Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. Is attention deficiency a disorder, and is there a way to overcome it?
Sadhguru: See, when it comes to physical body and the mind, no two human beings have come with the same capabilities, isn’t it? Hmm? Physically, mentally, what one human being can do, another human being cannot do, it’s in so many different ways.
So instead of getting a title that, “I am attention deficiency, I am ADD, ABC, XYZ…”, so many things. The thing is, how to maximize who you are, isn’t it? You have attention deficiency, but I had another kind of problem. I had too much attention. If I pay attention to this one [looking at something], I can’t shift my attention to this [looking at something else]. I’m just looking at this only for hours. That also people thought is a problem. People thought it is a problem, “He’s just looking at one thing all the time.”
I remember this situation so well, it was so insane. You know my father academically excelled all his life, but unfortunately, he produces a son like me, who has no concern about academics of any kind. So, he thinks, he’s a very strict disciplinarian, and evenings, seven to nine, every day in the evening, we must all – the four siblings – all of us must study – textbook. I pick up some textbook, because it doesn’t matter for me what. And I open somewhere, I don’t care which page, I just open some page. And I find some small speck on the page, a tiny speck, some flaw in the paper. I just look at that. That’s about it. It just grabs my attention in such a way, I just sit there two hours just looking at this speck. I don’t read a single word, but I never looked up and looked here and there, because it really held my attention. Two hours I’m just looking at the speck, because there is so much in a bloody speck, you know? There’s an entire world in a speck. People have spent their lifetimes looking after microscopic molecule or an atom, isn’t it? Speck is much bigger than an atom. So, people thought I was going crazy, because I had too much attention.
So, don’t go on labeling yourself this and that. Who decides you have attention deficiency? Hmm? Is there some standard, how much attention you must have, or how much attention you must get? There is no such standard anywhere, isn’t it? You’re making it up. The problem is, right from childhood, children are labeled, and they are supposed to carry this label for the rest of their life. What level of attention you have at five, what level you may have at six, at seven, at eight, at fifteen or twenty – can be entirely different. Haven’t many of you evolved to this process? Hmm? Haven’t you? First day of school you couldn’t figure a damn thing, maybe later on you did well. Or may be first day you looked like you understood everything, by the end of the year you did nothing. Yes or no?
You… you’re a young man. There are girls in the neighborhood? Hmm? Are there girls in the neighborhood, I asked?
So, you’re at a certain age. Now, you get drawn to somebody. You don’t have to concentrate, isn’t it? Hello? You don’t have to concentrate. They will invade. So, it is only a level of interest. If you have a deep level of interest in something, attention will come. Why will it not come? You still have not found any interest in anything. I don’t know which part of the mechanics you’re handling in London. I heard the clock is not working…
So, if you become profoundly drawn to something, why will you not have attention? Attention will come. Do I have as much attention as somebody else? Maybe not. I never had any attention for what was happening in the classroom, because I didn’t find that interesting. But my attention was in all kinds of things. Does it mean to say I don’t have… I have attention deficiency? No. I’m not interested in what they’re putting up on the blackboard, that’s all.
So right now, unfortunately, all the girls have moved out of the neighborhood. So you have attention deficiency. Find something that you’re passionate about, attention will come. Why will it not come? Not necessarily what I said, just anything. I’m taking that example of a girl, because there is a chemical support. Yes? There is chemistry working for your attention. Other things need little more effort to pay attention to. You need to develop some intensity of passion, that something, that is important. What you think is important, if this comes into your perspective, attention will naturally come.
I know others will say other things, but what I am telling you is, whatever your state of mind has been, from your childhood to now, need not be the state of your mind for the rest of your life. The easiest thing to do is change the framework of our mind, isn’t it? Hmm? To change the framework of our body is very difficult. To change the framework of our mind is the easiest thing to do, because that is the most flexible thing. But that you have made it like a concrete block.
What do you want to use your head for? Just head-butting? I’m asking? You must keep this as flexible as possible, isn’t it? Hello? You have made this into a concrete block, what is the intention? That’s why I think so many… I mean the… such passionate football fans. The only thing that you appreciate is this [head-butting]. That is also a good thing when it’s done well, but head can be used for many more things. And you can do many more things only if you keep it completely fluid and flexible, otherwise, a concrete block is useful only for certain things. So, it doesn’t matter what labels they put on you, if you wish, you can change the structure of your mind.