Life impels us to improve continuously – be it self-development or social contribution. It can be a career skill, a relationship, a hobbie etc. In today day-and-age with rapid technological advancement, change has been a constant feature in the way we do things, we relate to people. Change necessitates improvement. Improvement implies learning. A vital requirement for effective learning is concentration. Concentration has become a challenge. Human attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2020.
We can learn from Arjuna the way to improve our concentration. It is done by improving our purpose, practice and focus. Arjuna was very eager to learn archery. How can we increase our eagerness? By reminding ourselves of the goal of what we are learning. And reminding ourselves of the importance of the goal. We can do so by regular contemplation, visualization and appropriate association. The stronger the purpose is, the easier it becomes to channelize our energy in learning.
Practice involves consciously prioritizing our learning. We need to contact the right mentors. We need to collect the appropriate resources – books, material etc. A favorable environment-place is also important. Most important thing is time both in quantity and quality. The amount of time we spend on learning a particular thing reflects the value we ascribe to it in our life. Arjuna valued archery so much that he practiced it round the clock.
Focus entails improving our attention. Attention can be improved by decreasing distraction and increasing attraction. Distractions like smartphone need to be neglected, if possible avoided. Attraction will enhance when we develop a favorable and efficient relationship with teacher. Bhagavad Gita 3.34 educates on this. The relationship can be improved through receptivity, inquiry and service. These three aspects reflect the value we are giving to our teacher and his/her teachings. This is exemplified by Arjuna in his relationship with Drona.