The key to success – concentration

Success is what each one of us strives for. Whether it’s regarding career goals, financial status, relationships or even health, all of us are driven by the need to be successful. So what is the most important predictor of whether you will actually be successful or not? Is it IQ? What about the socioeconomic status of the family you were brought up in? No doubt these are important in determining how successful you are, but can you really change them? The answer is probably not. There is a silver lining however. Research has shown that the most important predictor of success is not IQ or family wealth, the most important indicator is actually the ability to concentrate and stay focused. One study showed that results obtained from athletes given a concentration test the day before their game were accurate indicators of how well they would perform the next day. This is because the better you can focus on anything the better you will do. No matter how talented you are, you can’t perform well if you are distracted. Similar results were obtained in another study done in New Zealand, by Mofitt and Caspi at Duke University, where over a thousand children were regularly tested for eight years and then followed up at the age of 32 to see how well they were doing in life. Once again the ability to concentrate was the most definite predictor of how they fared in life. Therefore it is very important to hone those attention paying skills, especially in the young whose brains need to build the neural circuitry involved in focus and attention. Otherwise they will not only have problem in concentration but also have stunted abilities in controlling emotions and being empathetic as these pathways are all shared. This would eventually affect their successfulness in the future.

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