and execute it.
Instead of grasping "concentration" vaguely, understand it logically and deal with it using scientific or psychological techniques. Then you should get results naturally. It's an exciting book that envisions your future self and makes you want to practice it for two months.