I have been getting lots of signals to pay attention. So lately I have found myself paying attention – to paying attention.
Dictionary.com indicates that attention is the act of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object; it is a capacity to maintain selective or sustained concentration; it is observant care and consideration. Noted synonyms include awareness, consciousness, watchfulness, alertness, and mindfulness
Pick 1 of the 4 choices below and notice your experience. Make note of what changed for you by being mindful of the person, task, feeling, or idea.
- Person – Give someone your undivided attention. Be completely present with them, in the now. Listen not only to their words but also to their emotions, tone, body language. Really focus on what’s going on with them.
- Task – Focus completely on a given task. However big or small, give the task your complete attention. If you find yourself getting distracted, gently bring your attention back to the task. Notice how you feel, what you think.
- Feeling – Sit quietly and dedicate all of your energy to understanding what you are feeling. Check in emotionally with yourself. Close your eyes, turn your attention inward, take several deep cleansing breaths. Name your feeling.
- Idea – Clarify your thoughts about something. Notice an area where your head seems a bit fuzzy regarding something you need or want to do. Choose to focus on it. Set an intention to gain clarity and direction. Write it out, talk it out with a friend, blog about it…express yourself in whatever way works for you.
- Consider your life. Look at various aspects of your life such as career, finances, relationships, growth, health, environment, recreation, and personal development.
- Which area most needs your attention at this time? Where are you experiencing major challenges? Where do you want more? Where are the greatest opportunities to stretch?
- Write down your intentions, What actions might you take to move in that direction? Pick 1 or 2 actions to guide your attention.
Quotes to Contemplate
- Powerful people decide where, how and what they are going to use their precious energy for. Whatever you’re giving your attention becomes your intention. ~Therese Kienast, Radical Leadership
- Whatever you pay attention to – or not – has a huge effect on how you see the world and feel about it. ~Kare Anderson
- The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller
- When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. ~George Washington Carver
- When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely – the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears- when you give your whole attention to it. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. ~Jim Rohn
- You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle. ~Paulo Coelho
- Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon. ~Booker T. Washington
© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012