HABITS OF APPLICATION AND CONCENTRATION

June 5, 2010

On one hand control and judgment that lead to fear, resistance and reliance on, and giving up of responsibility to, an external system.

On the other hand, without habits of application and concentration: precision and attention to detail, we cannot achieve excellence and these habits must be learnt.

We seek direction; we need support and boundaries to give definition to our lives.

Yet we also need freedom to be able to see outside of the box: develop our creativity and ourselves.

Teaching needs to understand this distinction: to be about guidance, not imposition. To offer the freedom and support to allow us to try without fear, the guidance to keep us from falling, the discipline to keep us going towards the satisfaction of mastery.

Our capitalist, consumer society encourages the values of newness, change, novelty and facile replacement, rather than enduring quality, reflection and consistency: ease rather than effort. A new experience is just click away!

We need to bring our students back to themselves, so that they can learn that “deliberate practice” and awareness lead to a more enduring satisfaction.