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Thread: about concentration

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Posted: 2022-04-21 09:17
Hello... often it happens that different thoughts literally come to my mind at the least propitious moment of the day: when I train on lcwo. These thoughts distract me in such an impressive way that they hardly ruin my training, I don't know how to get out of it!!! How do you go about keeping thoughts out of your brain while you train?
For the reasons explained, I often stop and restart the exercise, knowing that by now too many mistakes have already been made (see problem above) such as to clearly invalidate the result the baddest way. I can't stand such bad results and I want to get good scores, but this clashes with the fact that, once the message has been sent, it would be appropriate to decipher it all in "one go" and not as "I want"... you know: once, at sea, no one had the luxury of receiving the message twice... but it is also true that the question here is purely playful ... so: how do you see it?
That makes my "25wpm struggle" even worst :-|


Posted: 2022-04-21 13:50
I find the opposite. Finding practicing CW totally clears my head - it's literally all I can think about while listening.

What I do slip up on is getting fixated on a letter and trying to decipher it while more letters pass me by. It's hard to let them go but I'm getting better.

Posted: 2022-04-22 00:03
Hello Matteo.

Your issue with thoughts coming to your mind, is not related to CW. It's related to human brains. They create thoughts about all kind of stuff all of the time! Thoughts that you really don't need at all.
The thoughts coming to your mind is not your problem, your problem is when you listen to the thoughts, and follow them. In all aspects of life, it is healthy to accept the thoughts, but train yourself not to get off track, and in stead keep focused on the task at hand, whether it is CW, brushing your teeth, talking with a friend, or whatever it might be.
And actually you can use CW as a kind of mantra, that helps you train the ability to stay focused.
The trick is to not get fustrated by your thoughts, but as soon as you realize you are off track, just get back to CW. With time, you will get better and better at this. You will have difficult days with many thoughts, and easy days with few thoughts. I think that both are days of good CW training!

Posted: 2022-04-22 00:56

yes, I also know when I hear sometimes long Morse text to train head copy.
Sometimes the opposite happens, I fall asleep.


The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy
A Manual For Learning, Using, Mastering And Enjoying
The International Morse Code As A Means Of Communication
William G. Pierpont N0HFF

Page 45

Especially in the early stages of receiving, when things go very slowly, and often again when you have gained considerable skill, the mind may tend to wander off somewhere else, or go galloping ahead (jumping to conclusions). As you listen, hang onto every letter, word and phrase -- hang on like a leech (that is, concentrate on it), really listening to it. (This also helps; take off any strain, knowing something of what is being said.) Remember that in practical communications, when we listen to the radio, the signals are here and then gone and cannot be brought back unless they were recorded. You are learning to get so familiar with the sound of code that doing it right the first time will be easy. Easy familiarity will help us to do that.

We are more likely to rush ahead when we are fresh and alert. Don't let your mind try to outrun the sender. We must resist letting our minds wander off, or anticipate, or pause to try to figure something out. Some of us do this in normal conversation and reading, but we need to be especially on guard against this in code reception. Don't let it become a habit with Morse. As we
listen, we need to disconnect all conscious analytical processes, and instead maintain an eager readiness to receive -- to hear each letter, word and phrase as it comes along, willing for it to be whatever it will be. That means we hang on to every letter, word and phrase as it comes along, ready for the next one. Listen, keep listening and want to understand. Let's develop the desire
and feel for doing this. There is no need ever to become embarrassed (or panic) because you can't read or copy everything you hear.

73 Rüdiger DD5RK

Posted: 2022-04-22 11:47
iv3ynb - Matteo

Here are a few custom exercises I wrote for you involving P and X.





Learning strategies is one thing that I am very familiar with because I can teach several things like chess, archery, English Language and Advanced Vocabulary, and few other things.
Of course it is playful. Thought can be by definition, recognized as a kind of play. We may be operating in a kind of programming/thought sequence "A" most of the time, with programming "B" and "C" following as customary.
However, when we apply the mind to a Drill Activity, part of the mind rebels, and even intrudes, giving us a kind of "This is boring drill!" and "I want to go back to running programs A, B, or C.
The mind can be so playful, that it can be compared to our loyal companion, the dog. The dog wants its master to throw the stick, so that the dog can run and retrieve the stick, to show what it can do. Perhaps the master may think that the dog is so simplistic because it brings the stick back, and is happy to play the game. However, when the mind is compared to the faithful dog, it can be considered that the "dog" thinks that it is the master who is pleased with doing silly things like throwing a stick.

