Your attention is your most precious resource

Sep 16, 2020

How often do you deliberately notice what you're giving your attention to? 

Your attention is your most precious and limited resource even more than your time, in my opinion. In fact, it's so precious that advertisers will pay thousands just to get your attention for a few seconds. 

Where you place your attention has a profound effect on your mental health, which is something we really need to remember. 

For example, you decide to watch the news for one hour a day or you decide instead to spend that hour reading an inspiration book or visualizing a positive outcome to your goals that will actually make a really big difference to your mental health and your level of happiness. 

Your attention is like a camera lens and you can choose what you Jus zoom in on and what you zoom in on largely determines how you feel so you can zoom in real close on all the bad stuff that's going on in your life right now. 

Or you can zoom in on the best thing that happened to you today, or you can take a little closer of the people in your life that you feel. 

You and I can both go to the same party and have a completely different experience. Let's say for example that I'm feeling really down. I'm tired and fed up and don’t even want to go to the party and you're feeling fantastic. Maybe you've just been promoted at work or you just received a text confirming a date with that colleague that you like. 

At the party all I notice is how the awful music is, and the couple arguing in the corner, and the guy throwing up in the sink. 

You come home from the party and you say, “Wow, that was an amazing party!!”, because you instead like you zoomed in on the friends laughing and joking, and the great food, and the dancing, and and the other couple that was kissing in the corner. 

In any given moment, there are so many different things that you could pay attention to. 

The trouble is, most of the time we are just letting our attention be controlled by how we are feeling and the random thoughts that come into our mind.

Mindfulness training lets you understand that you are not your thoughts. You can literally take a step back from your thoughts and observe them for what they are. 

They are just thoughts in your head and your thoughts are not necessarily reliable. 

You have about 60,000 thoughts every day; you don't actually have to go with the flow of every thought that comes into your mind where it wants to take you. 

Let me ask you this: Have you ever noticed how negative your thinking becomes when you're feeling hungry, disappointed or just plain exhausted?

If you give continuous attention to one problem, it can become a part of who we are, a part of how your brain works, and so play a role in how you perceive the world. 

Energy goes where attention flows and what you give your attention to eventually becomes your reality. 

Attention shapes reality and this is why you need to stand guard at the gate of your mind.

Mindfulness practice teaches you that you can just let go of those thoughts that are not serving you. You can let go off the thoughts, those problems, that are making you feel miserable or taking you away from your goals.  

So, next time you find yourself homing in on one thought, one problem, which is making you feel bad, you can choose to see it for what it really is: just a thought. 

Practice asking yourself a question: “What could I think about instead that will make me feel great?”, or “What am I grateful for?”, or “What could I get really excited about right now if I wanted to?”

Flip the switch and redirect your attention to whatever thought is going to make you feel happier. 

Reach for a better feeling thought and start to be more intentional with where you place your attention. 

Attention is your most precious resource, and it is creating your future. 

Make it a future to fall in love with.