Importance of concentration  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In any area of success concentration is essential. Geniuses are commonly believed to excel other men in their power of sustained attention. “Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninetynine per cent perspiration”, said Edison. “Genius”, said Helvetius, “is nothing but a continued attention”. “Genius”, said Buffon, “is only protracted patience”. “In the exact sciences at least”, said Cuvier, “it is the patience of a sound intellect when invincible, which truly constitutes genius.” And Chesterfield also observed that “the power of applying an attention, steady and undissipated, to a single object, is the sure
mark of a superior genius.”

The common denominator in the spectacular success stories of great men is their remarkable power of concentration. For example, in his biography of Bertrand Russell, “The Passionate Sceptic”, Alan Wood, referring to Russell’s extraordinary gift for concentration says: “He would sit writing page after page, turning page after page neatly
face downwards as  he finished them; he never minded children playing around him while he worked; and, once a guest in Cornwall, watching fascinated, saw that Russell did not even notice a wasp circling his head.” Concentration was the motto of Andrew Carnegie: “Concentration is my motto—first honesty, then industry, then concentration.”

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