- Thoughts for inspired living

August 6, 2008

Where’s Your Attention?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:07 am

It seems there are so many places to put your attention. On closer inspection though, it comes down to persons, places or things.

Let’s look at them in reverse order.

Things. When we place our attention on things, we are either working with them or giving thought to them. Too much attention placed on things has us destined to be a left brained, analytical type that needs to get out more and play with others.

Places. When places capture our attention we are either daydreaming about the future or reminiscing about the past or we just got transferred to Albuquerque. Too much attention on places may get you an “A” in geography or a position on the editorial board of Condé Nast, but it will keep you landlocked.

Persons. This is the attention mother lode. There are two choices for attention within the “Persons” category – yourself or others. Most of us pay too much attention to ourselves and very little to others. When we give too much attention to ourselves, others disappear. Yes, we may be having interactions with them, but please trust me, they are not there. We don’t see them and they don’t feel us.

We get just about everything that comes to us in life from other people. Doesn’t it make sense to give this delivery person more of our attention? They are quite deserving of it. And the side benefit of giving attention is that we are amply rewarded by this treasure trove of humanity.

Other people provide our lives with the richness that is lost when we are holed up playing video games or watching a Law & Order marathon. This isn’t a rant on taking time for personal pleasures; it’s more of a suggestion to gain more perspective on what or, more specifically, who gets your attention.

Here is an exercise that will immediately enrich your life and it takes very little practice to master it. In your next conversation, give your full attention to the other person. The minute that you find yourself going into your head to formulate a response while they are talking, bring your full attention back to them. Pay full attention to what they are showing you and telling you. The first thing you will notice is less tension in your body. Contemplating responses is a tension filled activity. A natural response creates no tension. Trust yourself to have a natural, appropriate response show up when it’s your time to respond.

These type communications will prosper all participants. It’s all a matter of attention.

This is such a basic idea that proves itself time after time. I’m surprised we haven’t taken fuller advantage of this practice.

So let me ask, “Where is your attention?”

All the best,


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