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benos

Attention and Error Games

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benos   

Adults typically spend very little time fully absorbed in whatever they are doing. Usually we do one thing while thinking about something else.

Consequently we only pay attention when challenged. Like when shooting a stage.

Since we otherwise seldom pay attention, paying attention is a vanishing art.

The ability to pay attention, however, and the power to change and improve that comes with it, can be cultivated in daily life.

Activate Attention Games into your daily routines. Below are a few of mine.

Shave, brush your teeth, and floss, with your eyes closed.

Pause, as you drop the floss in the trash, and hear it land.

Cut your finger nails with your eyes closed. (The clippers are designed to assist with that.)

Pause, as you reach for a door knob, and open or close the door smoothly and with just the right force.

Insert a key with the goal being to not feel it touch the sides of the key slot.

As you are folding or hanging up clothes, be there. Can you tell the color of some T-shirts by their texture?

When you are washing the dishes, be aware of the sound of each dish as you pick them up and set them down. Pay attention to the water - it is a living thing.

As you reach for a light switch, pause, and note how the whole room becomes light or dark, at once.

As you set down a container you will reach for again (like a bottle of vitamins with a flip-top lid), note the direction of the lid. (So you can open it the next time without having to re-orient the bottle in your hand.)

Take the time to learn to hit every key on the keyboad without looking at it.

When you are sitting, just sit.

Know that you are breathing. Die at the end of each exhale.

Notice that you cannot taste food or drink if you are doing something with your hands (like preparing your next bite) or thinking about something.

Taste whenever you drink.

If you repeatedly walk, bike, or drive the same route, notice something new each time.

Attention Games are also useful for guidance. Especially if your girlfriend, like mine, might have a nickname such as, "The Destroyer," or "Captain Oblivious."

:)

For example, instead of telling her to not kick the (very expensive) speaker as she is getting in the van, I might say, "Honey, I have a fun attention game for you. Please pay attention to your feet as you enter and exit the van."

It's working, and it's much more fun.

All day long, practice the Pause Principle. Pause - just long enough to know you paused, but not long enough to begin thinking - just as you begin each activity.

The Error Game takes the Awareness Game to another level.

Some error examples:

Fumble or drop anything.

Drop food off the fork.

Reach into the wrong pocket for a specific item.

Stumble, trip, or bump into anything or anyone.

Miss a belt loop.

Forget where you put something.

Forget to take something with you.

Misdial a phone number.

Miss a key slot.

Any driving error.

In short, anything you do that happened unintentionally.

Before you get up, begin each day by lying in bed for a few minutes and decide what kind of a day you are going to create.

Make it a goal to live an error-free day.

Note that you won't have much luck with the Error Game if you are ever in a hurry.

Enjoy the increased energy and happiness that comes from not thinking about things you cannot do anything about.

Nothing bad will happen if you always pay attention.

be

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carinab   

As you are folding or hanging up clothes, be there. Can you tell the color of some T-shirts by their texture?

Wow! I do this too...haha...who knew?

Notice that you cannot taste food or drink if you are doing something with your hands (like preparing your next bite) or thinking about something.

Taste whenever you drink.

This reminds me of that scene from "My dinner with Andre" - a movie that you either love or hate - where the characters discuss fully experiencing a meal. Spicy tuna rolls for me can be a religious experience!

Awesome post Brian, thank you!

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benos   

Yesterday, I was telling BigJoni... When we started the Error Game a couple years ago, I usually wouldn't make it out of the bedroom in the morning before error #1. Then after some months I could make it out of the bathroom. These days I often make it well into the afternoon. So yesterday, as I was getting in the car after leaving the Home Depot around 3 PM, I was thinking what I just wrote - and missed the key slot in the ignition, for error #1.

:)

Moral of the story: Thinking obscures being.

be

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benos   

The Error Game is just a tool that will expose the source of your personal reality. Whethe or not you are successful at the Error Game should not be cared about.

be

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benos   

I think that's a pretty damn cool idea.

I really doubt I'll catch all the errors I make...

That's the first phase - noticing. I'm on error #1 at 4:30 today... bumped a big package on the door on the way in the house.

be

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benos   

I think that's a pretty damn cool idea.

I really doubt I'll catch all the errors I make...

Just live like you shoot.

be

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Just live like you shoot.

Thinking about it throughout the day, that's exactly what I came up with. :cheers:

I think a big part of that was being aware gives me the same sensation regardless of what I'm doing.

Very interesting stuff.

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benos   
Just live like you shoot.

Thinking about it throughout the day, that's exactly what I came up with. :cheers:

I think a big part of that was being aware gives me the same sensation regardless of what I'm doing.

