Learn to Focus our Minds

Developing one’s will power is directly related to one’s success in life.
No one can over estimate the power of your will to do.
It is the lack of determination and concentrated will power that most people fail.

The process of obtaining this self-mastery – the complete command of one’s mind – is a gradual one.
Just like an athlete who trains, requires him to channel full mental attention to his skills, a mind must be trained to have it focused on one particular task. This again brings us back to Thinking. No one taught us how to think in school. We all have too many thoughts making a chaos in our minds, when this mind is in a pandemonium, utterly out of control, is when we loose complete focus of something we want to succeed in, and we fail to realize our goals.


Yet with practice and self awareness of our thoughts we can train it to FOCUS. Our mind is like a camera which captures emotions, events etc as mental images. We look at the captured imagery. All we have to learn is to Focus it to a particular object in the picture, the one which is of paramount importance to us. Let this lens adjust itself to get that very particular object in focus and let all the rest in it blur out. Once in focus, the clarity of the task we have to perform is crystal clear, without the mere distractions of irrelevant thoughts we can use all our effort to work towards it, and eventually succeed.

When Henry Ward Beecher was asked how he could accomplish so much more than others, he replied, “I don’t do more, but less than other people. They do all their work three times. Once in anticipation, once in actuality, and once in rumination. I do mine in actuality alone, so I end up doing things just once.”

Beecher could concentrate his mind on what he was doing at a given moment. Then he’d go to something else and concentrate on it. One of the secrets of a successful life is to be able to focus all our energies on one thing at a time.

Don’t waste your time worrying as it only crowds your thoughts with worthless clutter. Focus on what you’re doing while you’re doing it, and stop worry before it stops you. Worry is an energy zapper. It reduces your chances of success and it can make life just as miserable for those around you.

Learning to focus your efforts is the only way you will achieve the success you’re capable of. The earlier in life you learn this simple fact, the more likely you will overcome everything that slows you down and prevents you from true success in everything you do.

Here’s a recipe for a wasted life – just go about every day trying to do too many things at once. Splitting yourself up into a hundred parts leads to nowhere.

When a person is focussed, he extracts all his latent power and pulls the switch to ignite it. The resulting force is directed all to the goal he has focussed on. His goal is clear. Mind is pure. Time is still.

For medical students it is very important to maintain focus on what they are learning and where they are moving. Many can have their mental faculties disturbed by various trivial things and this can lead to loosing your focus. Loosing focus can make your life miserable in the medical field. There is too of demand on you, yet you get consumed by wasteful thoughts, this tires you down, you are then unable to cope with rising workload, even the ones you read seem to fade away leaving you in confusion. Anxiety and frustrations take over you and you start living a painful life, a life full of stress. You may clear exams, but just a nudge at the borderline, you may even fail. The pain is too much to withstand, and you loose your goals, you now want to quit or settle to a lower level of a general practitioner once you pass out. Those who eventually make it to top pursuing fields of specialization and super-specialization are the ones who had remained focus, full control of their mental faculties and used up their fuel only to direct themselves to their goals. Whats on their mind is nothing too much, its just the clarity of their goals and the rest of the thoughts are pure. They feel no stress. They enjoy their work and learning and learn more, get better by the day.

I am not a Mental trainer nor a Thinker like Edward de Bono, I am just a bloke who is learning and sharing what I am learning. Hence these are few mental strategies one may employ to help him focus and concentrate. These were number of ways I learnt from Rabbi Noah Weinberg reading his articles on spirituality.


It’s often hard to concentrate. Our mind wanders all over the place.
Just as you need to “guard your tongue” in order to not waste words, so too you need to ?guard your thoughts” to steer them in the right direction.Get in touch with your mind. It’s flopping all over. Freeze the frame: What are you thinking right now? You’re wondering what’s for lunch!

You set the agenda, close off other compartments, and concentrate. You mind is here, not anywhere else. You couldn’t care about sports or politics or finance or anything else. You are only aware of the task at hand.


