I don’t understand how my brain works.
I know how certain parts of it are expected to operate, but the vast majority of what takes place behind my eyes is an utter mystery. Sometimes I’m pleased with its output, sometimes I’m horrified by it.
Despite this, it’s an uncontested fact that focusing its attention pays enormous dividends. Not just the intellectual equivalent of staring at an object in space, but rather the thoughtful and sustained consideration in a particular direction. This—the careful contemplation of a topic—often yields surprising insights.
I can’t shoot like Steph Curry or write like Ta-Nehisi Coates, but I know that being effective at virtually any task worth repeating requires more than simply hoping in the direction of an unspecific outcome.