That's it - nice.

And the more your remain aware the more you'll see that that's all there is to do. "To do" in the beginnnig. And then eventually, that's all there is.

be

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fiddler   

Reminds me of Casteneda's Impeccable Warrior.

and

Chuck Norris thought he made an error once,

but he was mistaken.

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benos   

Chuck Norris thought he made an error once,

but he was mistaken.

There's the error!

:o

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benos   

I've noticed one of two states, or both states, are alwasys persent when an error occurs. Either I'm thinking about something rather than giving my full attention to what I am doing, or I'm in a hurry.

If I'm thinking and in a hurry I'm in error city.

be

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Brian I've been trying to play the "error game" a lot lately, and first of all it's HARD, like you said, to get through the morning routine without making a mistake (anybody try the key in the lock thing BE mentioned?).... but also I've noticed that it does not mean that just because you've made a half-dozen mistakes in your day so far, that it will somehow affect your shooting, or the rest of your day.

I had a whole days worth of errors by 10:00 am on Sunday. But as the match began, I felt things change as I shot the 1st stage error-free, and everything came into focus. I had a perfect draw, got 2 easy A's on the swinger, and finished with a great time. I shot really strong that day. Probably one of the best matches I've shot in a long time.

Then proceeded to spill coffee on the floor, water all over my car seat, and milk in the kitchen later on that night! :rolleyes: What's up with that? :roflol:

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... and yet one does not make another (usually).

Meaning in my shooting, one mistake does not necessarily mean it will propagate into more than one mistake.

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No it won't happen 100% of the time, but the potential for it to happen is very real.

Some common ones:

More than 1 pick-up shot on a steel = 2 errors...I've done that 100 times at least.

Getting hung up in a stage (error) then trying to "catch up" (grave error).

Missing a shooting position leading to an errant shot.

Un-called shots.

You could even say having to transition back to a target to make up a shot is an automatic 2 errors. One for missing the target, the other for not realizing it immediately.

There are really a bunch of them when you think about it. Most you at least see several times a match.

I guess USPSA matches are one big error game. You could easily make a case for a direct correlation between errors and score.

Most people probably wouldn't consider the errors outside of shooting that would definitely have an impact. Not topping off a mag between stages, slipping and twisting your ankle, etc.

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benos   
.... but also I've noticed that it does not mean that just because you've made a half-dozen mistakes in your day so far, that it will somehow affect your shooting, or the rest of your day.

Yes. Definitely do not try to make any sort of mental connection. The real spirit of the error game is found moment to moment.

I had a whole days worth of errors by 10:00 am on Sunday. But as the match began, I felt things change as I shot the 1st stage error-free, and everything came into focus. I had a perfect draw, got 2 easy A's on the swinger, and finished with a great time. I shot really strong that day. Probably one of the best matches I've shot in a long time.

Nice work! :)

I had 3 errors in about 2 seconds earlier today.

It's funny how they tend to compound themselves.

Very true. Especially if you are not doing just one thing at a time.

There are really a bunch of them when you think about it.

I guess USPSA matches are one big error game. You could easily make a case for a direct correlation between errors and score.

Absolutely.

It's nice to hear some are embracing the Error Game.

Making it a goal to maintain the spirit of the Error Game all day long is changing my life in the best way possible.

be

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Sam   

I'm sure glad you posted this. I started playing the error game two days ago. Having been a "serial dropper" of things the past few years, help was needed. It's already making an improvement.

Nice when wrenching the motorcycle.

Very nice when wrenching under the hood of the truck....

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CC712400   

When we give our full attention to something, we are committed to making it wholly correct. We lose time by multi-tasking less, but we gain time through only doing things one time correctly.

I find that when I attend more to the actions at hand, I am more satisfied with the things I do and the ways I do them. Also, I care more about what I spend my time doing. When I am made more aware of what else I truly could be doing, I spend less time mindlessly seeking irrelevant information on the internet, and more of it doing things that allow me to enjoy being.

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benos   

When we give our full attention to something, we are committed to making it wholly correct. We lose time by multi-tasking less, but we gain time through only doing things one time correctly.

I find that when I attend more to the actions at hand, I am more satisfied with the things I do and the ways I do them. Also, I care more about what I spend my time doing. When I am made more aware of what else I truly could be doing, I spend less time mindlessly seeking irrelevant information on the internet, and more of it doing things that allow me to enjoy being.

Nice stuff.

Reading that reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Bhodidharma: "Everything good has awareness for its root."

be

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benos   

Good stuff! Brian, you misspelled Knob! Now if I can start catching my own errors as easily. :roflol:

Da. Thanks.

be

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