Life pulls us in many different directions and it’s hard to stay on track.It’s not simple to take off time of work. But whatever you do, whenever you do it, be totally immersed and involved. Pretend as if you’re “dead to the world.” For that time, nothing should pull you away from the more meaningful task at hand. Nothing else exists.


We are what we think. Our ideas dictate reality. If someone thinks people are out to get him, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, he will be afraid. Or if a smart child gets the idea that he’s stupid, that will become his reality.Intellectual purity means sorting out your ideas. Distinguish which are true and which are false; which make sense and which are foolish. Then clear your mind; filter out the “garbage” so it doesn’t get mixed into your brain.Get in touch with your mind. What are you thinking? Whenever you utter a statement, ask yourself, “Do I really mean this?” A false idea repeated often enough will become your reality – even if at first you don’t believe it.Finally, interact with ideas as if they are real. Once you decide that a certain idea is correct, translate it into a concrete idea. For example, take the feeling: “I don’t want to waste time,” and turn it into the idea: “Life is precious.” The next step is to take it from your mind and put it into action. To ignore it and go on is living a schizophrenic life.


Just as you need purity of mind, you also need purity of heart – “one emotion at a time.? Different emotions can invade at the wrong time, and if you’re not clear, you’ll get pulled in too many directions.Being pulled in opposite directions causes paralysis.Before entering a situation, decide in advance which emotion you want to “ride.” If you’re going to a wedding and it’s important to have joy, don’t drift to extraneous topics like: How will they support themselves? How does my hair look? Will I have the salmon or the beef? Instead, focus on the singular emotion and tell yourself, “I’m going to be joyful – and no one’s gonna stop me!”Even if you don’t feel cheerful, fake it. Emotional purity is an act of discipline. You are the master of your mind. Intensify your will and pull your mind where you want it to be. Before long, your internal reality will catch up with your external actions.



Get a hold of crippling negative emotions and block them out.If you feel a negative emotion, realize that you have the ability to “let go” and feel upbeat in a moment. It’s only wounded pride that says, “I have to pout a while longer before I can get over this one.” The negative energy is hurting no one but yourself. You have the power of free will to lift yourself out of it.This is especially important in times of confusion and anxiety. You have a flight to catch, but the taxi arrives late and then you’re caught in traffic. Don’t sit there aggravated, seething and kicking yourself. It will ruin your day. Instead, switch to positive thoughts: Okay, so I missed the plane. But I can still enjoy the view! Of course, if there’s something to do about it, do it. But otherwise, block it out.Imagine a surgeon who had an argument with his wife this morning. He’s aggravated, and now he’s going to operate. How can he possibly concentrate? He’s a trained professional. He’ll block it out.Be ruthless in your focus. It’s not always bad to be ruthless. If the surgeon doesn’t ruthlessly focus, he’ll endanger the patient.The goal, of course, is not to be devoid of emotions, but to control them and apply them appropriately.How do you avoid this trap? Be interested in truth, wherever it will lead. If you find truth and it conflicts with your prior beliefs, dissolve your prejudices. Be relentless in the pursuit of truth. I have to change my whole life Okay, I am not afraid.


Relates to the concept of Meditation. Meditation does not mean chanting a word that does not make sense to you. Rather, it means taking one subject and immersing yourself completely, to the exclusion of all other subjects. This in Islam is seen in Sufi practices, yet according to many scholars, the Salat itself is and has to be performed in act of meditation. Yet there are many who just learn it in physical actions, a ritual rather than focusing their mind in it. Here are some ways you can use in your personal prayers.
Use “tunnel vision” to connect with your deepest emotions on God, life, humanity, family, suffering, etc.Abraham, Moses, were all shepherds. It afforded them time to meditate alone under the awesomeness of the heavens, and it gave them private time to concentrate on lofty spiritual ideas, to get into the right frame of mind to speak with God. Propher Muhammad (S.A.W.) used to spent days together alone meditating in the Cave on mount Hira.To meditate, try saying a single word out loud, and concentrate on it’s meaning. After 10 minutes, your mind will be fully focused.


