Most are completely oblivious to their own behaviors, habits and thinking as well as conversations of others, actions of others and their surroundings. Study after study has been conducted regarding this and they even came up with a phrase to describe it – Inattentional Blindness.
The main cause of this Inattentional Blindness is the brain’s inability to multi-task – to consciously do two things once. For the most part we are only able to focus on one thing at a time. Everything else simply fades away, ignored by our conscious mind. Our brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS) blocks all sensory input, other than that input needed to complete the task at hand. This RAS will only deviate from this filtering function when something unexpected or novel comes to its attention. Example, you are walking down the street texting on your cell phone and a person in a monkey suit walks by you. Suddenly, your RAS nudges you to stop what you’re doing and take notice. Sometimes, however, when our focus on a task is so intense, even the RAS is unable to divert our attention. The ability to focus is extremely powerful.
While this might appear to be an inherent deficiency, it isn’t. The power to focus and ignore almost everything outside our focus is why humanity has been able to send a man to the moon, build the Brooklyn Bridge, split the atom and achieve so much. The ability to focus so intently on one thing is actually our strength. It is the reason why famous, successful people like James Cameron (director of Terminator movies, Titanic and Avatar) Jim Carrey (famous comedian/actor) and JK Rowling (Harry Potter author) can lift themselves out of incredible poverty and magically transform themselves into self-made millionaires. All three, at one time, were so poor their home was their car.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of individuals hold on to the belief that it is virtually impossible for a poor person to break free of poverty and become rich. This one limiting belief is the reason why we have so many stuck in a generational cycle of poverty and the reason why so many politicians are therefore able to buy the votes of the poor by simply offering them entitlements.
Any individual who accepts this belief is unable to use the power of focus to rid themselves of their adverse financial circumstances. And that is unfortunate, for the power of focus is the poor person’s escape hatch. It can lift any individual out of the most dire of financial circumstances. The power of focus is truly God’s gift to humanity.