Monday in the dojo I brought up the idea of restriction vs. freedom when it comes to training individual techniques. When training, our limbs always have a job; our mind is always working, but we can oftentimes neglect our eyes. Wandering eyes during training shows a lack of focus, for sure. But there are two ways to look at the demand for focusing your visual attention to a specific point in your space. You can see it as oppressive, or freeing.
The oppressed mind will see our visual focus as restrictive. "With all that's going on around me, why must I focus all of my attention on this one small space?" That's the same kind of thinking that causes failed diets...the whole world is a buffet line, why deny yourself, right? This way of thinking wears on you over time, and you'll see training, or dieting, or whatever, as shackles that hold you in place. Basically, think this way, and you create your own misery.
But finding the freedom in the focus...oh boy! I'm busy. You're busy. We all have school/work demands, as well as roles within our families and community. With a million and one things to think about, you're telling me that when practicing some techniques, I only have to think about one thing?!? The freedom that comes with demanding my mind only be in one place, on one idea is amazing. Is it easy in the beginning to demand such focused attention? No way! Is it worth it in the long run? Definitely!