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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