The cultivation of the best Motivation is dependent upon an individual to choose and supply sufficient amounts of Spiritual Energy to generate "Aliveness" in Curiosity, Interest, Attention, Desire, and Will-Power. Together, those "big five" set into activity the chain of mental causes and effects that result in storing strong impressions -- impressions strong enough to build enough energy tension inside Desire to power ones "Human Energy Package" for carrying a task to completion, no matter how long it takes. As it is with Interest and Attention, Desire and Will-Power are like two sides of the same coin. Interest is the strong motive of attention and Attention is the beginning of all activities of Desire and Will. Whatever builds Curiosity, builds Interest.
Whatever builds Interest builds Desire. No goal will be reached if Desire’s energy is too weak, too scattered among competing attractions, or of too short a duration. Whatever builds Attention and Desire builds Will Power. The process of building the "big five" starts by being aware of your present thoughts, feelings, or emotions about a given object or thing. The greater in scope, the extent of view, and the intensity (the magnitude or degree of quantity of energy allotted), the more tenacious is your attention and the stronger is your willing power. Focus, by being the highest regulator in the mental system, is the single most important mental skill for Black youth to learn. There is absolutely no substitute for constant practice.
The key here is Focused Attention. The word “Attention” (Latin, “to stretch or bend forward,” as in attempting to see or hear more effectively) originally implied that ones mind was extended, stretched out, or bent toward the object of attraction. To “attend” — to exhibit “concentration” -- to a thing is to turn ones thought toward it by a positive act of the Will and then holding that thought on the thing. Gradually, there is the narrowing of the field of Attention and the maintenance of that narrow focus is Concentration. Concentration is keeping ones attention focused on some object or thing so as to eliminate all distracting thoughts. This act of self-discipline is an exercise of the Will and makes the Will more accessible to being controlled as its owner's desires. As a boy I learned to concentrate by totally focusing on the cork of my fishing line (so as to be able to pull the pole up suddenly in order to hook the fish at its first nibble).
Next is to engage in focused attention and concentration at every opportunity and hold that focus for as long as possible. Follow by advancing to the very high stage of paying attention to the boring and to difficult things. Constantly challenge yourself to hold your attention on the boring and difficult longer than the last time. Nothing is better to learn to do what one does not naturally do than the hard instruction involved in focusing and concentrating on the difficult and the unattractive.
Another exercise is to concentrate on not doing something you really want to do. For example, as a boy I would under-go a self-competition of seeing how long I could go without scratching the bump that itched. Then this progresses to stopping bad habits (like not keeping your word) or stopping self-defeating thoughts (like "I'm powerless") or stopping bad habits (like procrastinating). When your interest or attention gets dull, rest your mind by putting the object away and turning your attention to other things -- and, at first, to less serious things. What you will find is that this switch is sufficient to over-ride your false belief that it is necessary to "take a break" from your progression in thoughtful work. As you advance you can progress up to “pushing through” your loss of interest and penetrating into its essence. This, the ultimate in cultivating Motivation, is a way to develop focused Attention and Will-Power skills in not “giving up” (Bailey, Selfhood Mastery).
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