Concentration Isn’t Popular-Thomas McGregor (Essay)

  I met Thomas McGregor a few months back and was impressed with his skill in playing the violin. I later found out that he plays other instruments as well and is equally good with them. He is a film maker, writer, entrepreneur -he is a fine example of a polymath! I approached him about an essay for this blog. I sometimes run out of fresh things to say and I am always grateful when a new voice comes around. And he answered my call. Here is his latest post which also appears in:

“Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.” -Arnold Palmer

Concentration is a word that seems to be thrown around without attempting to

Thomas McGregor in full concentration.

Thomas McGregor in full concentration.

understand what it really implies. The word concentration implies that a person is able to fully focus their attention for a period of time without losing stream of thought or from becoming distracted. The word focus comes from the latin root word “foci” meaning a point at which rays (as of light, heat, or sound) converge or from which they diverge or appear to diverge;specifically : the point where the geometrical lines or their prolongations conforming to the rays diverging from or converging toward another point intersect and give rise to an image after reflection by a mirror or refraction by a lens or optical system(Merriam-Webster). This is extremely important for us to digest. The wording of this definition has the potential to enlighten us to what concentration really means. Specifically, the idea of the rays that intersect in order to give rise to an image.  As we glide through our day we have thousands if not millions of images that flood our consciousness. Most of the time these images are habitual or of no deep significance. When we truly concentrate on a central idea, the images associated with the task come together in an aligned fluid “story-like” movie in our head. This allows us to complete a thought from start to finish, regardless of how deep or lengthy the thought is. Concentration is not as depicted in most circles as this mental state of stress and frustrations towards a goal. Concentration and it’s counterpart, focus, is more like a film reel that should play in your mind as we divulge our stream of ideas on a subject – either; based on knowledge, personal experience, and/or emotion. This makes it into a game versus a struggle. Therefore, I ask the question: Why isn’t a game-like/movie-like approach to concentration popular in this age of mass entertainment? Because we are focused on the outer entertainments versus our intrinsically given inner entertainments. Returning to the moving images and inner game of contemplation and imagination will be the success of the few that take that plunge.


Videos of Thomas


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