It can help to engage the Playful Mind in a bit of dialogue, so that it can be reminded that it is "okay" to do some drill practice for strengthening the mental muscles.
The mind is something that you can "talk to". One of the things that the mind can respond to is suggestion, persuasion, and a kind of "request". The mind can be told that certain things are "okay". Before shifting to different programs of activity, the mind can be given reasons why drill is important to achieve broader goals. The mind itself can be regarded as a "person" [or rather like a powerful horse if you prefer] and the "person" can understand what is suggested. And indeed, it can be playful. There has always been a kind of recognition of the "otherness" of the mind, because the mind can operate properly on one level, and at the same time, operate differently on a level that can be serious, compassionate, playful, mocking, silly, nasty, or even sarcastic or cruel.
So indeed, the mind can be given a pleasant suggestion like; "Let's go along with the program, shall we?" Even then, the "other" can start playing. So care must be taken to work within the "otherness" and the tendency of the mind to operate on multiple levels or "different channels" as it were, to accomplish some task.
Also, it is not wise or necessary to try forcing or compelling the mind. Rather, the inward dialogue can be most effective when guided by friendly suggestions like; "Come now. Let us play with the CW Drill for the moment."
There are at times, other obstacles to understand mental operation, because people have generally been fed a combination of information and misinformation, until they are confused, and could not even define what "thinking" is if they needed something beyond an absurd definition like a dictionary offers.
Thus, operating with drills can require a special adaptive skill that can benefit from a kind of "negotiation" in inward conversation. Most learning activities are best conducted with a kind of "strategy". In regards to drills like CW practice, the various operations in mind can be "persuaded" if the various operations can yield some of their time for a few moments of different kind of "play".
At the deepest levels of mind and its learning, both love and playfulness can be found working together. At the optimum level of cooperation, the work of drills can be acknowledge to be rather like body-building and developing powerful new muscles. The mind "likes" learning strategies like that. What the mind does not like, is being told not to play while it works. The mind sometimes likes to remind the person that is capable of doing running several "programs" and it wants reasons for being given a new "program".

The mind just might indeed say, at some point;
"Hey! Throw the stick again okay? You seem to like that boring game, and we wouldn't want for you to be unhappy now would we?"

Posted: 2022-05-12 00:18
Don't listen to the voices in your head...

Posted: 2022-05-12 09:19
When I can't focus I take a five minute breaks then get back into it. Keep your training to fifteen minutes. Passover every day got at least 1 fifteen minute session.

Posted: 2022-05-12 09:21
Meant practice every day

Posted: 2022-05-12 13:24
Ciao Matteo, this is a common issue, it's called "Maladaptive daydreaming" (in italiano = disturbo da fantasia compulsiva. wiki => https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maladaptive_daydreaming).

I have it too. There's not much you can do. You have to learn to live with it. Unfortunately, I had to stop listening to music altogether, because I would play the same song in my head 24/7 and that would even prevent me from sleeping.

Posted: 2022-05-12 19:06
I can't stand such bad results and I want to get good scores

Don't let mistakes cause frustration. Accept the mistake, see it as an opportunity to learn, and move on to the next character. After a time, scores will improve because you have improved your skills. It is not a higher level of concentration that is required, rather repetition and familiarization with sound patterns that will improve your scores.

Posted: 2022-05-13 00:18
Don't listen to the voices in your head...

lOlOlOl = 55

Posted: 2022-05-13 09:20
Thank you all, guys...

>>>Maladaptive daydreaming
This is a curious thing: I'll get info about it!!!

>>>at least 1 fifteen minute session
Starting this week, I fixed on minimum 20 attempts a day. As always: if possible... but I'll keep pushing hard :-)

>>>Don't let mistakes cause frustration.
Indeed!!! This week I started to let bad results in the attempts list.


Posted: 2022-05-13 11:54
If you are already at 25 wpm, you are way beyond most of us. Focus on words and callsigns rather random characters. You don't learn a language by learning gibberish. See my other thread about qrq (https://fkurz.net/ham/qrq.html). It's a bit temperamental and less polished than LCWO but it helps improving your copying skills.

Posted: 2022-05-13 12:16
If you are already at 25 wpm

I am attending lesson 22 @ 25wpm... regarding the way I see things: I am not at 25wpm yet ;-)
I usually step to next lesson after 74 attempts.
Should I reach lesson 40 faster?


Posted: 2022-05-13 13:00
But, is it 25wpm with or without Farnsworth spacing? I'd suggest you play by the book and first finish all lessons at 20/15, then add some custom characters (for example prosigns) then you can slowly progress to 25 effective. If you start at 25/25 effective, you're trying to go too fast.

Posted: 2022-05-13 13:07
I use to go 25/25... if I have some serious difficulties I go 25/24. Sometimes I feel better at 26/25 or even 26/26...
I simply follow the lessons 1 thru 40... sometimes I preheat running MorseMachine for some minutes

They say to push up, over the limit... isn't it?


Posted: 2022-05-13 17:30
They who?

Posted: 2022-05-14 12:34
They who?

those... ;-)

Posted: 2022-05-14 13:35
I'm puzzled because I looked up your call on QRZ and you say you are an experienced telegraphist, so I don't understand why you're stuck at lesson 22. If you already know the alphabet, I'd just do word and callsign training, which is more fun than random letters.

Posted: 2022-05-15 11:03
you say you are an experienced telegraphist...

I don't say... maybe you suppose it, anyway I was not running at 25/25 so far.

Anyway it is simple: I had a long period of QRT due to personal issues... more than 5 years without antennas, radio and without CW practice.
I chose to restart from scratch. That's it.

I think I'll accelerte lessons and take surely advantage of your suggestions about calls and words. Thanks.


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