Pay attention to what you're paying attention to
Posted on 25th October 2017 at 07:30
Listening to clients – as well as those we encounter in our day to day lives – it’s all too easy to fall into the “doom, gloom and despondency” trap. That the world is hard, negative and uncaring. Life is a constant struggle and the best we can hope for is to get by.
However, as we’ve said many times before, this isn’t what life is about at all. We live on a planet that’s amazing and beautiful. Life is here for us to enjoy and, dare we say it, be happy (!).
We have so much more to be thankful for than to be unhappy about. The human spirit is truly awe inspiring and indomitable.
Yes, of course, there will always be the positive and negative. Good and bad. The joyful and tragic. Life, after all, is all about contrasts.
How could we ever appreciate the good if we weren’t aware – or had actually experienced – the opposite?
What we often forget is that, every minute, we have the choice as to what to focus on. The positive or negative.
All the good things in the world – whether our own little world or the wider one – we have to be thankful for.
Or the not so good ones.
Whichever we choose then shapes our world and literally brings more of the same into our lives.
The question to ask yourself is how you want to spend your life.
Worried and depressed?
Or calm and content?
So, this week, here’s another one of our radical little ideas. That you pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.
Not only will you learn a lot about yourself – and others – in the process, but you can then consciously choose where to focus your precious energy and attention.
As soon as you become aware that you’re focussed on “doom, gloom and despondency” you then have the choice of whether this really is what you want to be thinking about. You can then make a conscious decision to move your focus on to all the good things in your life. Perhaps even saying a silent “thank you” for them too.
We recently came across a lovely quote that sums this approach up perfectly but, as so often is the case, we haven’t been able to find it again. It went along the lines of:
“If it isn’t positive, then I don’t pay attention to it. It’s like water off a duck’s back.”
And, for those of you, who may feel that this approach is a bit of a cop out – a bit Pollyanna’ish – here’s something you may not have thought about.
For a minute, just remember what it feels like to be in “doom, gloom and despondency” mode. Now think of all that negativity you’re generating for yourself AND, more importantly, the people directly affected by whatever you’re thinking about.
Then ask yourself if this is helping anyone?
Does it make you feel good?
One thing is 100% certain. It’s not helping you.
But what about the other person / people?
If they’re already having a tough time, will being on the receiving end of even more negativity be helping them?
Again, the answer has to be an emphatic “no.”
Even worse, all this negativity is being sent by people who say they care and want to help. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re a friend, family or stranger; the result is the same. More fuel is being added to the negativity bonfire.
We’ll bet you’d never thought about it in those terms before.
Wouldn’t it be more helpful – for ALL concerned – to put all that energy into focussing on a positive outcome? That all those affected are safe and will be fine in the long run.
Not only will you feel better focussing on a positive outcome for all concerned; but those on the receiving end will have a much needed dose of positive energy and thoughts. While they may not know it consciously, unconsciously they’ll know that everyone is rooting for a positive outcome for them.
As always the choice is yours.
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