Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Chapter 4 - Road Atlanta "Target Fixation"

This week, while working on Chapter 4 of my novel "Track Lessons" I did some research and thinking about Target Fixation,
In Chapter 4 I write:
 All motorcyclists know about “Target Fixation”, the natural, instinctive, tendency to focus on the hazard. This paralyzed focus makes the collision more likely, even inevitable. You go where you look.

BUT, wait a minute, you CAN choose where you look! Right? Right

So motorcyclists are warned to:
Look where you WANT to go
Look AHEAD of you, (vs in front of you)
Look THROUGH the corner
Continually scan
Talk to yourself (“Look where you want to go”, “don't fixate”)

The same issues arise in other areas of life. For example, martial artists speak of “soft eyes”. Author Parker Palmer, in his book THE COURAGE TO TEACH: EXPLORING THE INNER LANDSCAPE OF A TEACHER'S LIFE, writes:

"In the Japanese art of Aikido there is a practice called "soft eyes" - it means to widen one's periphery to take in more of the world. If a stimulus is introduced to an unprepared person, his eyes narrow and filight/fight response takes over. If the same unexpected stimulus comes to someone with "soft eyes" the natural reflex is transcended and a more authentic response takes its place - such as thinking a new thought.
...I want to make a conscious effort to help myself and my students develop softer eyes when confronted with something new. I believe it will allow all of us to have more authentic responses and "think" more "new" thoughts."

and, some but not me would say, coincidentally, my Pastor preached a sermon last Sunday on 2 Kings Chapter 6 about Elisha praying for his servants "vision" to be cleared up (softened), AND my daughter, Katie joked with me that research has shown that women have much better peripheral vision than men and that is why women can catch men eyeing other women, much more often than men can catch women looking at men.  LOL.

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