Ask Mar­i­lyn

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Community Table - By Mar­i­lyn vos Sa­vant —Kristin Dzu­gan, Fol­som, Calif.

I con­sider my­self to be a good driver, but I ad­mit that I oc­ca­sion­ally get dis­tracted. At such times, I may even do some­thing un­safe. This con­cerns me. I vow that I will al­ways pay at­ten­tion in the fu­ture, but then it hap­pens again. Is it pos­si­ble for a per­son to learn to be more mind­ful, or am I fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle against hu­man na­ture? You can im­prove by dis­cov­er­ing fac­tors that im­pinge on your at­ten­tion. When you find your­self dis­tracted, ob­serve your­self and your sur­round­ings. Does it hap­pen more of­ten when you’re lis­ten­ing to news on the ra­dio? If so, try switch­ing to mu­sic (or vice versa). Are you typ­i­cally tired when your mind wan­ders? Then maybe in­dulge in a lit­tle more tea be­fore the trip. Or are you usu­ally think­ing about per­sonal or workre­lated mat­ters? You might try turn­ing on the ra­dio.

Al­most all of us can cul­ti­vate bet­ter fo­cus, but in the case of driv­ing, bore­dom is a ma­jor prob­lem. We need to pre­vent bore­dom while avoid­ing dis­trac­tion at the same time. This is not an easy task. Th­ese words fol­low a rule: ball, bat, glove, mask. Th­ese words don’t fol­low it: base­ball, bat­ter, cap, mitt. Can you find the rule? (An­swer at end of col­umn.)

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