Let’s get in balance!

None of this is rocket science, we just need to start making it happen

I keep coming back to this conundrum.

We know that using sustained attention (as mindfulness) to be fully present with ourselves and our situation or (as encounter or cognitive coaching) to be fully present with another person are good both for us and those around us, yet there is no systematic effort to ensure that students achieve the right balance between focused attention and sustained attention.

Between the ability to go into flow, and the ability to have deep and reciprocal relationships with themselves and their classmates (and anyone else).

This can only come from adults modelling this balance to students – and this modelling leads to more engaged students, more willing to do their best work.

What is there not to like?

Gustave Caillebotte - Skiffs on the Yerres

Gustave Caillebotte - Skiffs on the Yerres

I know that changing behaviour is hard and that we need support to do it.

There are things we can do earlier, though.  Universities are losing their monopoly on knowledge, pretty well anyone can attend the best lectures on almost any subject via a MOOC or other online means.

What a young person could get at Uni is the variety of experiences that would allow them to re-balance how they pay attention, quieten down their red brain, accelerate their adult development (meaning-making) and be well prepared to enter the adult world of work either employed (and this is what corporates are looking for) or as a highly self-motivated entrepreneur.

At the very least, developing teachers in this way would be preparing them for the education system that is struggling to emerge.

Something has to give.



John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.  Earlier blogs can be found here.

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John Corrigan