“Put your intention and attention on what is it that you want to shift and change” – Wayne Dyer
“Pay attention to what you are doing” – this is one line that most of us have either heard, or used; or have probably done both.
I certainly fall in ‘both’ categories. During all my studying and growing years, it is one thing that I have definitely heard a lot; And have generously used it with my team members, during my corporate stint, as well as, in my role as a parent.
Paying Attention – till distractions take over
During my early years, paying attention meant getting my focus back to studies; rather than thinking about playtime or cricket on television (the few distractions that we had then!). So, I would actually make a sincere attempt to stop thinking about play; or the match that was being shown on television.
Things would work for some time; but then the pull of the distraction would only keep returning – stronger than before. I would try harder to refocus on purpose. But that was easier said than done. The more I would try to refocus my attention, the harder it would keep getting for me.
If I could use an analogy here, it was almost like holding on to sand. It would keep slipping away with every tightening of the grip.
I didn’t have the nerve to ask back – “how do I pay attention?!”; because it was a statement made with a with a very obvious tone – how can one not be knowing it?!
Mindfulness – an effective way to build Attention
So, what seemed to be just a hazy intellectual concept got answered, when I got into my journey of being mindful recently – about 4 years ago.
The Unified Mindfulness system (a neuroscience based mindfulness system under which I am a certified Level 2 coach), defines mindfulness as a set of 3 attentional skills – Concentration power, Sensory clarity and Equanimity; all working together.
The first thing which is unique here is that the moment we refer to these three abilities as skills – the context changes completely. It becomes a technique – based learning which can be improved with time.
Second and most importantly, with practice, these skills can be applied at will and are no longer situation based.
This is the underlying principle of what we cover in our 8-week journey of mindfulness; where participants get to learn 5 unique techniques to deal with the vagaries of life. In addition, they also get access to 3 powerful ways of integrating the art of being mindful in daily life situations.
What’s the reality of your Attention?
All of us – professionals, homemakers or students; live with this fundamental problem of an inability to keep focus on the task on hand. There are too many balls in the air being juggled; some professional, others personal; but all needing to be moved.
Our ability to bring focus on one issue at a time, feel it in depth and yet be dispassionate while completing it and moving on, are critical for us to manage multiple issues in parallel.
With Mindfulness training, starting with the basics of noticing and training attention, one can finally have access to focusing attention where one really wants it to be; rather than letting it wander.
In conclusion, it is only fair to state that building our ability to pay attention – block by block & moment by moment, is how our reality gets created and shaped.
Our life’s reality, defined by our sense of satisfaction and happiness, truly depends upon our ability to be mindful and accomplish what we wish to; professionally or in personal lives.
So, what reality are you choosing to create for yourself today?
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