What Adele Diamond is learning about the brain challenges basic assumptions in modern education. Her work is scientifically illustrating the educational power of things like play, sports, music, memorization, and reflection. What nourishes the human spirit, the whole person, it turns out, also hones our minds.
When we feel distracted, then we have a rare chance to be introspective, to pause and look inward and ask what about our life (overwork? boredom? too much email? anger at one's boss?) or about the particular work situation (traffic? no window? bad air? noise? a cubicle? too much email?) is making us unable to focus.
Often, if you can catch the moment of distraction, you catch your biggest insight and you miss it otherwise, if you don't stop to analyze what is making you distracted.
Distraction is our friend. If only we can use it as a diagnostic of all the things about ourselves that we often see because we're too obsessed with paying attention!
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