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The Power of Controlled Attention: Mastering the Art of Self-Discipline

Controlled attention is the highest form of self-discipline according to The 17 Universal Principles of Success and Achievement by Napoleon Hill. It is a practice that involves coordinating all your mental faculties and directing their combined power toward a specific goal. Controlled attention is a skill that can be cultivated to enhance productivity, achieve personal growth, and make substantial progress toward your objectives. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of controlled attention, its significance in achieving goals, and how you can harness this mental prowess for personal development and success.


Understanding Controlled Attention

Controlled attention is the ability to focus your mental energy and resources deliberately on a particular task or objective. It involves keeping your mind on track, avoiding distractions, and maintaining a single-minded focus on what truly matters. This skill is essential because it empowers you to make the most efficient use of your mental faculties.

The act of controlling your attention demands conscious effort and practice. It requires honing your ability to resist temptations, manage time effectively, and prioritize tasks to maximize productivity. Here are some key aspects of controlled attention:

  1. Resisting Distractions: Controlled attention enables you to resist the pull of distractions, whether they are external (like social media or noisy environments) or internal (such as intrusive thoughts or worries). Sometimes, I find myself getting pulled away with many thoughts at the same time. It helps me to write down my thoughts or make a list of those thoughts then quickly come back to focus.
  2. Time Management: It helps you allocate your time efficiently, ensuring that you dedicate enough hours to the tasks that contribute most to your goals. It is very helpful for me to make a schedule for the week at the beginning of the week to help prioritize what is most important to me first and then fill in the time with the miscellaneous.
  3. Prioritization: Controlled attention allows you to identify and focus on high-impact activities, separating them from low-priority tasks. Scheduling in #2 leads us to prioritization. We try the best that we can to complete our tasks. However, life happens and emergencies do get in the way. It is ok, delays happen. We move forward.
  4. Goal Clarity: It helps you maintain a clear vision of your goals, breaking them down into manageable steps and consistently working towards them. It is important to break the tasks down. Otherwise, when we are overwhelmed, we do nothing or we procrastinate.
  5. Persistence: Controlled attention fosters the persistence needed to overcome obstacles and setbacks on your path to success. Persistency is key to keeping ourselves in the game. Life is full of obstacles and insecurities. Be aware of them, learn how to work with them, and find ways to move past them.


Resources for Research and Goal Planning

To effectively harness controlled attention for achieving your goals, you need to plan your strategy carefully. Here are some valuable resources you can use for research and goal planning:

  1. Books: Reading books related to your field or personal development can provide valuable insights and knowledge to guide your goal-setting and planning.  A great book is “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
  2. Online Courses: The internet offers a vast array of online courses and tutorials on various subjects. These can help you acquire new skills and knowledge relevant to your goals.
  3. Mentorship: Seek guidance from experienced individuals who have already achieved what you aspire to accomplish. They can provide valuable advice and support. Please click here for more info on the power of mentorship.
  4. Networking: Building a network of like-minded individuals can lead to collaborations and opportunities that can further your goals.
  5. Self-Help Tools: Utilize productivity and goal-setting tools, such as journals, planners, and apps, to organize your thoughts and tasks effectively.

training your mind

Affirmations for Empowering Your Subconscious Mind

Affirmations are powerful tools that can reinforce controlled attention and help you stay on track toward your goals. Consider integrating these affirmations into your daily routine:

  1. **I am in control of my attention, and I direct it towards my goals with unwavering focus.
  2. **I am disciplined and persistent, capable of overcoming any challenges that come my way.
  3. **I prioritize my time wisely, dedicating my energy to tasks that align with my objectives.
  4. **I am constantly learning and growing, acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for my success.
  5. **I am resilient, and setbacks only strengthen my determination to achieve my goals.

Controlled Attention: Even While You Sleep

The remarkable thing about controlled attention is its ability to keep your mind working for you, even when you’re asleep. This occurs through the process of subconscious programming. As you consistently reinforce your goals and affirmations during your waking hours, your subconscious mind absorbs this information and continues to work on it during your sleep. This phenomenon underscores the importance of maintaining a positive and goal-oriented mindset throughout your day.


Controlled attention is the key to mastering self-discipline and achieving your goals. By coordinating all your mental faculties and directing them toward your desired outcome, you can overcome distractions, manage your time effectively, and persist in the face of challenges.

It is simple to say but not an easy task. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it already.

Research, strategic planning, and affirmations all play crucial roles in enhancing your controlled attention. With this skill, you can keep your mind working for you, 24/7, and unlock your full potential for personal and professional success.

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