Once you’ve developed the twin tools of intellectual and emotional purity, the next step is integrated purity – putting it all together. Of course, stay away from counterproductive activities. You can’t party all night and meditate in the morning. It’s the antithesis of purity.Don’t contaminate your goal. Focusing on what you want is the first step in getting what you want. “Confused equals diffused.” If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.Wishy-washiness often comes from not being clear about personal goals. Know your goals and priorities at all times, and have a plan for how to reach them.The most important thing is to know what you’re living for – i.e. “The Main Goal.” If you are ready to die for something, that is pretty heavy. You want to be a good man? Every human being is ready to die to be good. Isn’t that true?Once you have a goal, you need to get psyched up and focused. Everyone needs a cheerleader, and there is no better (or more readily available) cheerleader than yourself. Try giving yourself a pep talk like a football coach: “I’m going to accomplish today. I’m going to concentrate. I’m going to search for truth and nothing will stop me. The next person who gives me a piece of wisdom, I’m going to listen, appreciate it, think about it, and apply it.”Make your goals real. You only have a short time to achieve everything you want in life. Start now and give it all you’ve got.


~ by Dr.Zhivago on January 22, 2008.

31 Responses to “Learn to Focus our Minds”

  1. Hello Doctor,
    Just one question I was wondering if anyone has experianced a literal feeling like you had jumped into your own mind, only for an instance mind you ?

  2. Hi R.D.
    Well I did not discern your question that well.
    But if you were implying about having oneself thinking about his own mind. Well there are Thinkers, Psychologists who do nothing but study Human thinking. And on the other spectrum there are people with genuine psychiatric illnesses who get trapped into themselves, a feeling of excessively thinking about their healths or their mental status and mostly negative, they create false sings and believe them, they feel like they are going mad. Such disorders are called somatoform disorders where pain and symptoms are felt without them being in reality. Its all in the fellows mind.
    Then there are instances of people with anxiety disorders, like Generalised Anxiety disorders, Panic Attacks, there are times they get a feeling of everything going horribly wrong, they excessively think inwards, very negatively and the thoughts are unstoppable, self perpetuating and to a point when the individual feels he is going to get Mad, loose his mind, or die any moment, get a heart attack or stroke.

    On the other note, I would like to point out,
    Our minds our fleeting, give them some time and know how to use them. They can be anywhere anytime. You can feel within your mind or you can even have a feeling of being in someone else’s mind.
    the bottom line – Our mind is an exceedingly powerful tool.

  3. Nice blog 🙂

  4. hi
    its a good blog.it sounds tremendously useful but can u tell me if a person wid some psychiatric illness like mild schizophrenia whos under medicine in post treatment can apply such mind power strategies as u have said and achieve big like passing tough exams.

  5. Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder which must be treated long term with anti-psychotic medications. Many a times it does have disastrous consequences on the patient’s life. It again depends on what kind of Schizophrenia the person is suffering from.
    There are several subtypes and prognosis depends accordingly.
    There have also been some most intellectual personalities who have known to be suffering from schizophrenia. They still did make some very significant contributions to the world despite this mental illness.
    John Forbes Nash was a Nobel-prize wining mathematician awarded for his work in Economic Sciences.

    The discussion on Schizophrenia merits a much longer dedicated post to it, and it is not justified to have it discussed here in a comment. I will soon post specifically on this topic.

  6. tariq from pakistan
    sir pleas tell that:is hand jobe of my penis disterb my mind?
    pleas reply me on my email that is: tariq_sialkot2005@yahoo.com
    i also tell you that i am student at BSc(university level)

  7. I would not promote nor vilify the practice of masturbation.
    During my Med School years, One of my favorite professors in Forensic Medicine, Dr Yoganarasimhak, once made a statement in Class “Any male who denies he masturbates is blurting an outright lie”. Later I read in a BMJ Journal that Masturbation is common in 90% of males and 30% of Females by the age of 20.

