Contemplating or Concentrating?

Hmmmmmmm. I loved this class topic not only because I am constantly contemplating and never concentrating, but also because there is a lot of room for discussion when touching upon it. Many people felt contemplating and concentrating worked simultaneously, if we are contemplating we are obviously concentrating on whatever it is we are pondering about. However, I feel as though contemplating and concentrating are two separate entities. We discussed the impact new technology has on our cognitive ability to contemplate and concentrate. Are we really mindless digital robots walking around aimlessly all day long? Or have our hand held toys conditioned us to absorb and sort information so quickly that we forget we even are contemplating or concentrating. I feel there are a few different types of concentration. As a survival trait, humans have acquired the ability to focus our best when we are in physical danger. You will find we are so focused when we feel we’re unsafe that nothing else on Earth matters. We also are able to concentrate well when we are incredibly pressed for time. Whenever I am in a rush, I have no choice but to get whatever it is I am doing done as quickly and efficiently as possible, this requires I intently focus on the present. We have also developed a knack for heavily concentrating on things we find pleasant. I am really, really concentrated on the red wine options as I peruse a drink menu. So, why is it that we feel we are simply unable to stay focused on a scholarly article at 7pm in the library? I think a big factor we are forgetting in the midst of the contemplating/concentrating discussion is our natural tendency to self analyze. Often times when we are reading, we are in a quiet environment. This ‘focus enabling’ atmosphere sometimes can actually motivate us as students to detach from the task at hand and promote many different levels of thought. We are actively contemplating many different things as we simultaneously choose to save concentrating on the material in-front of us for later. I find my focus to be most sharp when I am not attempting to analyze the material that I am reading. Naturally, one thought leads us to another, often times we find ourselves miles away from the idea we had just three minutes ago. Perhaps this is an explanation as to why it’s easier for me to absorb the information from articles featured in Vogue rather than articles on Sakai. I don’t feel any underlying pressure to concentrate or contemplate my leisure reading. Ironically, by shutting down our student analyzation sense, it may be a possibility that we are actually enabling ourselves to immerse further in concentration and contemplation. When we refrain from telling our brain what to do, it seems to be able to get the job done on its own sometimes.

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