THERE IS NO SUCCESS WITHOUT IT
At the very core of who we are as human beings, and what differentiates us from the animals, is our ability to learn and think. And, in order to learn and think, we, obviously must direct and control our attention long enough and intensely enough to learn and to think well.
With our ability to learn and to think, we can do marvelous things - all of us, not just the "super-brains".
It doesn't take a high IQ, but it does take applied effort and attention to master what we need to master.
And that is why I am addressing this issue (as do many others). But, now, I hope that you will be convinced that you should master this, that you can master this, and that you are guaranteed to prosper in life if you master this.
IT IS ALL A SIMPLE, MECHANICAL PROCESS
All training is a process of changing our neuronal patterns, getting the new ones more in gear. This is akin to, and in fact is, forming a new habit. As such the new patterns gradually happen more and more automatically and naturally, pretty much by themselve, in an effortless manner. (If something is grooved in well, the path is clear and there are no oppositional patterns pulling the other direction and wasting our energy.)
And the process always involves repetition to "get it into our heads" and to make it available and operational.
Of course, we have to decide what to install. And that process involves reasoning and fact-finding that allows us to determine what is true. And once we are convinced it is true, then we are off and running, able to install it through repetition.
Of course, you might wonder if there is anything else to do once you have "rationally" decided what is true.
A good thing to wonder about and/or question.
But you must realize that if something doesn't come up out of the memory at the time, you cannot act on it. Know that we act on whatever patterns come up from our brain (lower brains, that is) automatically. We've got to get our new truth into the brain such that it becomes automatic.
Anyway, the point is that we CAN train ourselves to do something different or better - such as directing our attention. And we can do things that enable us to better direct our attention and/or lessen the distractors or at least the effect of the distractors.
THE BASIC REALITY IS...
The basic reality is that you can't get anywhere unless you direct your attention toward doing what is necessary to get there. And you have the basic ability to do that - it's built into your genes - but, as with almost all abilities, they need to be trained and improved. Just as we need to practice the piano and to develop that ability through deliberate practice, we need to do the same with "playing the attention" device.
If you can't direct your mind to an objective and then keep your mind on it, you don't stand a chance of being successful in life. Low attentional skill/ability is one of the best predictors of failure in life - and mediocrity.
Note that meditation increases the functionality and with continued practice the size of the left brain decision center, nonsense-screening center, and the happiness center in the left prefrontal cortex. (See Matthieu Ricard, the happiest man in the world - and why he is.)
In fact, any type of concentration increases that ability. Even just repeating something over and over, while giving it your attention, increases that ability.
And the more attention you give something, the more grooved into your primitive brain it becomes. And the brain's screening center will see it more automatically - and you'll see opportunities in that area or details in that area that you might not have seen originally. And of course there is the "problem solving" center of the brain which seeks to "close the gaps" in knowledge and patterns so that it can better survive (this is wired into all of us and it helped our species survive).
ADHD - Most of the time it is bad training and, as a result, lazy thinking. Very, very, very seldom is it an actual condition that is "medical".