    Here are following positive effects of masturbation (in moderation).
    as mentioned in this website by California’s sperm bank: http://www.spermbankcalifornia.com/male-masturbation.html

    When it comes to religion, as far as Islam is concerned, the question of it being halal or haraam is a little dicy.
    There are opinions of it being Haraam, few with neutrality.
    The fact is, the direct question of masturbation was never touched upon by the Prophet during his lifetime. It was just left for people to ponder over..
    here are a few articles in this regard..

  8. sir i had done hand practics of my penis for many years
    but still healthy
    my question how can i left it
    reply me on my id

  9. Its a Mind Blowing Article Which has cleared A huge problem of mine

  10. hi doc . . . .m an engineering student . .m prob s i cant do wat i want u see.. . .like i cant focus ma mind its like ma mind wont listen to me i wanna achive a lot of things n ma life. . . . .can you pls help me to focus ma mind!!!!

  11. HI..
    Thanks for visiting my website.

    Dun worry about your problem..
    this is something every single student, professional, infact every being faces..

    You will have to make a personal sincere effort in order to tame your mind.
    I suggest you learn about “Mindfulness”..

    Read this book about mindfulness and start practicing it..
    it is a very good simple explanation and techniques of taming your mind.
    I found it very useful for myself. Although its written by a Monk,
    It has more to do with Mental techniques rather than any religious discourse in it.
    Highly recommended by me.

  12. I love your block. You write with clarity and understanding and it transfers well to me, as the reader. Thanks.

  13. sir i can not focus when someone is looking at me, i do things awkwardly…. what is the reason and how can i stop doing that?

  14. Excellent blog. Just what I needed. I also have very hard time concentrating. I’ll remember these strategies and apply them. Thanks a lot!

  15. hello, interesting blog. i hope i can learn to focus my mind is so hectic even reading this article i’m thinking ‘will i have time to practice this – to read that book, look at that link, shouldn’t i be doing something else/work’. i have a large young family (4 boys), money worries a mortgage and disabled son. i have so many dreams and ambitions i’d like to achieve (creative and career). i have so many things to do i end up doing little its a sad situation. hence my looking on the web searching google on advise how to focus. good luck with your research/studies you sound. another thing without me thinking about it properly is in the article somewhere it mentions, being pure in thoughts sometimes in life it seems better to block something out (a negative part of ones life) when you block something out tho its seems to dilute focus, you think ‘if i can’t deal with that truthfully, how can i do this, whats the point?’. from the photo you look a young doctor, i think when you are young its easier to have purer thoughts, when you get older have kids a house, responsibilites and lifes ups n downs it becomes more blurred. i probably need a shrink to help me focus but i hope to learn for myself from the web. good luck and thanks for the blog.

    • Hi Marcup, thanks for dropping by my blog and reading the post I shared quite some time ago.
      Haven’t been updating my blog for some time now, with busyness (also some lazyness to do so) of daily life squeezing more and more.

      Yes I am young.. 24, but not that I have been spared of problems, nevertheless.
      I have had anxiety problems with a plethora of depressing and negative thoughts rushing thru my mind most times,
      this eventually gave form to physical symptoms, that I cud not manage and severely debilitated my functions as a Medical student then.
      I had to seek treatment, and since then I have taken keen interest on Mental health, meditation.

      All these problems occur due to stresses of life, like the ones you face.
      In a short advice in good faith, I reckon you take interest in Mindfulness programs, Meditation and read books about how your Mind works in stress and anxiety.
      This will give you an insight, at the same time Mindfulness meditation etc will teach you effective techniques in tackling your thoughts and mind.
      practice them religiously with a resolve and chaning yourself, your mind.. and follow thru until you are able to master the techniques of Mindfulness and manipulating mind and thoughts.

      Wish you success in your endeavor.

