What are some of the greatest example/s of absence of mind?
Every student is familiar with the situation when it is necessary to concentrate, and he or she is trying really hard to think about the issue the professor is analyzing. Nevertheless, despite all the efforts, his or her thoughts get out of control and start wandering. From time to time we all experience our mind’s tendency to self-generate thoughts unrelated to what we are doing.
Very often cases of temporary absence of mind are not serious. For example, when you miss a familiar turn-off on the highway or do not remember when your best friend’s birthday party is held, because as soon as you’ve heard about it you start planning your outfit. On the contrary, some examples of lapses of attention could be really important and even dangerous, such as failures that cause accidents, injury, and the loss of life (Cheyne et al., 2006, p. 578). For example, thinking about something else while controlling a vehicle is one of the types of distracted driving that is a top cause of car accidents nowadays.
A vivid example of the absence of mind occurs while reading: although one’s eyes have continued to move across the page, one’s mind has been fundamentally elsewhere. Some of these thoughts may seem trivial: Did you lock your car? Perhaps you should check your phone to see if you received an e-mail? Others may contain ideas with implications for your life – who you will marry, what course you will take, or what career path you want to follow (Smallwood & Andrews-Hanna, 2013). According to Smallwood and Andrews-Hanna (2013) “mind wandering is associated with skills like creativity, planning and delaying gratification and so reflects capacities that are necessary to navigate the complex social environment in which we exist”.
On the whole, we should allow our mind to wander from time to time, as it might help to overcome past mistakes, make more ambitious plans for the future, and even create a masterpiece. The only thing that should be taken into consideration is that our mind is permitted to have a rest only during the situations we are not responsible for anybody’s life.
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