Deliberation is not quite the opposite of spontaneity, but it does mean careful calculation is involved.
Deliberation is why multi-tasking is a catch phrase and not an actual ability. Studies indicate that people are not good multitaskers.Click to tweet
Not just some people. All people are not good at it.
For the howls of indignation out there, let me clarify: multi-tasking isn’t really a human “thing” (unless walking and chewing bubblegum while tossing a ball in the air counts as multitasking. It doesn’t by the way).
Multi-awareness and the ability to change focus of concentration is indeed a very human quality. So is rapid-switching. Rapid switching looks like multi-tasking but it’s not. It’s a very rapid change of attention from subject to subject, task to task. It’s rapid. Did I say that?
What’s different about the two? Rapid switching requires deliberation. It requires a fast purposed switch of attention from one task to another.
What does this have to do with deliberation? Deliberation requires us to actually choose what we’re doing and give it our full attention. Deliberation is a great way to become mindful. It’s a powerful to meditate.
We discussed with mindfulness the importance of being attentive to breathing. Breathing can become a focus. It becomes deliberate. Likewise, so does meditate become deliberate. Meditation and mindfulness get slung about in common speech so that many people think they’re a form of zoning out, of turning our minds off. They are not.
Mindfulness and meditation are actions practiced with purposeful intention. Deliberately. Although heightened consciousness is a benefit of these practices, it isn’t really only an end result.
Meditation and mindfulness are themselves forms of heightened but focused attention. They clarify the mind’s ability to become deliberate in thought. This translates to greater ability to become deliberate in our actions.
Back to fast-switching. I said it was deliberate, with each micro-task chosen, then dropped, then another chose, with all this taking place rapidly. I’ll wage you do it quite well!
However, if we work our minds in such a fast manner, the need for mindfulness becomes even greater, and the value of meditation in refreshing our consciousness will become even greater.