Hardly any faculty is more important for the intellectual progress of man than ATTENTION. Animals clearly manifest this power, as when a cat watches by a hole and prepares to spring on its prey.
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871)
Attention! Let’s talk about attention.
But first a small experiment in cognitive engagement.
INSTRUCTION: As soon as you have finished reading this sentence, turn your head around about 180 and describe something you can see that is coloured green and does not belong to you.
OK. Here’s the point. Once you look in a direction it’s easy to see what is there. Here’s how it worked:
1. I gave you the cue above to turn your head and look for something specific
2. You turned your head and looked
3. You saw.
I don’t know where you are right now but most readers would have been able to carry this experiment out successfully, once you decided to look.
Here’s the special insight about cognitive engagement that I would like you to get now as a result of this little experiment. It will help you get better use out of the brain software. It’s this:
ONCE YOU MOVE YOUR ATTENTION IN A CERTAIN DIRECTION YOU CAN EASILY SEE WHAT IS THERE TO SEE. BUT, THE DECISION TO MOVE YOUR ATTENTION COULD TAKE TWENTY YEARS!
Many people feel that if there is an opportunity somewhere – a BVS – why, they’ll see it and go get it. They assume the very presence of a BVS will make itself known to them, that it will attract their attention. But no, it doesn’t work that way. You have to direct your own attention.
BVSs are there all the time, you’re tripping over them all day long, literally hundreds of them, but you’re not seeing them. The reason you’re missing them is obvious: It’s impossible to notice a BVS if your attention on defending your CVS.
If you are not deliberately engaged in looking for a BVS then you are unlikely to see one.
Attention is the gateway to consciousness. Attention is the business of your mind. Attention is the principal service provided by the management section of your brain which enables you to focus in and have a mind– for you to think about things.
How you move your attention around is very interesting. There are three distinct aspects of attention-directing in your brain:
1. disengagement: escaping from your present fixation of attention
2. movement: movement of attention across the cognos, the vast universe of possible thoughts
3. engagement: attending to a new object out of a competition of an infinite multitude of possible candidates.
The CVS2BVS software is designed as a switch that helps you to control your attention and move it around, especially when your attention is habitually focused on your CVS and its defence. CVS2BVS can help you disengage and move your attention away from your CVS and to engage it elsewhere on a BVS.
Pay attention! This is a command with which we are all familiar. We all heard it many times as children and we still hear it (if more subtly expressed) every day in business. We know what it means to direct our attention even though it is something we do inside our head.
– In a noisy cocktail party, you can hone in on one particular conversation.
– In a business presentation, while presenting to the room at large and doing justice to her presentation as planned, an account executive can shift the attention around in her vision to catch the expression on her executive client’s face while apparently staring intently at her audio-visual.
– A marketing professional can show you how to deliberately shift your attention away from your product-driven strategy to a better client-driven one and then you can notice the way the information before you rearranges itself.
– A habit of attention may mean that the first thing a hairdresser notices about you is your hair while a dentist may notice your smile instead.
– On arriving at O’Hare International airport, I can pick out my driver from the dozens of others waiting even though my name is badly misspelt on his sign.
– An over-critical parent can pick out the one mistake in a child’s work and not see that the child has accomplished a great deal.
– A shared goal, like Sir Bob Geldorf’s Band-Aid, can cue a diverse group of individual and even competitive entertainers to give priority to a certain event where otherwise they would all be paying attention to something else.
– A team leader can pull back the attention of her team to a project-in-hand after a distraction had drawn attention away.
– A specific motion put before the board can focus the attention of the directors after a long and wandering discussion.
– Most languages have a word like Achtung! which focuses one’s attention.
We experience attention as a filter that the management part of our brain applies to the flood of competing information that comes in from our senses.
Individuals who have suffered brain-damage can lose their ability to control their attention. Attention disorders are manifested in different ways depending on the nature of the damage. It can take the form of an inability to escape from a particular fixation and so they remain stuck in a viewpoint regardless of the demands of their environment.
Or, damage to the right side of the brain can make it impossible for patients to pay attention to the side opposite the damaged hemisphere even to the point of failing to dress the left side of their bodies.
Sometimes, loss of attention-control means constant and debilitating distraction. This is because a person suffering from an attention disorder cannot prevent attention from being diverted by irrelevant stimuli.
The cvs2bvs Switch
Let’s now disengage our attention from ‘attention’ and move it to engage on orthogonality. In quantum physics there is something called orthogonality. Orthogonality means mutual exclusivity, that there cannot be two things in the same place at the same time.
A switch cannot be both OFF and ON at the same time. If a flipped coin has landed as HEADS, then it cannot also be landed as TAILS at the same time.
Â To get to tails requires at least one more flip of the coin, as anyone who visits Melbourne’s new casino will soon discover.
Switches are useful because they have at least two positions. This means you can escape from one and move to the other.
It only requires is a flip of the switch:
– switch: HEADS TO TAILS.
– switch: OFF TO ON.
– switch: CVS TO BVS.
If you wish, to help build a pattern in your brain, you can write out the ‘CVS TO BVS’ or ‘cvs2bvs’ switch 10 times :
1 CVS TO BVS
2 CVS TO BVS
3 CVS TO BVS
4 CVS TO BVS
5 CVS TO BVS