Have you ever noticed that if you have a toothache or headache, all you seem to be able to do is focus on the pain? Or if there is construction going on outside your office, all you seem to do is focus on the incessant noise that doesn’t allow you to think? And, regardless if you’re a CEO of a multi-million-dollar company or in your first job, have you ever noticed that when you’re worried about something, you continually put your attention and focus on the problem, which, of course, brings more of whatever you don’t want into your life?
We all do this; it’s human nature, and it is absolutely the antithesis of what we should be doing if we’re trying to resolve any kind of challenge. By putting our energy and attention into what we don’t want, we guarantee it won’t get resolved anytime soon. Attention is like a spotlight – what it illuminates streams into our mind and shapes our brain. Developing greater control over our attention is perhaps the single most powerful way to reshape how we think, according to the authors of “Buddha’s Brain.”
On the other hand, when we focus on what we want, when we relax and let go of the incredible amount of energy it takes to hold onto worry, fear or anger, we are well on our way to finding solutions. Think about what happens when you let go of worry and allow yourself to focus on what you want the outcome to be. Maybe you just went to bed and quit thinking about it, or you went to a movie and forgot about it for two and a half hours, or did anything else that totally erased your concern. Later, you picked your problem back up with renewed energy, and possibly even had a solution when you let go of giving it your full and undivided attention.
There’s a quote in the book “A Course of Miracles” that says, “Every decision you make stems from what you think you are and represents the value that you put upon yourself.”
So, if we strategically look at how to change a current dilemma or problem, a great place to start is simply backing off from it, and then examining what you are putting your attention on; what are you thinking about? It’s been said we have a dialogue of 600 to 800 words per minute and usually we’re focusing on – putting our attention on — what we think we’re doing incorrectly or dwelling on the mistake we made earlier today, or even 25 years ago.
Look at the time we’re wasting! For fun, think of how much time you might waste during the day putting your attention on what you’re worried about or what you’re annoyed with yourself about. Let’s say you are the unique individual who seldom worries, so it’s only 10 minutes during the whole day that you are worrying about something, and that’s not much. Now multiply that 10 minutes by 23, the number of average workdays during the month. Let’s say you did that and came up 230 minutes. Now multiply that times 12, for the number of months during the year, and you’ve lost (once you divide the average number of minutes in a workday, 480) about 5.75 days per year from worry. Think of the amazing things you could do with almost six days worry-free!
If you can put that kind of unintentional energy into worry, then think what happens if you intentionally focus on what you want to accomplish and start to let go of something ineffective. Relax and let your talents and abilities shine.
If you can put that kind of unintentional energy into worry, then think what happens if you intentionally focus on what you want to accomplish and start to let go of something ineffective. Relax and let your talents and abilities shine. Think about it – have you ever chosen to just let go of worrying about something and the answer came to you, or in some inexplicable way the problem was solved?
Our minds are amazing and are following our instructions at all times. And in order to allow our destinies, to allow the most incredible and creative parts of ourselves to shine through, we need to pay attention to where we’re putting our attention, and make daily adjustments. Regardless of where you are in the hierarchy of your company, you are a model that others follow. So here are some ideas on how to create more control over wandering minds in order to put our energies to better use:
- Ask yourself if you are you aligned with your values. Again, every decision stems from what you think you are and represents the value that you put upon yourself. If you are not comfortable with any part of what you’re doing, it will remain a challenge. And if you worry about the value others are putting on you, you’re right back to giving your attention to something external, something you can’t control. For example, if you are in sales and feel conflicted about setting up appointments just to sell, restructure how you see something. Focus on what value you can bring to the person you’re meeting and determine you won’t even try to sell to that person, just bring value. By genuinely caring about the individual you’ll make a long-term relationship in the investment, which will bring in far more business than just a short -term sale.
- Pay attention to your emotional triggers. Emotion runs the show, which is why Madison Avenue knows the foundation of all advertising lies in reaching us emotionally. That’s also why fear is such a strong deterrent, paralyzing us from taking action and making logical and rational decisions when in a crisis. Think about what you want to accomplish, or the solution you want. Imagine the feeling associated with that success and focus on that image, expanding it. Now think of your favorite theater in town, with the image of your success up on that screen in living color. When you are focused on one thing with feeling, it’s impossible to be focused on something negative at the same time, giving yourself the needed break to create the results you need.
- Remember, every success starts with our belief in our ability to create it, which is often from the mental vision/picture we have of what we want. Find beliefs that you want and need to succeed, and then install them into your consciousness. See what you want so clearly it feels like it’s already here, and you’ll start creating it from a cellular level on up. We see what we believe our choices are. Psychologically the term used to describe this phenomenon is inattentional blindness — lack of attention to an unexpected object. In other words, we see what we are looking for or expect to see, and miss everything else. Our beliefs encourage us to pay no attention to opportunities or alternatives when we are conditioned to deny the existence of other information. It was Helen Keller who said it is sad that people have 20/20 eyesight, and no vision. Use your intelligence to continually see what you want, as if you already have it.
- Finally, allowing your amazing talents to continue to shine and grow — no matter what your age, experience, education or successes — comes when you are continually open to alternatives. Think of a large, expanding box. The borders or walls around this box represents our beliefs about what is and is not possible, in other words, our realities. You might have an incredible vision of your future, or it may be limited to some extent. Regardless, our successes are limited only by our beliefs of what is and is not possible. Change our beliefs and we change the scope of what we can and cannot achieve. There was an old song many years ago, sung by Dinah Washington, called “What a Difference a Day Makes,” which was all about finding love and how life changed. The same philosophy is ours; what a difference a day makes when we meet one new person, come up with one new idea, have one person change their views or offer their help. We have no idea what’s around the next corner, and yet when we’re open to continually knowing, all we need will show up, we can create miracles, and more!