Just as we have a national budget deficit so too do we have an attention deficit – and it’s this attention deficit that stops us truly connecting with ourselves, with others and the world around us.
Amid the world of distractions we live in, we often hear people say ‘Pay attention please,’ or ‘Can I have your undivided attention?’
So lets first take a look at what it means to give something our attention?
The origin of the word actually comes from the idea of ‘stretching towards’ something with your full consciousness.
When we attend an event, it means bringing ourself to that event.
When we give something our attention, we are being present to that thing or person.
It’s not simply about focusing your mind on a single point, it’s about bringing all of yourself fully into the moment.
When we do not stand to attention, we lose out in many ways.
If we look at the military command ‘Attention!’, it is a call to full alertness and presence for the purpose of safety.
And just as soldiers need to be present in order to not get hurt, so do we.
Imagine a teenager busy on their phone, stepping out onto the road, not being present to the oncoming car.
We run risks when we are not fully present; when we do not give ourselves the attention we require.
So my suggestion this week is: Practice doing one thing at a time so you can give it your full attention.
Really immerse yourself in whatever it is you’re doing.
Put the phone on silent when out with friends, don’t apply lippy in the rearview mirror while stopped at traffic lights, and don’t watch television when you’re eating.
When you place your full attention on the task at hand, you create the space for you to connect in with yourself in a much deeper way.
You’ll start to hear your inner voice and be guided by what ‘feels’ right, as opposed to making decisions while multi-tasking, which stops you from feeling what’s best for you at that moment.
Give it a go, and share what you find in the comments section below.
Undivided attention allows you to see things you would miss if your mind were back in yesterday’s argument as opposed to on the road as you drive to work.
Attention isn’t just something you give to another person to show you’re respect, it’s something you give to yourself, to ensure you live life to the absolute fullest.
What’s the point of being spoiled with a life of fun lovin’ adventure, if you’re not giving it the attention required to fully enjoy it?