How to Get Your Brain to Focus on What Matters and Avoid Climbing the Wrong Hill


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 27, 2023

3 min read


How to Get Your Brain to Focus on What Matters and Avoid Climbing the Wrong Hill


In an era of information overload, it's crucial to train our brains to focus on what truly matters. This ability to selectively attend to important stimuli while filtering out distractions is known as selective attention or the "cocktail party effect." Just like ignoring banner ads on websites, our brains have the incredible capacity to prioritize and concentrate on specific tasks or conversations, even in a crowded room. However, when it comes to achieving success and personal growth, it's not about finding shortcuts or hacks. Instead, it's about repetition, consistency, and measuring progress. This article explores the art of focusing on what matters and avoiding the trap of climbing the wrong hill.

Selective Attention: Ignoring the Irrelevant:

Research has shown that as we spend more time reading articles online, we develop a tendency to ignore irrelevant or unimportant elements of the experience. This phenomenon, known as "banner blindness," is a manifestation of selective attention. Just as we filter out advertisements on webpages, we can train our brains to ignore distractions and focus on the task at hand. By consciously directing our attention towards what matters, we can enhance productivity and achieve better results.

The Power of Repetition and Consistency:

When we examine the top performers in any field, we often notice a common characteristic: repetition and consistency. These individuals understand that progress is not achieved through shortcuts or hacks, but through continuous practice and improvement. By measuring their performance metrics, they gain valuable insights into what works and what doesn't. They use this feedback to refine their strategies and put in more deliberate practice. If we want to excel in our endeavors, we must embrace the power of consistency and avoid the allure of quick fixes.

Measuring Progress: The Key to Improvement:

To truly understand what works and what doesn't, we need to measure our progress consistently. Just like the top performers, we should track relevant metrics in our personal and professional lives. By doing so, we gain objective evidence of our growth and identify areas that require improvement. Whether it's tracking sales numbers, workout repetitions, or daily writing word count, measuring progress provides us with vital feedback to make informed decisions and optimize our efforts.

Avoiding the Wrong Hill: Prioritizing Long-Term Rewards:

In our pursuit of success, it's all too easy to get caught up in short-term gains and instant gratification. This tendency to prioritize immediate rewards over long-term benefits can lead us astray, causing us to climb the wrong hill. To avoid this trap, we must learn to resist the allure of instant gratification and focus on the bigger picture. By meandering in our journey, exploring new territories, and constantly seeking the highest hill, we increase our chances of finding true success and fulfillment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace selective attention: Train your brain to ignore distractions and focus on what truly matters. Just like ignoring banner ads on websites, filter out irrelevant stimuli in your daily life to enhance productivity and concentration.
  • 2. Emphasize repetition and consistency: Understand that progress is achieved through deliberate practice and continuous improvement. Measure your performance metrics, identify areas for growth, and put in consistent effort to refine your skills and achieve your goals.
  • 3. Prioritize long-term rewards: Avoid the temptation of instant gratification by keeping your focus on the bigger picture. Don't waste time on the current hill if there's a higher one to climb. Embrace exploration and meandering, but always prioritize long-term benefits over short-term gains.


In a world filled with distractions and shortcuts, it's essential to train our brains to focus on what truly matters. By harnessing the power of selective attention, repetition, and consistency, we can achieve remarkable results in our personal and professional lives. Remember to measure your progress, seek continuous improvement, and avoid the trap of climbing the wrong hill. By incorporating these principles into your daily life, you'll cultivate a focused and purpose-driven mindset that leads to long-term success and fulfillment.

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