What if we had a fraction of the curiosity and focus of a dog?
How do you build it and how can you keep it going? Let’s look at some techniques … both canine and human.
There was a frog in the pond. I didn’t see it until I noticed Pepper wasn’t moving and was staring into the water. Then I saw some leaves move and I saw a leg and then a body.
Pepper wouldn’t move. He stared at the spot until it moved again. I wasn’t sure what he was going to do about it all, but what was admirable was his:
- Curiosity: whatever it was under the water took precedence over everything else on the planet.
- Intensity: he wasn’t moving a muscle.
- Patience: he could outlast this silly froggy.
If I could harness say, an hour of his curiosity, intensity, and patience in a day, I could build buildings, scale mountains and get pretty much anything done. So what gives?
We do have those qualities, they just don’t last long. I have it in the morning, before the rest of the family is up and I don’t make mistakes like look at email or news. If I can go from a state of slumber to a state of meditation to a state of creativity, I can get close to the purity of my dear dog’s intensity. Time flies, I hear nothing and I’m in that glorious flow.
But it takes me:
- Waking up early,
- Before everyone else,
- Minimizing (or consciously ignoring) distractions,
- Staying with it.
For me, it’s a process. I have to consciously … get to the unconscious level. I suppose we have bigger brains and have more to process? Ach, that sounds like an excuse to me. Pepper has focus. An intense focus. What is under that water? I will still every fiber of fur on my little body if I could just see it move again.
When are you a dog?
When in the day are you as focused as you can be? What does it take to get you there? How long can you stay there? What “tricks” do you use to get there and/or stay there?
Spoiler Alert: the frog remained still and I was the first to budge as we continued on the trail and I’m 99.8% sure that my dog forgot about the entire thing within 7 minutes.