  16. seems that you have healed from your anxiety disorder
    does it still sometimes come back to you, though?

  17. Thx 4the blog ,I love it!
    I have a hard time to b focus when I’m stressed out,emotional stress…in general I know what I want but for some reason I’m all over the places in my mind…sometimes I can’t even sleep…thanks so much doc:)

  18. i am medical student 2 in the last year, u know when i read it i felt u wrote it just 4 me , i was about 2 give up, and my life was really misreable when i get stressed and worried which happen alot…. and my thoughts were hectic u were talking about me…………thanks aloooooooooooootttt 4 help i r a GOD send, u r amazing:)))))

  19. ^ Exact same as above post. Med student struggling to focus… NO MORE. Thanks a ton!!1

  20. Excellent perspective ond direction on focusing on the moment !
    I have often wondered how man can tap more than the 10% of brain power utilized?

  21. Dr Zhivago,

    Thank you very much for you blog! What you said in your article I find very useful for my career. I was interested to see what you said about your own experience with anxiety (your post on the 7th of Feb 2010). I am basically the same age as you but have been under a lot of pressure to succeed from the age of 5 (due to my profession). I can completely relate to you in regards to negative thoughts over-taking me. I have a mental disorder and before i was diagnosed and went on medication, I found it totally impossible to filter out negative thoughts (and occasionally feelings of grandure just the same) , going from short manic phases to prolonged depressive ones. Since going on medication, i found it easier to control the negative thoughts and stress (just the way you describe in your article), but i still find myself in situations when- however much I have already achieved- i keep putting myself down and trying to explain my achievements as pure luck. By achieving, I to put myself under more pressure and often feel like I don’t deserve it. These thoughts used to come out when I was in the middle of working- now I have learnt to block them out during that time. My problem is, that these thoughts found a way of getting back to me- when I least expect them! (I might be happily having a cup of tea on a sunny afternoon, as suddenly- BAM- here they come and eat me up!!!) It is as if it is some evil spirit which has found a different passage to get into my mind. It is hard to ALWAYS stay positive about your work. And it’s healthy to challenge yourself. But the feelings I am talking about are not the ones which lead to productiveness, but the ones that can totally destroy all the good energy and work I have done up to date. And from there it becomes a downward spiral as the negativity of those thoughts make me fail in my practice, which then takes extra long time to achieve something good again.

  22. I’m currently trying to reconcile my demons of restlessness to find cooperation and peace in getting a PhD in Pharmacy and this is what I needed to see. I’ve been to much of a free spirit for too long. Thanks, I’m bookmarking this.

  23. I loved this. Lack of concentrated will has long been the achilles of my ambitions and talent. It is rare for me to come across blogs anywhere written with intellect and savvy but you have offered keen insight I will be taking to heart and hopefully, into full practice.

  24. Thank you for the great article!

    I do have a question, though. What should I do, practically, when I am focusing on a task, for example, and all of a sudden I get tired and do not want to proceed with my task? All I want to do at that time is distract my mind from my current status.

  25. Doctor, thank you for this. I’m currently enrolled in a master’s program and I have been having a very hard time concentrating lately. Your words helped me clear my mind.

  26. sir i wna concentrate bt , i m getting unable to apply ds in practical life……………….how can i make cncentrate and sharper ma mind………………..in reality

  27. Thanks Doc. This was helpful.

  28. hello doctor i like your thought its realy life changing thought.

  29. Hi Dr.

    I agree that as you said in your article.. Thank you for this information..

    Here is a sentence….
    “Scale Greater Heights And Be A Sensation With Learning To Focus!”

    Do You Know The Unstoppable Power Of Learning To Focus With Meditation And Rescheduling…?

  30. some times my mind goes back to flash back… i mean a thing which happen 2 me 6 m0nth before suddenly my brain goes to it i becomes hyper on it,,,and can not focus on the task which i am doing..and i talk with my self every time..and my mind is working all the time even i m saleeping also…so what should i do????????????????plzzzzz give answer..

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